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Breakout Session #104 Tom Reid Chief Problem Solver Certified Contracting Solutions, LLC Louisville, CO www.certified - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Advanced Negotiation Techniques Dealing with Negotiation Fears. Breakout Session #104 Tom Reid Chief Problem Solver Certified Contracting Solutions, LLC Louisville, CO April 15, 2008 10:45 to 11:45 AM. What Are You Afraid of?. Innate Fears.

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Advanced Negotiation Techniques

Dealing with

Negotiation Fears

Breakout Session #104

Tom Reid

Chief Problem Solver

Certified Contracting Solutions, LLC

Louisville, CO

April 15, 2008

10:45 to 11:45 AM

Innate fears
Innate Fears

  • Loud noises

  • Falling

  • Abandonment

Fear of negotiating
Fear of Negotiating

  • Key skill for contract managers

  • One of the major impediments to effective negotiation is fear

Primary fears in business
Primary Fears in Business

  • Fear of looking foolish

  • Fear of the unknown

  • Fear from past bad experience

Fear of looking foolish
Fear of Looking Foolish

  • We all want to be a “good person”

    • Leaders

    • Parents

    • Competent business people

What is the perfect deal
What is the “Perfect Deal”?

  • Depends on the circumstance

  • Depends on your perspective

  • Depends on your goals

  • Can a good deal go bad?

Reject my deal reject me
Reject my Deal – Reject Me

  • We personalize our effort

  • You are “tainted” by bad results

    • Even if you did not cause them

    • Even if you could not have avoided them

    • You feel you can’t save face

    • Your reputation as a negotiator is bad

What is success
What is Success?

  • We all want to bat 1.000

  • In business, often anything over 50% is pretty good

  • Success is amorphous

  • You can’t know what “might have been”

  • Position yourself to:

    • Capitalize on positive risk

    • Minimize negative risk


  • Part of being human

  • If not making any – probably not doing anything

  • Accept your mistakes; you can’t change history

  • Learn from them

  • You don’t fail until you stop trying

Fear of the unknown
Fear of the Unknown

  • You can’t know everything

  • There is more you don’t know than you do know

  • Seek training in negotiation skills

  • Have substantive knowledge of the situation

Understand the process
Understand the Process

  • Does the first person who speaks always lose?

  • Is good cop/bad cop a legitimate technique?

  • When is it appropriate to slam your fist on the desk and walk out?

Understand the subject matter
Understand the Subject Matter

  • Do you know what you are buying?

  • Have you gone out and “kicked the tires”?

  • Do you know your company’s strategic plan?

  • Do you know whether cost, schedule, or technical excellence is the key driver for your company?

Understand the relationship
Understand the Relationship

  • What do you know about the other party?

  • Would you want to have a beer with them?

  • What motivates them?

  • Why are they doing business with you?

Fear of change
Fear of Change

  • One of the greatest learned fears

  • Every day is a new adventure

  • The only constant in life is change

  • Deal with it!

What did you know and when did you know it
What Did You Know And When Did You Know It?

  • Known knowns

  • Known unknowns

  • Unknown unknowns

Fear from experience
Fear from Experience

  • Experience is an excellent teacher

  • “Tried it once and failed, so I’ll never do THAT again!”

  • Experience allows us to rationalize

  • Can you explain WHY it was a bad experience and learn from it?

So what to do
So – What to do?

  • Prepare

  • Study and practice

  • Understand power

  • Understand fear


  • Understand the subject matter

  • Know your company’s objectives

  • Prepare your BATNA, then improve it

  • Be rested and nourished

  • Have a negotiation plan/agenda

  • THINK!!

Study and practice
Study and Practice

  • Ever fly with a pilot who had NOT been through the simulator?

  • All skill development takes study and practice

  • What was the last book on negotiation that you read?

  • Do you do mock negotiations, murder boards, or lessons learned for your negotiations?

Understand power
Understand Power

  • Power is like money – neither good or bad

  • Power exists whether you recognize it or use it

  • Often it is more perception than reality

  • Preparation exhibits power

Understand fear
Understand Fear

  • Negotiations are not usually fight or flight situations

  • Most fear is self generated

    • Called WORRY

    • Treat fear signals as opportunities for positive change

  • Developing relationships reduces fear

What does zig say
What Does Zig Say?

  • F.E.A.R = False Evidence Appearing Real

  • Fear motivates

  • Harmful fears versus helpful fears – know the difference

  • Fear can be your friend


  • Success requires responsibility

  • Don’t fear negotiations

    • Prepare

    • Understand

    • Study

    • Build relationships

  • Position yourself to pass it on

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.”

Max De Pree

Author & Business Executive