I have run Negotiation Skills Training for more than 20 years.
Game Theory Strategies and Verbal Behaviours. These have both been Validated by a wide range of academics and practitioners.
“The proof of the pudding is in the eating”,
and sometimes I noticed it didn’t work!
and noted the following paradox:
after training People knew what to do, but didn’t always do it!
It is irrational, but it is also true. They had the tools to create win/win outcomes, but they were often sub-optimizing the outcome. They were too “soft” in some situations, Customers, Family and Friends and too “tough” in other situations Shops, Restaurants or with complete strangers.
On examination, these “Skilled” Negotiators were failing to use their skills appropriately;
in fact their behaviour was ‘unaligned’ to the outcome.
The missing factor was ‘empathy’.
In situations where they had strong empathy,
they were failing to align their behaviours and use appropriate strategy.
In situations where they had little or no empathy,
they were simply going for the single win, a “Bully” strategy.
What does this mean?
It means that Low to Medium empathy seems to be the right amount to provoke correct strategy and aligned verbal behaviours. This level of empathy is more usual in second line staff, Sales manager, Financial Director or CEO.When we come to negotiation (not Haggle) then,
the Salesperson is NOT always best.