The mindset in difficult negotiations

The essential element of every negotiation process is conflict. The way we look at this conflict is in our own hands. We have the freedom to interpret a conflict positively, looking forward to the challenge and approaching it with curiosity and cheer. Or we can look at the conflict negatively, where we are forced to enter negotiations to find a solution with an “irrational” opponent.

Your perspective on the negotiation will be reflected in your choice of words, and the opposite side will quickly pick up where you stand.

We recommend using only positive wording to describe the conflict during the preparatory phase. Words will influence thoughts, and thoughts will influence our perception – thereby influencing one’s attitude towards the negotiation. Speaking about a “challenge” rather than a “problem” may seem superficial or even mechanical, however, it will help you step into the right mindset.

The right choice of words is paramount during team meetings. Negotiating teams will approach the negotiation positively if the prior briefing has been done in an optimistic tone.

Using words like “competing” or a slogan like “we will show them how good we are” provides a positive framing akin to the “play to win” approach. The team will enter negotiations with the mindset “we want to win!” rather than “let’s hope we don’t lose!”.

Additionally, avoid describing the opposite party using negative words – search for favourable terms. Not only is it fun, but it will also bring a playful element to your team’s preparation.

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