08 Apr

When you negotiate out of fear, are you aware that doing so can lead to more fear? There are times when you should be fearful during a negotiation (e.g. not planning appropriately and losing the negotiation because you’re negotiating from a weak position). If you’ve planned appropriately and have backups in place to acquire what you need from other sources, you have no need to be fearful.

In order to negotiate from a more empowering perspective, one whereby you’re in control of fear versus it controlling you, adopt the following insights.

Determine the source of your fear:

  • Explore your mind to seek answers to why you’re experiencing fear. Assess to what degree fear is leading to dread and dread to possibly a lack of mental demobilization. Be mindful that fear initiates the fight or flight syndrome, which detracts from your mental agility while you’re in that mindset.
  • Once you’ve assessed the source of your fear, summon victories from your past to give you the mental strength and assurance that nothing life-ending will come out of this negotiation. Strengthen your mind!

Focus on positivity: 

  • By focusing your mind on the positive aspects of the negotiation, you allow your thoughts to flow more freely. This will also allow you to decrease your level of stress (i.e. positive thoughts and stress cannot reside in the same mental space).
  • That’s not to say you shouldn’t consider negative possibilities that might occur in the negotiation. Don’t obsess on them.

Use questions to direct your mind:

  • Ask yourself questions that will probe one step deeper to how you might accomplish your goals for the negotiation (e.g. I don’t know how I might get ‘x’. If I knew, what might it be?).
  • Use ‘what if’ scenarios to explore deeper crevices of your mind as to the possibilities of how you might uncover possible solutions to impasses

Role Play:

  • In the planning stage of the negotiation, consider role-playing with a colleague. Each of you should assume the role of a negotiator and engage in a mock negotiation as you think the real negotiation might unfold. Then switch roles and assume the posture of the other negotiator. Afterward, assess what alternatives you could have adopted, per potential impasses and/or strategies you might have used to enhance your negotiation position/outcome.

Other Negotiator’s Perspective:

  • To gain a greater perspective during the negotiation, ask the other negotiator to tell you what color she’d associate with your offer (I’ll write about the influence of colors on a negotiation in another article). If she says ‘black or blue’, that more than likely denotes gloom/dissatisfaction. If she says ‘white’ or a light color, that more than likely means she’s learning more towards the offer than away from it (you can observe the body language in ‘real time’ to note the direction of her lean).

John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” If you adopt that mantra and the suggestions above, you’ll have a powerful tool to combat your negotiation fears and an excellent way to enhance your negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!


33 Bible Verses to Remind Us - We Do Not Have to Fear:

1. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

2. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." ~ Psalm 56:3

3. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

4. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

5. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

6. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ 1 John 4:18

7. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” ~ Psalm 94:19

8. “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” ~ Isaiah 43:1

9. “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” ~ Proverbs 12:25

10. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4

11. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

12. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:34

13. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

14. “Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” ~ Isaiah 35:4

15. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” ~ Luke 12:22-26

16. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1

17. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” ~ Psalm 55:22

18. “Immediately he spoke to them and said, 'Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.'” ~ Mark 6:50

19. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

20. “'For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, for I myself will help you,' declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” ~ Isaiah 41:13-14

21. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~ Psalm 46:1

22. “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” ~ Psalm 118:6-7

23. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” ~ Proverbs 29:25

24. “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” ~ Mark 4:39-40

25. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

26. “But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.” ~ 1 Peter 3:14

27. “I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” ~ Psalm 34:4

28. “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.” ~ Deuteronomy 3:22

29. “Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'” ~ Revelation 1:17

30. “Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” ~ Mark 5:36

31. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” ~ Romans 8:38-39

32. “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17

33. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” from Psalm 91:1-16

Be assured, He is with you in whatever you face, in the turmoil and struggles, amidst the anxious thoughts and the worries of life. He is there, strengthening, helping, and He holds you in His hands.

God is greater. He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, fearlessly in this life, when many things that surround us would tell us to be afraid. His truth whispers strong and sure to the deepest core of our spirits.

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