Do you feel uncomfortable in conflict with others? Do you experience fear and anxiety when dealing with tough situations? Most negotiation tactics and strategies assume you’re already a master negotiator with nerves of steel - that’s the wrong starting place. In this episode we discuss how you can get comfortable with having tough conversations and build the foundation to become a real master of negotiation - using a simple and easy to apply framework. We discuss how you can deal with tough situations and conflict from a place of poise, curiosity, and confidence with our guest Kwame Christian.
Kwame Christian is a business lawyer and the Director of the American Negotiation Institute where he puts on workshops designed to make difficult conversations easier. As an attorney and mediator with a bachelors of arts in Psychology, a Master of Public Policy, as well as a law degree, Kwame brings a unique multidisciplinary approach to the topic of conflict management and negotiation. He also hosts the top negotiation podcast in the country, Negotiate Anything.Should we hide from conflict or should we seek it out and embrace it?Avoiding conflict is human, but it’s not healthyPowerful tactics and strategies don’t matter if you’re unable or unwilling to enter conflicting situations in the first place When people are afraid - their limbic system lights up and their prefrontal cortex is less active - your rational decision-making shuts down and you react more emotionally Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - an action oriented approach to pushing past phobias, fears, anxieties and moreRejection Therapy & exposure therapy - how to build the skillset of mental toughness By forcing yourself into difficult and tough situations - your brain actually changes (via neuroplasticity) and it gets easier over time How do you negotiate with someone and move them out of a negative place / negative emotional state so that you can help get what you want out of a tough situation?3 Step FrameworkStep one is to Acknowledge EmotionsGet Curious with Compassionate CuriosityEngage in Joint Problem Solving / Collaborative Negotiation How do you use the tool of “Acknowledging Emotions"Put it on YOURSELF, not on you “If I was in this situation, I would feel X (frustrated, etc)"Tell me more about what you’re experiencing?The goal is to help them get it out of their system?Then transition to "compassionate curiosity"How can we help you feel more secure?How can we help you solve this problem / situation?Often times people’s emotions will be hidden under a veil of professionalism - exploring the emotional side first helps to defuse themWhen exploring emotional issues - use the past tenseThe power of joint problem solving and joint brainstorming to develop a collaborative approach to solving problems The “copy machine” experimentFalse Belief Negotiations is a zero sum game.There is a difference between conflict and combat. Conflict is an opportunity to solve problems and learn more, there is a big difference. Negotiation isn’t the art of deal making, it’s the art of deal discovery 3 Pillars of NegotiationGet more of what we wantGet less of what we don’t wantStrengthen relationships Even if you don’t get a deal, there is still value to be achieved from a negotiationHomework: Take action - don’t avoid conflict, look at it as something to approach and use it as a Tool to strengthen your skills - find and seek out small conflicts