Excerpt from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2: Being a Better Leader.
Throughout this work, I’ve adopted a few sayings and techniques that help me to get past my initial desire to be right or run roughshod over the person I’m negotiating with, and that help get the two of us to a quicker and better outcome with a lot less stress en route. While none are guaranteed to work management magic, all six have been hugely helpful to me. On the chance that they might be of value to you, too, here they are.
a. When furious, get curious.
Paul taught me this one twenty-five years ago. I use it all the time, almost always with great results. The more frustrated I get, the more I try to make myself ask questions.
b. Curiosity is the antidote to awkwardness and antipathy.
No matter how uncomfortable things may seem when we start, the more curious I can make myself, the sooner I get past my own problems and am able to hear what the other person is saying.
c. Active listening is essential.
It doesn’t mean I have to agree, but I do need to make sure I’ve heard what they’re saying and actually understand their message as they mean it to be understood.
d. Get on the same side of the problem as the person you’re negotiating with.
If we talk as if we’re at odds, conflict almost always ensues. But when we work together to attack the problem, we can usually come up with a creative solution.
e. When in doubt, take a time out.
They work for kids, and I think they work just as well for everyone else, too.
f. Never act in anger.
You can (and will) certainly be angry. Just don’t make decisions and act on them while you’re angry!
Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 2: Being a Better Leader