Linda Byars recently posted this article in her newsletter. A great recap on using the power of silence as a negotiation tactic.
“Some people use a “he who speaks first loses” philosophy as a negotiation tactic. They hope silence will make the other party feel uncomfortable and continue talking, possibly revealing unfavorable information. The tactic can work. However, once people discover you are waiting for them to slip up, they become guarded and stop all communications.
Instead, use this more positive approach to silence in your negotiation:
• Ask open-ended questions instead of making statements. By asking a question you require the other person to formulate an answer and respond to you. Ask questions to have others clarify their position. Then, listen patiently without helping them finish their sentences. Probe with more questions to separate issues from emotions.
• Practice. Try this today. The next time you have a lull in the conversation with a friend, try to remain silent. Allow him/her to think or take a pause for a moment. Practicing silence is difficult! Once you are comfortable with quiet, you start listening for words which aren’t spoken.
• Know what you want and what you think the other person might want. Before going into a negotiation, be clear on what a “win” is for you. Once you’ve achieved your objective – BE QUIET! A natural response after a successful negotiation is to let off steam and/or create small talk. Don’t do it. Instead, politely part company, leave the room, or end the phone conversation.
A recognized authority on negotiations, workplace issues and strategic communication, Linda Byars Swindling, JD, CSP is an author, a “recovering” employment attorney, and a Certified Speaking Professional. To book Linda to speak at your event contact Zan Jones by email or phone at (214) 536-6666.”