Self Awareness and Negotiation

Posted by on Oct 19, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Self Awareness and Negotiation

One of the soft skills which your IT architecture coach will help you develop is the art of self-awareness. When you are negotiating to influence others your natural instinct is to leap into action because time seems of the essence. In fact, the best thing you can do (which is the most important secret) is to begin by thinking about your own position. Since negotiation is conflict resolution we must remember that sometimes our first reaction can be unhelpful. There’s the instinct to compete, to comment, an urge to lash out in anger or the desire to run away. These immediate reactions may not reflect your deeper feelings or long-term goals.

Never trust first reactions. Instead, you have to learn to search your mind to explore the emotional and rational dimensions of the situation. Remember that good negotiators don’t fight wars. Whenever you’re in a negotiation the first thing is to examine your own position and decide exactly what you want. Your position is that your argument or your side of the story is the first step in successful negotiation. Often in unsuccessful negotiations this step is skipped. The key question is “What do I want out of this negotiation and why is it important to me?” The reason why you explore this position carefully is that it will prevent unpleasant surprises.

You don’t want to be blindsided and realize that you didn’t discover a personal issue until it was too late during the actual negotiation. Goal setting is a key aspect when you analyze and plan your position. Think about what you want out of a situation and list your goals in concrete and measurable terms. It is useful to use dollar amounts or percentages when you’re framing your goals. However there are lots of intangible goals which must be addressed during a negotiation too. These can be difficult if not impossible to quantify. Sometimes you can make intangible goals tangible if you convert them to a measurable milestone. “Reform my husband” is not measurable but “get my husband to come home from the pub by six o’clock every night” is. Another interesting way to frame intangible goals and quantify feelings can be demonstrated this way. “I want to feel at least 50% better about my spouses overworking by the end of next month or I’m calling a counselor”.

This quantifies feelings which make it easy to think about how to achieve an emotional goal. In the end when you complete negotiations you’ll look back and judge the outcomes by thinking about and by feeling about them to. Thinking has to do with the tangible goals which are focused by your rational mind. Feelings are associated with the intangible goals, so this is where you need to develop your emotional intelligence otherwise you will not be keenly aware of your emotions and won’t get everything you want from a negotiation. You need to understand what your beliefs about negotiation are and if they require adjustment you will need the help of your IT architecture coach to change them.

The more lateral your thinking and the more expansive your viewpoint the more benefit you will get out of the negotiation process. As an IT architect you really need to know how your see yourself as accurately and as honestly as possible. This is so that you can plan action for every possible thing that can occur during a negotiation and will prepare you for most eventualities. Negotiation skills can be learned and your enterprise architecture mentor is the best person to help you do so.

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