Business coaching, Izdvojeno

Stand up for your rights

29. april 2021.

We all found ourselves in a situation where, during the negotiations, we gave in and made concessions that we later deeply regretted… With a series of questions and re-examinations of our positions… If only I had acted differently, if I had spoken up in time, talked back, interrupted, said no… And if I hadn’t succumbed to pressure so easily, listened to pleas, felt sorry…


How to protect yourself and strengthen your defenses without succumbing to pressure (of any kind), while remaining true to yourself, your set goals and interests?

1. Prepare mentally BEFORE the meeting. Create a concept – write the main topics; let your first priority be those items from which you will not deviate / give up under any circumstances; in second place are items that are subject to negotiation and for which you are ready to make concessions.

2. Practice, practice, practice; read your concept, practice in front of the mirror, ask yourself ‚‚difficult questions‚‚ – the very ones that the other side would ask you and come up with answers. Use the „what if“ technique – because this is where you need it. What if the other party offers x amount… What if they don’t want to sign x document… What if they don’t like x product…


3. Body language: this is also necessary to practice. Are your shoulders hunched, your spine bent, your head tilted? Look in the mirror or ask your loved ones. How do you appear to them? As someone who firmly stands by his views, as someone who does not accept anything less than what he deserves or as a person who is quiet, calm, withdrawn, soft, a leaf in the wind that is played with by whoever comes along…

4. Gaze: do you look the interlocutor directly in the eyes? Or your gaze wanders around the room, you look to the side or worse, you often look down and absentmindedly look at the floor… When two animals fight, the weaker one looks down and also, this act reflects a humble attitude – since ancient times they have been subjects of royal courts looked down when meeting with nobles. If you don’t put yourself in an equal position, the other party can (but doesn’t have to) do it, and it is possible that they will use your weakness to realize their interests.

5. Have a plan B. Not because you have to; nor because you will actually apply it; but because it will give you a sense of security and wind at your back. That famous plan B can really be just what the word says – some, any plan, concocted in your head – as a solution in case the negotiations don’t bear fruit; as an exit in case of fire and your safe haven. It can be anything – living in the countryside, changing jobs, retraining – whatever; it is important not to go into the negotiations with an „all or nothing“ feeling. Because the other side, even if you don’t say it, can feel that you are ‚‚grabbing at straws‚‚ and that you will agree to anything just to… (get a job, exclude the contract, agree on the purchase and sale… Complete the list yourself).

6. Not all people you meet are clients; some are just people you’ll meet; some are acquaintances, with some of them you are talking, or even negotiating, but despite that – they are not, and maybe never will be, clients, co-workers, business partners, customers… Go to the meeting with that concept in your head; you will see how the behavior of the other party changes and how they look at you in a completely different way; no longer as someone who came to take something or to ask them for something (to buy, sign, promote, etc.), but as someone who is accomplished and through this contact only wants to contribute to his already successful career .

7. Do not go to any business meeting hungry or thirsty; hunger and thirst cause nervousness; nervousness affects our behavior – we want to end the meeting as soon as possible and agree to „anything“ (biological needs unfortunately play an important role). Have lunch before the meeting, but again, not too much – in moderation, don’t overdo it because large amounts of food make you sleepy. Another reason why you should not be hungry is hidden in the symbolism of that feeling – if you feel hungry, there is a greater chance that you will miss the feeling of abundance and that you will „voraciously“ rush to the other side in an attempt to „acquire“ as much as possible or you will simply settle for a smaller one to satisfy your hunger, at least temporarily. Also, before starting negotiations, it is useful to make a list of the things you already own, as well as a list that contains everything that makes you satisfied with your life and proud of yourself. Because it is negotiated differently from the position of satisfaction and abundance.

8. Think of the worst possible scenario; and relive it again and again at home, in your head. And then get ready and go do the negotiation. Because what is REALLY the worst that can happen to you? Are you in danger? Of course not. Will someone force you to agree to something you don’t want to do? No. Will you be able to get up and leave at any moment if the conditions do not suit you? Of course you will. By surviving all those possible scenarios BEFORE the actual conversation, you release the burden and take the burden off yourself because you have already survived the worst. And you will go to the meeting calm and relaxed. And so look at the other side – as someone who is there to talk to you, possibly offer something, so if your interests coincide and if the conditions suit you, you will move on to the next step (signing, accepting a job, engagement, offer… ). Look at this first meeting as a first step  – and not as a final stage, a final agreement, a binding contract… Quite easy, calm and without (high) expectations.

9. Expectations: it’s best when we don’t have any at all. And it’s best if we’ve already grown up and freed ourselves from all childhood fantasies… You don’t go to negotiations to make friends, play with your schoolmatesin the sand, on the beach, sing songs and go out in the evening. Do what you came to do; and then go home to your family and friends – they’re there for games and walks and dates. Your interlocutor may – but does not have to – be polite and nice. He can also be unkind; and hostile; and rude; and impudent; and greedy; and rough. Don’t try to ‚‚soften it up‚‚ and don’t look for the good in everything. Sometimes that good is not there – or there is not enough of it for you to continue with that person on your life’s journey. In translation: don’t look for what isn’t there, don’t justify rude behavior, trust people if they show you their true colors – and at first. And be grateful that they revealed themselves in time… Imagine that you lost several months (or even years) of your life, got emotionally attached to that person, company, workplace, colleagues – and only then came disappointment (and enlightenment).

10. Approach the situation calmly; protect yourself, your mental and physical health. The world will not collapse if negotiations fail. In case you hesitate or think about accepting something that does not suit you, is not in line with your values, offends you or is below your level – go back to item 5. Plan B. And set clear priorities: what is most important to me ( health, family, etc.). ‚‚How much does it cost‚‚ this deal and accepting the terms of it? Is it worth my health? Will I sacrifice my family for this? Do I have enough time left for my loved ones? Put it on the scale and then set the limits. If we don’t do it ourselves, there is usually always someone to do it for us; and most often to our detriment…


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