Sometimes negotiating world peace starts in everyday life.

Are you a negotiator?

Everyone encounters several negotiation situations each day, every day. Yet, most people think of a negotiator as someone who can manipulate people into getting what they want. A soulless businessperson, a sleazy politician, that sales associate who sold you that pair of expensive jeans that were too tight to sit and breathe at the same time. (And, no, they did not “stretch out” after wearing them for a few hours.)

We ran a survey asking what people thought about negotiation, some commented on it being a “struggle” to close the deal. Negotiation was something to be…

Do empathetic negotiation tactics like answering a question with a question or labeling your counterpart’s emotions get you what you want? Absolutely! Until it backfires.

The problem with negotiating with tactics alone is that without principles to guide you, you risk becoming the manipulator. You may not manipulate consciously. You may even get what you want, but as soon your counterpart walks away from the conversation and thinks, “Wait, what just happened?” They’ll feel tricked. All the “rapport” and “empathy” you worked so hard to build will evaporate in nanoseconds. …

When it comes to having those tough conversations, many people will focus on what they’re going to say to the other person. “This is why I’m upset. This is what I want.” However, those conversations rarely go well. Unless your counterpart is some next-level Zen monk, this kind of of opening in a conversation will just trigger defensiveness and anger. Unless your goal is to destroy the relationship, or to blow off steam by lashing out, conversing while angry will only make things worse.

So what can you do? A lot of self-help advice tells you to “breathe” and frankly…

A few years ago, I read a negotiation book and it blew my mind wide open. I thought, “This is going to change everything!” The next day, my boss made a request I deemed to be unrealistic. What a perfect time to try a technique from the book! I then asked a question from the book.

“That’s YOUR job to know!” he roared. I could practically hear his blood boiling. By fumbling a technique, I made a bad situation a thousand times worse.

Did that mean the negotiation book gave awful advice? No. The idea of strategically asking questions to…

Jennine Jacob

Co-founder at the Empathary, a platform where you can truly develop emotional intelligence through learning how to negotiate.

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