Effective Communication is Essential in Any Negotiation

To negotiate people must have the ability to exchange ideas, concerns, proposals and arguments. The purest form of communicating is a power play based on brute strength. It requires no finesse. Time was when a caveman simply beat to death another male and took the man's woman back to his cave. Deal closed! The message is clear, concise, and unequivocal.

iStock_000007927154XSmall-man_practicing_script.jpgCivilization, A.K.A. socialization, has complicated matters creating a need for more complicated negotiations. Today, inflection, innuendo, and deceit cloud otherwise simple statements. We have learned to hide our feelings, goals, and ambitions. We try to suppress our base appetites to appear more civil but the basic urge to self-indulge is never far beneath the surface. This feigned civility is more often learned at home as a child and is subsequently reinforced later in school and evolves as we mature to the point that many adults are hampered in their relationships by self-imposed communication barriers established to create what they perceive are improved images of their real personalities.
They are living a fabricated image and have to constantly hide their true self to preserve the image they want to project. This is not to suggest that we should return to the Neanderthal approach and just clunk each other over the head! To negotiate effectively we need to understand that we must peel away the communication obstacles the other person has created, knowingly or not, and uncover the real issues the person needs resolved. This means being a good listener as well as an effective speaker.

We need to work at hearing more than what is being said to source the intent of the speaker; not hear what we want to hear.