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  • Writer's pictureJoe Miller

PRO TIP: The Negotiator isn’t the Boss, and the Boss doesn’t Negotiate

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

So your subject wants to talk to the boss. As a boss, you’re tempted, because it seems like the most efficient way to solve a problem. First, negotiation isn’t about efficiency. It’s about slowing things down and making dangerous and threatening behavior less dangerous and threatening by: -Allowing time for cortisol and other stress hormones to metabolize in the subject’s body; -Building rapport, on the way to developing influence and managing the subject’s expectations; -Crafting a scenario where the subject consents to whatever you’re asking them to do while feeling like it’s their idea, (or at least they have a say in it). If the boss steps in as primary: -You’ve given the subject too much (perceived) power. It tends to make the subject petulant and demanding; -You lose your ability to “blame the boss” for delays and setbacks. If you can’t or won’t meet demands, the anger for that rests with you, because you’re the boss. Anger like that damages rapport building; -You lose the involvement of a well-trained negotiator. If the boss was a trained negotiator, they would already know the disadvantages of them “going primary”, in an active negotiation. Just because your well-trained team makes it look easy, doesn’t make it easy. Leave the negotiation to the pros. As a boss, you have plenty on your plate already.

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