Negotiation Language – How You Say It Affects It

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Negotiation is all about how we communicate and it’s one of the areas to consider when preparing for a negotiation. Language is so important. The words we use can often be construed in different ways to have different meanings depending on who is doing to receiving. In negotiation, you must be sure the language you are using conveys the appropriate message to gain the appropriate response. How you say it may ensure you win or lose the deal.

Most of you who have been following me have noticed my shift to showing people how to Think Like A Negotiator. People often ask me why I have made the focus on negotiation vs my Pink Biker Chic brand. I have responded by telling them that it’s negotiation is my genius and I never thought to teach it. I tell them about a good friend of mine who is a business strategist was having some contract challenges with a client; I shared some of my contracts knowledge to help her resolve the issue. Her response was “I get this Pink Biker Chic thing, but where did all that come from and why aren’t you teaching it to others?” I share that I thought why would anybody want to learn that? It’s my genius, I do it in my sleep and take it for granted that everyone has that knowledge.

Well, recently I was at an event and passed someone who said he knew me but couldn’t remember where from. I knew him too from somewhere and told him he probably knew me from my Pink Biker Chic brand and explained the story above. He immediately launched into this idea that I don’t value myself and have issues and need to resolve those issues with him so I value myself and my genius. Then he attempted to hard sell me into doing a session with him to fix my issues within myself so I will be successful, basically implying I am not successful because I don’t value myself. It was much more than that but you get the gist. WOW! Really? Thankfully another friend walked up and started talking to him so that provided a pattern interrupt for me to depart which I did.

What that did for me was enable me to take a look at my language and evaluate whether that was a message I am projecting when I share my story. I certainly don’t have the serious issues that he implied. Of course we all have some kind of doubt about ourselves but he was attempting to tell me I was broken and that I really needed serious help. This is without even taking the time to find out anything about me.

Be careful of the language you use. I’m not talking about being politically correct. Chances are we will offend someone with what we say, but if we evaluate our normal “shtick” to make sure we aren’t projecting negatively onto ourselves or others, we will be better off in day to day communication as well as our significant negotiations. Take the time this week to pay close attention to the things you say. You may need to make an adjustment based on feedback and results. I sure did.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez

Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at www.EldonnaLewisFernandez.com

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