3 Negotiation tactics that even a one year old baby can teach you

Some time back we had the post on basics of Product development, which revolved around an incidence I encountered with a one year old playing the lead. This post can be taken as a gradual extension as I would like to highlight some key ways children can help us be better negotiators.

Smile – the key to happiness

smile-to-negotiateNegotiations are about tense environments. Though we call it a win-win game, we seldom concentrate on what the other party needs to get out of the negotiation. We are just worried about our share in the pie. In these kinds of situations it’s quite obvious to have a tensed face. Raise brows, strong words and high pitches. But all these come with their set of disadvantages. You will never trust a salesman presenting you the product with that face. Will you?

What about the cute smile of a child? Will you do what they ask for? A Smile can work wonders when it comes to negotiations. A smile is a feeling that is unconsciously replicated. When someone smiles while presenting  to you – the mind knows that something good is going on, we will benefit and hence we pay attention. (True the smile has to be genuine one!) Hence the law of reciprocity works well. Approach the negotiation the way you want the other party to approach you. Smile.

Curiosity – the key to knowledge

curious-baby-negotiateNegotiation at times turns up as  a personal tussle. It becomes more of an ego war rather than a collateral discussion. This is the time when we stop thinking about the situation, the long term, and the areas where we need to improve. We just want to win this debate. That’s it!

Being curious as a kid is important. They keep asking questions until they are satisfied. A child lays its knowledge on the foundation provided by the mentor. Having a curious mind a Sales man can know exactly what is important for the customer – the features or the price? Negotiation without curiosity is like trying to reach out to a place on the Globe without a map.

Perseverance – the key to success

baby-trying-to-walkNegotiation is not a battle which you win or lose; it’s a war that keeps going. Just by closing one deal you can never be the best negotiator, it’s by perseverance, an eye for details and proper analysis that lead to your improvement and make you a kickass negotiator.

How many children do you know who are absolutely hale and hearty physically but still can’t walk? Walking is a challenging job for a one year old. At the initial levels he does get a helping hand but not always. It’s just by the sheer perseverance of falling and rising again to stand on his feet like others; which makes a child walk one day. Remember – No child capable of walking ever crawls rest of his life. We all can be Master Negotiators; all that is required is the patience to try once more. The will to rise once you fall.

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Christopher April 27, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I always find it amazing what our children can teach us. I see these kinds of things in my own. Cool post.

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