Click Here To Listen To The NEGOTIATEx Podcast

What You'll Learn In Today's Episode

  • Being self aware during a negotiation is important as it allows you to understand if you are performing optimally, or to slow things down and take a break.
  • Keep a negotiations journal. Writing down notes and thoughts when at the table, will give you a clearer picture to reflect as you deliberate later.
  • Be the protagonist of your own narrative. Do not let your counterpart dictate that for you.
  • Close your eyes and imagine walking away from the table. What will be the consequences of walking away?

Executive Summary:

Welcome back to the NEGOTIATEx podcast! This week, we continue our conversation with Moshe Cohen, founder of The Negotiating Table, and senior lecturer at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. If you haven’t heard Part A of this discussion, you can tune in here first. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s dive into today’s show.

Moshe encourages his students by stating that curiosity should be the main driver for approaching any negotiation. Asking “Huh?” or “Why?” gets one to the root of the problem at hand, and makes it easier to solve it analytically. His background of being a Physics Major at Cornell allowed him to use the scientific method to break big problems down to smaller, bite sized pieces which are a lot more easier to approach. Moshe jokingly says that after being involved in a difficult academic program like that, he is basically fearless when it comes to intellectual complications in negotiation and mediation. 

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) is a model that Moshe has highlighted in his book, Collywobbles. Competitiveness vs collaboration, or the need to get along versus the need to get ahead is what the model tries to illustrate. However, in Moshe’s experience, people who care more about the outcome than the relationship can sometimes avoid competing altogether. To explain this phenomenon he introduces two of his own concepts into the TKI framework: time orientation and energy.

The question for time orientation is one asking if they care about the outcome immediately, or at a later date. If it’s immediate, the options become to either not engage in the negotiation at all or approaching it with an ultra-competitive mindset for short term gain. If the time orientation is longer, then that individual can be more accommodating with their counterpart and collaborate with them to maximize long-term value.

For energy, the consideration is much more simple but no less important. Negotiations can be draining due to the amount of emotional and mental preparation they require. When there are many variables and positions to factor in, a kind of disdain can set in that Moshe eloquently describes as the “Ugh factor”. If it gets sufficiently bad and a negotiator is worn out, Moshe recommends taking a break from the table. 

In a similar vein, stress factors can make themselves known in one of two ways. The first happens in the immediate moment when a choice is presented and the negotiator feels that he has to make a decision at that very moment. Here, Moshe recommends slowing things down, taking an adjournment to weigh one’s options in order to not be stressed about the outcome.

Longer term stress factors on the other hand, are more complicated because they amplify one’s fears. If the negotiator is afraid of conflict, a long term negotiation can amplify that fear of emotional pain or tangible hurt that follows conflict. In extended negotiations, uncertainty is a long term stress factor that makes itself known when the outcome is not obvious and there is a lack of awareness of what might follow if certain steps are taken/not taken. 

There are times when one’s counterpart is in a position of power, and that allows them to negotiate like a bully. Such counterparts believe that they don’t need to have alternatives and will be able to coerce one into falling into line. With them, attempting to resolve issues through negotiation only empowers them more by giving them the blank slate to do what they want. 

So the option then becomes to make their strategy of fear and coercion unattractive. Once a level playing field has been achieved, then negotiations can take place with face-saving options presented for that counterpart. 

Unfortunately, employers can sometimes be difficult counterparts as well. If your boss is a bully, then Moshe’s unequivocal advice is to walk away. But more often than not, employers are reasonable and can be influenced based on how your interests align with theirs. This will not only set limits to the employer-employee power dynamic, but has the added benefit of helping you understand your alternatives.

Moshe, Aram and Nolan discuss a lot more in this episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. Write to us at team@negotiatex.com if you’d like to be on the show! 

Thank you for listening.

Key Takeaways:

  • Being self aware during a negotiation is important as it allows you to understand if you are performing optimally, or to slow things down and take a break.
  • Keep a negotiations journal. Writing down notes and thoughts when at the table, will give you a clearer picture to reflect as you deliberate later. 
  • Be the protagonist of your own narrative. Do not let your counterpart dictate that for you. 
  • Close your eyes and imagine walking away from the table. What will be the consequences of walking away?


Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, Nolan here. We're continuing our discussion from last week with Moshe Cohen. So if you haven't already listened to part a of this series, you're gonna make sure you wanna do that first. Let's jump into this episode.

Moshe Cohen : I tell students that the word I want them to, to approach things with is, “huh?” Anytime somebody says something. I want them to think.

Aram Donigian : “Huh?” [laughs]I love it.

MC : Yeah. Like what's there, I'm curious? And that's actually where being a scientist is really helpful. Cuz scientists are naturally curious. We wanna find out what's going on. We wanna dig in, we wanna look at the data. We wanna… if we don't understand something that just makes us even more curious to try to understand it.

AD : So see, now we're back to the first question that was maybe that was the link, the scientific background and the engineering background. Just the pursuit of the question. Isn't that great.

MC : I think that's part of it. And you know, I think the other thing is, I tell people that after being a Physics major at Cornell, not thing scares you.

AD : [laughs]

MC : There’s nothing I will ever do in my life that is, that is intellectually as difficult as that was. And that kind of opens you up to, to trying things and, and being, being, you know, less nervous about them. And the other thing it does, it really heightens your analytical problem solving. Right. Both in physics and engineering, you're just an analytical problem solver. And you look at big problems, you break 'em up into smaller problems and then you work on the smaller problems and put everything back together. And I found that enormously helpful both as a negotiator and as a mediator.

AD : Yeah, I can, I can see that was right. So we were talking so much about kind of the emotional intelligence aspect of negotiation and, and certainly can see the analytical problems like disciplined problem solving approach being so important too.

Adding To The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Resolution Model [3:04]

NM : Kinda changing gears here. Moshe, I know that in the book that you highlight, Thomas Kilmann’s negotiation styles between time and energy. What are kind of your observations in it around this?

MC : So, you know, the, I love the Thomas Kilmann model. I love the TKI. I think it's one of the better, instruments out there. And if you look at the original model, it was all about, you know, competitiveness and collaborativeness, right? The need to get along versus the need to get ahead. Or as it's often referred to in negotiation field is, is outcome versus relationship. And I think it's a very useful model. I think it describes what people do quite a bit, but if you look at it more closely, it describes more what people should do rather than what they're actually doing. It says, if I care more about outcome than relationship, I should compete. Well, I gotta tell you, there's lots of cases where I've seen people care a lot more about outcome than relationship, but completely avoid. And then you're like, what's going on, according to the model they're supposed to compete, but they're avoiding it?

So, you know, I, I thought that this idea of outcome versus relationship isn't complete, and I wanted to ask what else is going on? And the two parameters I came to are time orientation and energy. In terms of time orientation, the question is, do we care about what happens right this? Or do we care more what happens downstream? Cause I gotta tell you if all I care about is what happens right this second, then I'm either gonna avoid the negotiation altogether because what I care about right this second is not engaging in it, or I'm gonna be very competitive. Cuz what I care about is gaining short term gain and I'm not so worried about what happens down the road. If I have a longer time orientation, then either I'm gonna accommodate because I care about the relationship with the other party or I'm gonna collaborate to try to create as much long-term value as I can.

So that's how I thought about time orientation. But then the second parameter is, is interesting coz it's become a big topic conversation. And the idea is that negotiations take energy. In fact, they take a lot of energy in particular competing and collaborating, take an enormous amount of energy. I mean think about it. You have to go buy a car or you have to negotiate for a house. How much emotional and mental preparation and energy does that take? You know, you have to bring all of yourself to that because it's gonna tax you in all sorts of ways. And in collaborative negotiations, you're managing a bunch of complex interests. You're trying to figure out what you're doing. You're trying to figure out what the other side needs. You're trying to come up with creative options that will meet both sets of needs. You're trying to manage what your alternatives are in the background.

You're doing all of these things that are very, very energy intensive and the problem is we don't have the energy. I call that the Ugh factor. I mean that's when you have to go call somebody to negotiate and you're like, “Ugh, I just don't have it in me”. But it gets actually even worse than that. You see, because your energy level doesn't stay constant throughout a negotiation. It usually starts off pretty high. And then it fades over time, right? I mediated day long cases and I gotta tell you, people negotiate very differently with each other at hour one and hour seven. At hour one, they're like, “let me at ‘em!” Hour seven they're like “make it stop”. They give away the store just to end it. And by the way, I've seen some mediators use that unethically. I've seen some mediators essentially lock the door behind the parties and try to wear them out so they come to agreements.

And I personally find that coercive and I try not to do that. But the point is you need to manage your energy when you're negotiating. And if your energy starts to drop to the point where you are tempted to give away value, just to have it end, that's a really good signal that you should take a break. You are no longer in mental shape to conduct this negotiation and, and you need to find some sort of break. And I don't care if that break is five minutes to get a cup of coffee or two weeks to regroup. Different negotiations allow you different breaks and require different breaks. But the idea is you are no longer in shape for this and you need to recognize that and do something about it. So, you know, by imposing those two things on the, on the original Thomas Kilmann model, I was hoping to, to be able to look at it, not just from the point of view of what you should do, but also from the of you what you're likely to do. And once you realize what you're likely to do, you can try to align those two.

AD : Yeah, that's a great, that's a great point. You know, there's so many stressors that come up in negotiation and those would be drains on energy. I know you talk a bit about it this too. So taking a break one way to manage those stresses, I would assume like acknowledging, just acknowledging that I'm stressed to, I mean, are there other things that I need to do as, as I see those stressors coming up and draining the energy that I need to be able to negotiate effectively.

Managing Short And Long Term Stress During A Negotiation [7:52]

MC : So I'd say these stress factors show up in two different ways. One is something that happens in the immediate moment that makes you stressed. And you know, I talk a lot about that in chapter two, under the emotional response curve and there, you know, taking a break is something that you absolutely have to learn how to do. I tell people that some of the most important words a negotiator needs to learn how to say is, “thank you and let me get back to you.” Right? The other party's gonna put you under so much pressure when you're negotiating, you're gonna put yourself under so much pressure when you're negotiating and you need to be able to call a break and say, thank you. Let me get back. I mean, imagine, the other party gave you a proposal and says, here's our proposal. What do you think?

Well, if you say yes, you might have agreed to something bad. If you say, no, you might have walked away from something good. But if you say, well, great job in this proposal. Let me take a look at it and get back to you. You have regained control of that negotiation. So that's absolutely something you need to learn how to do. You can slow things down in other ways, instead of responding, you can ask questions. You can say, “ah, thanks for this proposal. I get paragraph one and two paragraph three. I'm a little confused about, could you go through that with me” while they're going through paragraph three, you’re calming yourself down.

AD : Yeah.

MC : Another thing you can do is just stay silent. Right? Well, as long as you're not saying anything, you're not saying anything you regret.

AD : Right![laughs]

MC : So you need to learn how to slow things down in all sorts of ways to deal with the immediate stressors. But then there's some longer term stressors that really impact. And they go together with the fears. And in fact, the stress factors act as amplifiers on your fears. So for example, a big one is conflict. Can't tell you how many people have said, I hate conflict. I avoid conflict. I don't like conflict. And then I ask them, so what don't you like so much about conflict? And they say, it's uncomfortable. I'm like, what's uncomfortable. Well, the other person might get upset or yell at me or cry. I'm like, oh, that's emotional pain. Or they say, well, the other person might retaliate. Well, that's tangible hurt. Or the other person might not like me. Well, that's, that's a relationship damage. So what happens is conflict acts as an amplifier that amplifies any, any fears you have,

AD : Right.

MC : Another big stress factor is uncertainty. And you ever wonder, I almost every kid in the world is afraid of the dark cause they can't see what's there. And what you can't see, you can imagine, you can imagine some pretty scary things. So uncertainty also amplifies our fears. And the last one I like to talk about in the book, I mentioned a whole bunch of others, but the other big one that shows up is power perception. If I perceive myself to be at a lower power position to somebody else, then I'm afraid that they might inflict relationship, damage, emotional pain or tangible hurt on me. And, that, that increases my fear. So in the long term sense, you want to be aware of what's, you're afraid of, but also what stress factors matter to you and under what circumstances they show up. And then in the short term, you need to slow down and, and, and manage your emotions. So if those stress factors, um, pop up, you're not reacting, you respond to, strategically.

AD : So Moshe, if we could, I wanna dig into that power perception. One just a little bit more. I cheated because I've, I've looked at some of your material on LinkedIn and we'll make sure that we link, um, to, so folks can follow up with yours. And is it, is it minutes with Mo what is, what's your little, your short clip? That's really good. You've talked about recently you talked about, negotiating with bullies and that's the one I was kind of hoping talk about when powers just perceived or it's, or it's real, it's something we want to deal with, but yeah. So we'll make sure we kind of link link into your, is it

MC : The hashtag is Two Minutes with Moshe

AD : Two minutes with Moshe yes.

MC : And it's actually a total lie. None of the segments are two minutes!

AD : I saw that[laughs]

MC : This one was over four, but that was my longest segment ever.

AD : And, and that's when that's, when we throw out the scientific background and we're say, eh, two-ish minutes. Right.

Negotiating When There’s A Power Imbalance [12:02]

MC : You know, you're always talking about order of magnitude and it's within an order of magnitude. So yeah. It's, you know, it's been fun. I do these, these videos that are all about negotiation and each time I try to answer a particular question and it's often a question that is either relevant to our current situation or that a lot of people have asked me. So this time I thought about how do you negotiate with a bully? And the first answer I came to is you don't. The way bullies operate is they feel like they have the alternative of not needing to negotiate with you, of coercing you into doing what they want. And very often, when you attempt to resolve things through negotiations, with bullies, that just empowers them, that that just gives them license to use even more power to try to be even more coercive.

So initially, one of the things that you need to do is take that off the table. You need to alter the bullies alternatives. So, the alternative of just getting what they want through fear and coercion is not as attractive. And you can see what's going on in the world, there are attempts to do that. Now, once you've evened the tables, then you wanna see if you can create opportunities for dialogue and for face saving opportunities for people to back off. But you don't do that initially because initially they'll just, you know, the bullies will just take that as signs of weakness and will push even harder. It was actually a very hard video to think about and make, because it's such a difficult thing, right? Bullies will make you feel like you're gonna suffer tangible hurt. If you don't do what they say, and you have to stand up to that, you have to alter it. Now very often bullies are bullies because they are strong. And the question is, how can you strengthen yourself? And, you know, one of the things I talk about there is the importance of alliances. I may not be powerful to stand up to the bully myself, but me and 200 of my friends might be.

AD : We, so I got pushed just a little more on this one. I think it's, it's really interesting. Certainly get the, the, kind of the idea when we're talking about events going on in the world today, Russia, Ukraine, other examples where we see bullies, does it change… so if we go back to the sense of your book, does it change when it's the workplace and the person I'm either is a bully or I'm perceiving to be a bully? Is my boss what my chosen response is there in action. I mean, I, you know, unless I leave this job, you know, I'm kind of, I need to be able to negotiate with this person. Does, does that change the calculation at all?

MC : It's a difficult situation. You know, I feel, I think people feel very often trapped within their jobs. And I've had conversations with people who ask me for tips on how to negotiate with their boss. And my conclusion was leave. There's not gonna be a good solution here. You have to leave. And the question is, when do you leave? How exactly do you leave? How do you prepare you be yourself before you leave? So when, when you leave, you end up somewhere better, but you need an end game because there is no good outcome with this person. You know, I dunno if you've heard the saying, “people join companies and leave bosses”. The number one reason people, their companies is their boss. And I gotta tell you, we do a terrible job of training bosses. You know, I do, I do leadership training as well.

And it's amazing how often people are just thrown into those positions without getting the direction of support. They need to actually become successful leaders and to manage their people effectively. But that is, you know, ultimately what you might have to do when it comes to negotiating with your boss. The first thing I like to remind people is that no matter who their boss is or how they operate, your boss is someone with needs. Your boss is someone with interests and you need to go to school and your boss and learn what they need. One of the most impactful articles I had to read when I was in business school was an article called managing your boss. I love that article because it was such a reminder that if I can understand what's driving my boss, I now have tools to manage that relationship and negotiate effectively with my boss. We have the opportunity as employees to observe our boss. Kind of like our kids observe us as parents. My kids know me better than I know me.

AD : Right. That's true.

MC : From infancy, they've had nothing better to do than watch me

AD : And, and, and they know, sorry. They know if they're gonna get what they want, they need to study us. Right.

MC : Absolutely. And,

AD : And yeah, that's a great point.

MC : The same thing goes on with employees and bosses. You know, you have much more time to watch your boss than your boss has time to watch you. Right? You need to know, for instance, what days of the week is your boss easier to talk to? What time of day is your boss easier to talk to? Is your boss one of those casual people that likes you to walk into their office, or are they more formal and structured and need an appointment? Do they like to talk in their office or over a cup of coffee at the cafeteria, right? You need to learn all of those things about your boss that helps you conduct much more effective conversations with your boss. And then you need to really understand what defines your boss's success, right? Who is your boss looking to? Who is your boss accountable to and needs to look good to?

And if you can help your boss do that, then you can pretty much write your own ticket in a lot of other areas. But if your boss is a bully, if your boss tries to, you know, work with you through fear and intimidation, I think first of all, you have to approach it with a great deal of limit setting and self-respect. You have to learn to say no to your boss. You have to learn to say it nicely. But if you say to no to your boss and your boss fires you, good. That means you shouldn't have been there. If you say no, no to your boss and your boss doesn't fire you, that changes the relationship and gives you some power in that negotiation. So you have to learn how to set limits. And that's true about many relationships, but certainly if you're negotiating with an abusive boss, yeah. You have to say, this is not something I'm going to do. And I had a friend who her boss to do something that she considered unethical, and she said, I'm not gonna do it. And if you try to make me do it, I'm gonna quit. And he backed off.

AD : Yep. Yeah. I've had that situation in coaching too, where we go through a course and I get that question. And in fact, I just recently had a student describe a situation in which they left. And now they're kind of recycling it. Could I have done something else? I think we reached the same conclusion at the end, which was walking away was the best thing. And it's difficult to do. You talk in your book… like probably my second after the narrative piece, my second favorite part of it was your description. They discuss walking away, cuz I feel like a question that Nolan and I get so often is when do I know when I should walk away? And you do a nice little chart layout, which really helps with, I think the thinking of my alternatives and my interests and it just lays out so well when you get the question, how do I know when I should walk away? How do you answer that one Moshe?

MC : Well, the first question I ask is what do you care about, right? That gets to the interests. What are the things that are important to you in this situation? And the second question I ask is what happens when you walk away? What are your alternatives? And it's amazing how often people go to negotiate without really thinking deeply about those two questions. But without those two questions, you're terrified because you're afraid that something awful is gonna happen. If you walk away and therefore you can't walk away. And you're not sure how to decide because you're not sure what's really important to you. Right? One time I was mediating a case case in small claims court. It was an insurance case and this guy got a really bad offer from the insurance company, but he also had a really bad case in court. So I asked him in private session, what do you want to do? And he said, I'm gonna refuse this offer and I'm gonna go to court. And he said, I know that I don't have a good case. And I know that if I go to court, I'm likely to lose and get nothing. But if I accept this, this offer, I will never be able to look myself in the mirror again.

AD : Hmm.

MC : Right. And I gotta tell you, it may not have been the choice I would've made under the circumstances, but I totally respected it because he knew what was important to him. And he made a very deliberate rational choice based on his interests. And self-respect was his number one interest. And I completely respect that.

AD : Absolutely.

MC : So you need to know what's important to you and then you need to do some really solid research on what's gonna happen if you walk away. I mean, as I tell my students, if you refuse this job offer, or if you ask for more and they resin the offer, are you gonna sleep in your parents' basement? Are you right the street? Do you have another offer lined up? Are, did you just win the lottery? And you don't care. I mean, depending on what, what what's waiting for you out there, you have a completely different approach to walking away. But the, the main point is that if you feel like you can't walk away, you have zero power in the negotiation because the other side can just keep pushing you until they push you to your limit. The second thing I talk a lot about is how D is to walk away and especially how difficult it is to walk away in that moment. Yeah. But that moment where you're making the decision, do I stay, or do I go, is excruciatingly difficult? And, and you, I dunno if it's in the book, I call it jumping out of the plane, which is something I know nothing about you, you guys might know more about

AD : We, we know a little bit about that. Yeah. We, we, we both jumped out of a plane once or twice, so yeah, we do. It's a good analogy.

MC : Nothing about the, but I imagine maybe you can en enlighten me on this is that when you're practicing, jumping outta the plane on the ground, it's a lot easier to do than when you're 10,000 feet in the air.

AD : Right.

NM : And it's always easy when you're not the first one, like as long as you're the second, third, fourth. And you're just following the helmet in front of you. It's, it's too easy. But when you're the first one and you're standing in the door and you're just looking out at the horizon, you're looking at all the trees go by. That's when it's terrifying. So,

Right. So, so I think in a similar way, actually walking away is really difficult when you're negotiating and the longer you've been. And, and you know, this, the longer you've been negotiating, the more committed you become to the negotiation process, the more you really emotionally want it to reach an agreement. And the harder it is to walk away and on top of that, sometimes when you walk away, bad things happen, your alternatives, aren't so good. There are costs to walking away. So then the question is, how do you get yourself to actually do it? And the first thing you need to do is know what's what, what you're walking away into. Think about it ahead of time. What I suggest to people is that before they go to negotiate, they should sit down, shut their eyes and imagine that they tried, but the other side was so unreasonable.

MC : They couldn't come to a deal. And then imagine the state of the world at that point, you know, when, when, when my wife and I negotiated for our house, when I first started thinking about what happens, if we, if we don't get this house, my, my first thought was, we'll never find a house looking for a year. We saw 55 houses, but then the longer I thought about it, the more I realized one, we already have a house we're just looking for a bigger house. And two, that half our search was just for us to figure out what we wanted. And will it be a real bummer to lose this house? Yes. But is it the end of the world? No. And that puts you in a different mindset. I'm not saying always rush to walk away, but be okay with it because if you can't, you really limited yourself.

AD : That's great.

The Listening Triangle [23:40]

NM : Hey, Moshe. So I know that one of the things that I struggle with is the act of listening. I know in your book that you highlight the listening. And I think one of the other things I struggle with is when to listen verse when to advocate. And so I'm hoping you can wanna kind of explain listening triangle and then two kind of talk about, okay, when can you transition to actually start advocating?

MC : You know, I started talking about the listen triangle probably about 20 years ago when I was teaching mediation over time, it became a central piece of what I talk about. The way the listening triangle goes is you start with a very short non-judgmental, non-leading open ended question and you keep it really, really simple questions like what's going on? What happened? What do you want else? Like what? And so now what, tell me more, you know, why is that? So you ask very short open-ended questions and then you zip it and you stay silent until the other person says something. Now all of this is very difficult. Staying open ended is really, really hard for people, right? Right. If you monitor yourself, you'll be stunned. How often you think you're being open ended, but you're actually asking a string of closed ended questions, keeping your judgements out of your, questions. That's really, really difficult. I'm a mediator. And I struggle to do that, you know, and then really not leading the other party with your questions, you know, asking questions that are so open and that they can go anywhere. You know, that is also very difficult. Staying silent is so hard for so many people. That's actually something you can practice and it gets better with practice. I used to be uncomfortable with silence. And just through practice, you, you get better at it.

AD : Do you practice, is that something you practice with your wife? Is that the advice you're giving us to practice silence with our, or was, or

MC : Teasing? So silence is probably gonna help you in that circumstance as well. But specifically I practice a lot on the phone because what I find is that on the phone, I can distract myself without being observed by the other party. So I'll be on the phone and, I'll ask the other party questions. And then I have a lot of model planes cause I like airplanes. So I'll, I'll, I'll I'll practice landing one of my model planes while I'm waiting for them to answer, do what, whatever it takes to distract yourself. Um, because it's very hard for a lot of people to stay silent. But the thing is that the open-ended questions are powerful, but their power actually, with every second of silence that follows. So if you can ask open-ended questions and let them sit in the air between you and the other person, that person feels increasing pressure to say something and whatever it is they say, you're gonna want to wait for it because it's gonna be valuable.

MC : You know, the whole thumb in negotiation is whoever speaks first makes the next concession, but there's actually even a lot more value than that, that the other person will say something. And you're gonna learn something from, from what they say. Also, you get in trouble in negotiation from talking, not from listening. So, you know, the more you can slow yourself down, hold yourself back, stay silent, you know, turn the floor to them and give them the opportunity to speak. Once they say something, you gotta put the plane down, you gotta start listening. And that's really hard for us to do. I mean, what are we doing instead of listening, much of the time we're talking, we're thinking, we're thinking about what we wanna say. We're thinking about our next brilliant question, which now we know only has to be only two words long. So hopefully doesn't require a lot of thinking.

MC : And, and we're judging what they said before, which means we can't hear what they're saying now. And we're just distracted. We're all trying to multitask. I can't tell you how many my students are, are looking at their, you know, Instagram while I'm trying to teach in class, right? You can't listen and do that at the same time. So the problem is if you Don and you can't hear the other person's interests and their interests are so key for you to be able to negotiate effectively and hearing their interests. It's a really hard thing to do that took me a year of trying to get good at. And then once you hear their interests, you need to reflect things back. I talk about three different ways of reflecting back. First one is parroting using their exact words. Sometimes if people call that mirroring, I like parroting better.

MC : The advantage of parroting is that they get to hear themselves. It's easy to do. The disadvantage of parroting is that, first of all, doesn't confirm understanding. I could repeat what you said. I have no idea what you mean and do it more than a couple of times. And it's really annoying. And the other person will catch on that. You're doing something so don't parrot too much. Most of the time, people, their idea, your words that both confirms understanding and is much more conversational, but the third and most PO powerful way to do that is called reframing. And as you know, reframing is reflecting back with the purpose. The main purpose we use reframing for negotiation is re reframing positions to interests. Yeah. And that is so hard to do. That's what took me a year to get good at. But once you get good at it, it becomes your primary tool.

MC : And then you gotta do it again. You gotta keep going around that triangle. So the funny thing is I started teaching this about 20 years ago and I put it in PowerPoint and I taught it my classes, but I never wrote it down anywhere. And then I started seeing it show up. I remember somebody said that this saw presentation at Harvard, where someone talked about the listening triangle and they attributed to me, which was nice, except I'd never written it down anywhere. So finally it it's now chapter nine of Collywobbles. I'm so glad it's written down. So that, that was kinda the history of that.

AD : That's good.

NM : So then when can I advocate, I think we talked about active listening aspect of it, everything like that. So when is it time that I can actually put my interest in

AD : And let me, and I'm build on that too. Nolan. I think it's a great question. I might add an advocate effectively, right? With some sense of, you know, in a logical way, in a, in a convincing to persuasive way.

MC : So I, I think that, you know, you advocate for yourself in little bits throughout the process, but it's especially important to wait until you know, something about the other side's interests before you advocate, because you know, people, some sometimes ask me how, how do I know? How can, how can I sell better? And I'll give you my personal example, people will call me up and they'll say, Moshe, we're, we're looking for a negotiation workshop. What can you do for us? And I don't tell them what I can do. What I ask them is why do you wanna do a negotiation workshop, right? I mean, let's pretend you did one and it was great. What's different for you. What is difficult now that you're looking to make easier? What's not effective now that you're looking to make it more effective. I spend the entire first half hour of the conversation using the listening triangle and understanding from them what the problem is.

And then I advocate, and by the time I've done that, they've given me the words I need to use to make the sale. So if you focus first on the listening, and once you have a sense of what's going to be persuasive to the other person, then advocate for yourself, you're gonna be a much more powerful advocate. But the other piece of that is you can't be afraid to advocate for yourself. I do this exercise with my students where I have them go out and ask for stuff and it's very, very difficult for them, which so we're so afraid that, you know, bad things will happen if we ask for stuff. And the only way to get over that is just practice, take every opportunity to ask for things. And especially those opportunities that make you very uncomfortable and over time you become more comfortable.

NM : Moshe. Thank you so much for joining us. There's a ton of things in this podcast. So I'm definitely gonna go back and listen. I wanna first, turn it over to Aaron and see what he’s got

AD : Moshe, first of all, thanks so much. I, I knew that today would be a rich conversation. and I know that we've kind of stretched out over two programs, so I, I know everybody's gonna appreciate it. So first of all, thanks for being with us. Appreciate that.

MC : Thank you so much for inviting me. It was a great conversation. I really enjoyed talking to you

Key Takeaways [31:15]

AD : And terms of my takeaways. Yeah, there's, there's so much, I just think, in terms of becoming more self-aware, the ability to slow things down to, to reflect, to write things down, to get better at journaling and reflecting and even ask, ask for feedback. I think that was a powerful takeaway for me, in terms of the, I think most of what you said was, you know, the stories we tell ourselves define our experience and we get to be the author of our narratives as we carry that into negotiation. I think that's a powerful realization for people. And so I encourage you to take that one on. And then my last one is just the piece about closing our eyes and thinking about walking away. I think we talk a lot about walking away from a negotiation and to be able to close our eyes and imagine what that would look like a powerful thing for people to consider so that you can really use that as a, a lover of power in your next negotiation. Thanks again, Moshe.

MC : Well, thank you. Thank you again very much. And I'm, I'm hoping that this helps people in some ways and I very much appreciate the invite.

Featured EpisodesWe host some of the smartest minds in business

Join The NEGOTIATEx Team.

It is our promise that we will deliver massive value to your inbox in the form of new content notifications, exclusive content and more. Join the team today.

    Contact Us