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Negotiation skills: using an NLP approach

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1 Negotiation skills: using an NLP approach
Hugh Russell “passionate sometimes twisted” Negotiation skills: using an NLP approach Hugh Russell 2nd April 2008

2 Change the game Principled Negotiation.
Established and developed at Harvard University. Recommended reading:”Getting to Yes” Roger Fisher & William Ury.

3 The workshop The workshop introduces you to
Principled negotiation: 4 elements The NLP presuppositions of effective negotiation The planning and process of negotiation. The tactics of negotiation using an NLP approach. Using Milton and Meta model language patterns during negotiation.

4 “ I wouldn’t dream of telling you to stick to principled negotiation all the time & there’s no way I would suggest that you can change easily so I promise everything I say you will want to hear which means you can let down your guard and relax as you let me help you achieve your goals

5 Your outcome What specifically do you want? Where are you now?
What will you see, hear & feel when you have it? How will you know when you have it? What will this outcome get for you or allow you to do? Is it only for you? Is it ecological? For what purpose do you want this?

6 Presuppositions: convenient assumptions we can choose to accept when we negotiate with others.
I would like you to read the presuppositions and decide if you agree it would be a convenient assumption to believe during a negotiation. How would accepting, or not accepting the presupposition impact on your thinking and the behaviour you might choose to display when you negotiate with others?

7 Negotiation Skills Outcome judged on 3 criteria:
1. Is it a wise agreement? 2. Is it efficient? 3. Does it damage the relationship?

8 Wise Agreements Defined as one which meets the legitimate interests of each side to the extent possible, resolves conflicting interests fairly, is durable and takes community interests into account.

9 Principled Negotiation
4 basic elements: Separate the people from the problem. Focus on interests not positions. Invent options for mutual gain. Insist on objective criteria.

10 3 categories of people problem
Perception: their map Emotion: their state Communication: their structure


12 Planning a negotiation
Determine your outcome Develop as many options as possible to achieve that outcome & possible areas of agreement. Identify their outcome & interests. Identify issues to be resolved & develop external standards to judge options. Determine your best alternative to an agreement - BATNA

13 The process: Opening Establish rapport
Get consensus there is a basis for negotiation Establish the other person’s outcome through the “as if” frame. Get into a resourceful state – anchor the state

14 Rapport Rapport is the process of building and sustaining a relationship of mutual trust, harmony and understanding. This happens through matching the accessing cues from words, eye movements and body language.

15 Establish Rapport by… Matching & mirroring the other person
Physical mirroring/Body posture Voice Breathing Blinking

16 Visual, Auditory & Kinaesthetic
Match the modality the person is in- VAK – use the predicates and predicate phrases of each of the representational systems.

17 Auditory If I could TELL you a way in which we could (potential benefit or their values), you would at least want to HEAR about it, wouldn't you? So if this SOUNDS GOOD we can go ahead and DISCUSS how to do it. Can’t we?

18 Visual If I could SHOW you a CLEAR way in which we could (potential benefit or their values), you would at least want to LOOK at it, wouldn't you? So if this LOOKS GOOD to you we can go ahead and FOCUS on how to do it. Can’t we?

19 Kinaesthetic? If I could help you GET A HOLD OF a CONCRETE way in which we could (potential benefit or their values), you would at least want to GET A FEEL for it , wouldn't you? If this FEELS SOLID to you we can go ahead and FIRM UP on how to do it. Can’t we?

20 Auditory Digital This person talks to themselves. They will want to know if your proposals make sense. They memorise by steps, procedures, sequences – they also exhibit characteristics of other rep systems. Use the following words: sense, experience, understand, think, learn, process, decide, motivate, change, consider, perceive, distinct, conceive and know.

21 The process: Exchange State areas of agreement
Anchor every state you can use later – e g words & gestures of others. State issues to be resolved Probe for others outcomes in areas of disagreement Develop options that include both parties outcomes – remember shared interests, ask for preference among options, emphasise objective standards Get agreement on best option – close, summarise & agree next step.

22 Tactics Do not respond to a proposal with a counter proposal – restate, validate, clarify & probe Avoid attack/defence exchanges – always probe for outcome behind attack. Avoid value judgements e g “ That is ridiculous” Label suggestions & questions e g “ Let me offer a suggestion..” Use “I” language State: reason, explanation then proposal not reverse Accumulate “Yesses” and anchor them

23 Tactics Use conditional close _ “So if I did this would you do this.”
Minimize the reasons you give when stating a proposal Test understanding & summarise – “So you think..” Tell the other your feelings if necessary Use what & how questions rather than why questions Use conditional close _ “So if I did this would you do this.”

24 Frames: Using language
Negotiation frame – “What can we both agree on” Use agreement frame –”I appreciate and” “I respect and…” Use the purpose frame- “ For what purpose..” Use the “What if frame..”_ “What would happen if…” Contrast frame – “How is this different?” Backtrack frame – “So you are saying” “ Can I summarise” Use “as if” frame for creative problem solving – “What would it be like if..?” “ Can we suppose that”. Ecology frame – “How will this be over the long term?” “Who else is affected?”

25 Chunking Chunking up means moving from the specific to the general eg “What is the intention behind this behaviour?” Chunking down moves from the general to the specific. e g “What other behaviour would also satisfy this intention?”

26 Key to negotiation You chunk up from the specifics of the disagreement to something you can both agree on. Unless you can find a shared area of agreement the negotiation is doomed. Once you have that shared area of agreement you chunk down to smaller issues in the light of that common agreement.

27 Chunking up and down To chunk up ask “For what purpose?” “What is your intention?” “What is this an example of?” “If you got that outcome, what will that get for you?” Chunking up will help you get agreement. To chunk down ask “What specifically do you want?” “How specifically?” Any question that gets someone to be more specific. E g “They will never accept this” What prevents them from accepting this?” Only chunk down as quickly as you can maintain agreement. A “nit picker” chunks down, down , down then mismatches. Try to keep them chunking up.

28 Using Language Patterns
Milton Model: Using Hypnotic language patterns that speak directly to the person’s unconscious. Work of Milton Erickson Meta Model: Using specific language/ questions to recover deletions, distortions & generalisations. Work of Virginia Satir

29 Distortions – Meta model
Mind Reading. Claiming to know someone’s internal state. eg “You don’t want an agreement” Lost Performative. Value judgements where the person doing the judging is left out. eg “Its a bad thing to change your mind” Cause – effect: Where the cause is put wrongly outside of self. Eg “You make me angry” Complex equivalence. Where two experiences are interpreted as being synonymous. E g “ she always complains, it won’t work.” Response. “How do you know I don’t want an agreement?” “ What outcome do you want?” “Who says its bad?” Specifically how is it bad?” “How specifically” “How does what I’m doing cause you to choose to feel angry?” “How does her complaining mean that it won’t work…”

30 Deletions – Meta model Nominalisations. Process words which have been frozen in time, making them nouns. Eg “There is no communication here” Unspecified verbs. Eg “ This is nonesense” a. Simple deletion eg “I am uncomfortable” b. Lack of referential index. Fails to specify person or thing. Eg” They will do what they want” c. Comparative deletion as in good, better, best, worst, more, less eg “This is a better option” Response. “Specifically who’s not communicating what to whom?” “How would you like to communicate?” “How specifically?” “About what/whom?” “Who specifically does what they want?” “ What do they want?” “Better in what way?” “Compared to what?”

31 Generalisations– Meta model
Universal Quantifiers. Generalisations such as all, every, always, never, everyone, no one etc. e g “No one’s interested” “They always find fault” Modal operators of necessity as in should, shouldn’t, must, must not, have to, need to eg “ I have to take/get this option” Modal operators of Possibility (or impossibility) as in can/can’t, will/won’t, may/may not, possible/impossible eg “ I can’t accept this offer” Response Find counter examples “No One?” “What would happen if they didn’t find fault?” “What would happen if you didn’t?” Also “Or?” “What outcome does this option get for you?” “What prevents you?” “What would happen if you did?”

32 Milton Model – hypnotic language
Mind Reading. Claiming to know someone’s internal state. Lost Performative. Value judgements where the performer of the value judgement is left out. Cause – effect: Where it is implied that one thing causes another Complex equivalence. Where two things are equated, as in their meanings being equivalent Pace current experience. Where the clients verifiable external experience is described in a way which is undeniable. Utilisation. Utilise all that happens or is said “I know your curiosity is growing by the second” “ And it’s ok to be concerned & want to feel satisfied” “ As you sit here and relax….then I’m sure you will see/hear/feel…. ” “Thank you for listening to me and opening your mind to new possibilities…” “ You are sitting here, listening to me, looking at me and I can see/feel/sense we’re close to agreement” “I’m not sold” “That’s right you are not sold, yet, because you need more questions answered before you’re sold”

33 Milton Model – hypnotic language
Unspecified verbs/Tag question designed to displace resistance Double bind. Where the client is given two choices both of which are desirable separated by an “or” Embedded commands. Sandwiching commands in the middle of a conversation to bypass the conscious mind & speak directly to the unconscious mind. “And you can” “ Can you not” “Do you want to start your homework now or in 10 minutes” “ I wouldn’t dream of telling you to stick to principled negotiation & there’s no way I would suggest that you can change easily so I promise everything I say you will want to hear which means you can let down your guard and relax as you let me help you achieve your goal

34 Summary Preparation. Appropriate opening to set the tone.
Exploration of each party’s interests. Creative development of alternatives. Objective criteria to evaluate agreements. Conscious use of language Appropriate closing to define the agreement.

35 Example of Milton Model Language
“I know by now you are wondering...and it’s a good thing to wonder...because that means… You are learning many things today...and all the things, all the things...that you learn provide you with new insights and new understandings. And you can, can you not? You are sitting here, listening to me, looking at me and that means your unconscious mind is also here and can hear what I say. And since that’s the case, you are probably learning about this and already know more at an unconscious level than you think you do and its not right for me to tell you, learn this or learn that, learn in any way you want, in any order. Do you feel this.. is something you understand? I’m sure you do, don’t you.

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