Nobody takes any Notice of me in Negotiation

This is a common problem- you feel that whatever you do, your issues are being ignored in the negotiation. This is frustrating and can be very costly.

Sometimes the problem here is the attitude or mind-set you bring to a negotiation. If you go into a negotiation feeling like it’s going to go badly then that is what is likely to happen. Any anxieties or lack of confidence seep out to the other side, who sub consciously or otherwise will try to push you harder as a result. This in turn makes you more anxious and hesitant. You can’t get your words out, your body language looks weak. No wonder the other side isn’t paying any attention to your needs – they don’t feel that they have to.

This kind of attitude can be dispelled in various ways. You can coach yourself into a more optimistic frame of mind by reminding yourself of occasions when you have negotiated well in the past or felt more confident. You can also make sure you have a proper perspective of the challenge represented by the negotiation, rather than relying on a distorted view of it or over generalising based on exaggerating the impact of small problems. You could also make sure you have someone with you who feels more confident and assertive than you and helps lift your own confidence.

The other reason that people may not be taking you seriously is if you bid uncertainly. When you make offers you need to be assertive; “I want” or “I need” or ” I require”. Many people fail to do this and ask for what they want in a conditional or wishy-washy way; “would it be alright if…?” Or “could I possibly have…?”. This kind of bidding makes the other side think that you don’t really mean it. Little children are much better than many adults about being direct about what they want. You also need to stick to what you planned as your opening bid – many people negotiate with themselves and bid lower than they originally intended – especially if the other side has put them off their stroke with a strong opening bid. If you bid too low, people will not take you seriously.

Finally, some people think their bid sounds great if they support it with dozens of reasons. The opposite is true. If you give twenty reasons to support a bid the other side will feel you are self-justifying and defensive. They will also stop listening after the first one or two reasons so all that effort and all those good arguments go to waste. Keep it short, make your bid and then shut up – it’s a better recipe for being taken seriously.