You have read about negotiation. You have practiced techniques. You are prepared. You have researched the other party on social media. You are ready to work on developing a great relationship. You believe you are ready to actively listen before beginning to educate the other party. You are looking for a win-win negotiation so that you can create value. Here are three other items to allow you to step up your game.

Reframe the situation

What? What is that? The first step is to de-escalate yourself. Calm yourself down. If before you give a presentation or enter into a negotiation and you are not nervous, you should be. You better check and see if you might be overconfident going in.

It is quite normal to feel nervous. How you deal with that nervousness is important. Reframe your state of mind. Reframe that nervous energy into positive energy. We can do this. Rechannel this energy into thinking of this as a real opportunity. By being proactive and positive this will help you focus this nervous energy into an asset rather than carry it as a liability.

Listen, listen, listen and shut up

This is advice from a very experienced professional. I asked him if I could borrow this phrase. Silence is a very useful technique. If you are quick to judgment and ready to go with your reply commentary slow down. Consider counting to 10. Give your mind and the others in the room time to think and to offer their ideas. You may actually learn something unexpected by keeping your mouth shut.

If you find yourself beginning to become angry, this is the time to focus on de-escalation of yourself with breathing techniques. Take a few deep breaths. Concentrate on not allowing yourself to become angry. If the other side presents an unbelievably poor alternative your silence says wonders about what you think about that offer.

Ask for advice

Really? Yes! One of the greatest ways to show respect for the other party is to reach out to them and ask for help. In a recent negotiation I was involved with a client attorney we said to the other side that we can not simply offer their position to the ultimate client. We needed a strong rationale. In essence we told the other side that we needed them to help us frame such an argument for the ultimate client. This actually helped the other side to feel an element of partnership with us. As they presented their commentary, we presented how we thought the ultimate client would respond. This proved very helpful to the other side. We were able to present a rationale that convince the other side they needed to make additional concessions to help us convince the ultimate client. We ended up working on this collaboratively.

These three tools of reframe the situation, listen, and ask for advice that you may want to consider adding to your tool box. These may become very handy in the future. You may want to do additional research in this area. Here is an excellent article from the Harvard University Law School Program on Negotiation that you may find helpful.

Contact me to speak to your group or consult with you. Check out my website, books and content. I am an international speaker. I speak on how to overcome conflict with collaboration by taking advantage of the collaboration effect TM enhancing relationships, resources and revenues. My service areas are related to helping clients resolve conflict: business to IRS, business to business and within businesses. I have written 11 books including The Servant Manager and Peaceful Resolutions. I may be contacted directly at and at (651) 633-5311. [Michael Gregory, NSA, ASA, CVA; MBA]

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]