Opportunity Can Reside Inside of Confusion – Negotiation Insight
13 February 2018 | 9:54 am
“Confusion is a time for reflection. Use it to slow down your thoughts. In doing so, you’ll see what’s been speeding past you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Have you ever caught yourself, or caught someone else, in a state of confusion? I’m talking about being truly perplexed and in a quandary about what action to engage in next. Confusion may have shown on the face or been revealed in some non-action. If it was you, you may have felt embarrassed, a sense of anxiety, or just an emotional tug to get out of that state of mind. At such times, in such actions, an opportunity may be lurking. Here’s why I say that.
When someone is confused, they become unsure of what to do next. That will usually cause them to go into a state of reflection, one in which they assess their circumstances, in an attempt to decide what action to engage in next. That’s the time that people are most susceptible to suggestions and external influence. If you’re the person in that state, be aware of your susceptibility. That’s not to say that being susceptible is bad at such a time, it’s simply to say, be aware of your environment, what suggestions are being offered, and how you feel at that moment about making decisions. You should understand when others are in such a mindset because they too are susceptible to being influenced by you.
Here’s the point, the more aware you are about the stimuli that motivate you to address one set of actions versus another, the better you’ll be able to adopt actions that are beneficial. So, don’t shun confusion when you encounter it, embrace it for the potential value it may contain. Then, use that to your advantage … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
“He had an expression on his face that said, ‘he was hanging around like a dangling participle.’ You could see that he didn’t know what to do next.”
In a negotiation, a state of confusion can be good when induced in the other negotiator, such can be the case when it’s induced in you, too. Per confusion being of benefit when induced in the other negotiator, it depends on the type of person with whom you’re negotiating (i.e. Open – I’ll follow your lead because I trust you. Easy – willing to go along to get along). These types of negotiators are initially more open and willing to work with you than the ‘Hard’ or ‘Closed’ style of negotiators. Thus, you can elicit empathy from the opposing negotiator when you’re in a state of confusion, and lead him from his dilemma when he’s in that state.
In your negotiations, don’t be dismayed by confusion. View it as an opportunity and be prepared to utilize it as the gift that it might present.
What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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Remember, you’re always negotiating.
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