Seven Thoughts to Contemplate Before Negotiating With Perceived Adversaries

Do you fret when negotiating with adversaries? Do you find negotiating from an adversarial position difficult? Whether you’re dealing with debt negotiation, contract negotiation, salary negotiation, or going through negotiation training, dealing with negotiators you view as adversaries can be difficult, because they’ll more than likely be more challenging to deal with. To enhance your negotiation skills, consider the following thoughts:

1. How will the other negotiator react if you treat him as an adversary?

2. What will it mean to the negotiation process, if you address the other negotiator as an adversary?

3. Is it better to cast the other negotiator in a more positive light? If so, what are the benefits and disadvantages?

4. What other resources will you have to utilize to solicit the other negotiator’s cooperation, if you identify him as an adversary? Depending upon the circumstances, will you be able to reach the needed resources in a timely manner?

5. You’ll be less likely to receive bipartisanship when treating someone as an adversary. Therefore, the level of cooperation you engender throughout the negotiation may be fragile. This will make the negotiation tedious, cumbersome, and exhausting. Will the effort be worth the cost?

6. Do you have someone on your negotiation team that can play the role of ‘good cop’ (someone that portrays empathy for the adversary’s position), if you choose the role of ‘bad cop’?

7. What might the consequences be of backing the other negotiator into a corner, when identifying him as an adversary?

Additional thoughts to consider, regardless to whether the other negotiator is friend or foe:

1. How can you use incentives to motivate the other negotiator? As an example, if he is motivated by fear, can you employ tactics that make him afraid not to accept the position you offer? Once you apply the burden of fear upon him, can you offer a way to have that burden lifted, by allowing him to move towards a position that’s less threatening?

2. Consider the other negotiator’s geographical background and political structure in which he was reared. If he was raised in an environment, in which people subjugated themselves to authority, would it be beneficial to adopt a position of authority to observe the manner in which he reacts?

Regardless, of how you position the other negotiator throughout the negotiation, seek pressure points upon which you can offer incentives for him to move in the direction of your choosing. If you treat him like an adversary, give him viable options from which to escape your ire. Leave him with a sliver of hope by which he has something of perceived value to cling… and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· Some people are appalled by being viewed as someone that’s difficult to deal with. If you project the adversary title on them, they will attempt to exempt themselves from such a position by being amenable to the direction you set. Be aware of their desire and utilize this tactic where and when appropriate.

· Always assess someone’s source of motivation when negotiating. If they are ‘risk adverse’, motivate that person by adding or subtracting risk, depending upon the direction you’re attempting to move them.

· When deeming a negotiator as an adversary, consider the resources you may need at your disposal to solicit support to motivate that person. If the additional resources are not readily available, you may want to weigh the strategy against one that is better suited for the goal you’re striving to achieve.

The Most Important Element of Any Presentation You Give

Whenever you are making a presentation to a group, your top priority is to determine what you want the attendees to do. I call this the “Most Wanted Response” or the “Most Wanted Action”. Either way, you’ve got to know what you want people to do before you start planning what you’ll say.

Why is this so important? Ultimately, the point of the presentation is to encourage people to do something, right? You want them to sign up for your newsletter or ask for your free irresistible offer, or decide to hire you. Whatever response you desire influences what you will say in the talk.

How do you actually make this request for what you want? Just tell them what you want them to do. Of course you’ll say it in a manner that makes it advantageous for them. In other words, it’s not a direct request even though you actually are telling them exactly what to do.

You can be explicit in a casual way. Sometimes I’m being interviewed and I will causally mention that there’s a free CD on my website on how to attract all the clients you need. I talk about the CD as part of the marketing plan, but I’m also planting a seed that listeners can get the free CD.

Whatever your most wanted response is, make sure you do something so they remember you rather than just seeing you as a nice resource. You don’t want that, right?

For example, if your most wanted response is for people to subscribe to your newsletter, you can say, “If you want some additional tips sent to your inbox each week, just write your name, the name of your company, your address, phone and email address on the signup sheet going around the room.”

Once you know the outcome you desire, you can go ahead and create your speech. Focus on the problem you solve and why it can be so difficult. Then tell them what they can do about it, but not the specifics of how to do it. Be sure to include some client case studies.

When you present to a group, you give people a taste of what it’s like to work with you and help them get to know you at the same time. Keeping the response or action you want people to take in mind and asking them to take this step builds your business as your share your expertise and knowledge.

Your Client Attraction Assignment

Think about your signature talk. Do you know what your most wanted response or action is for this presentation? If you haven’t worked this into your speech, it’s time to do so. In fact, think of a couple different responses and plan for each of them. This way you are prepared for more than one scenario when the opportunity pops up to speak in front of a group.

Overcoming Fear When Doing A Presentation

While fear pervades many aspects of business, presentations consistently drive it to exquisitely high levels. We use the term “presentation” to include any important one-on-one meeting, small group discussions around a table, or speaking before an audience of thousands.

We are talking about a particular kind of fear. Some fear helps motivate you to divert time from the pounding surf of your daily schedule and prepare for your presentation. There comes a point for most of us, however, when the fear is no longer useful. It has crossed the line from excitement to dread. Instead of driving preparation, it now impairs concentration and kills energy.

Fear has a thousand faces, but we have only three basic responses:

  1. Ignore it
  2. Evade it
  3. Transcend it

Ignoring Fear

Merely suffering through your fear is the simplest and most common response. It requires no learning, effort or practice. Negative consequences flow from this path. In addition to being very stressful, fear tends to break concentration during preparation and disturbs other obligations.

Perhaps even more importantly, these enervating fears can also have an extremely negative impact on your performance in delivering your presentation. Fear robs your ability to casually walk to the stage and be yourself. It tends to kill excitement and block the ability to connect deeply with your audience. Fear can make your body stiff, your breathing labored and your physical movement unnatural.

Evading Fear

Usually the first step in dealing with your fear of the big presentation is figuring out how to avoid the fear. Even if you are looking for a longer term solution, at least temporarily avoiding the problem is a key step in creating the space to fashion more encompassing approaches.

Transcending Fear

Creative visualization is the first step in removing yourself from the scary thoughts and consciously guiding your mind to a new space: actively imagining the desired end result.

Professional and Olympic athletes spend time imagining the desired end result and track the measurable increased performance that follows the creative visualization sessions. Fear stems from the unconscious repetitive thoughts and feelings about failing.


The key to successful visualizations is simultaneously feeling the emotions that would naturally attach to images that you see. To drive emotion, the most powerful vehicle is music – - music that stirs you. Often it is high energy music, something like the Rocky theme, hard driving rock, or passionate jazz or classical. The key is that it drives your energy higher, actively imagining the desired end result.

In visualization, there are two distinct ways to envision yourself: either looking at yourself from the position of an outside observer, or seeing the whole event through your own eyes. While everyone is different, it is usually easier to start by seeing an image of yourself from the perspective of an outside observer. As time goes by, many find it more effective to do the visualization through your eyes as a presenter.

Imagine the room in which you will present. If you know the room location, try and visit it before hand so you can create the exact setting of your presentation. If you can’t see a remote location, just imagine the kind of room it is likely to be.


Imagine what you will experience prior to the presentation. See yourself walking toward the spot from which you will present.

As you see yourself approaching “the moment of truth,” can you feel where in your body the tension resides?

As you continue walking to the front of the room, see if you can exchange the feelings of fear with a closely related feeling – excitement. Fear is often a part of excitement and their affect on the body is the same: pounding pulse, heavy breathing, a slight shake in the extremities.

Feel the empowering sense that this could be your break-through moment. This could be when you reach to a higher level than you ever thought possible.

Imagine yourself now in front of the audience facing them, looking calmly and intently into their faces. Take a big breath and feel relaxation welling-up within you.

See their faces. Are they interested? Do they need something to enliven them? Take a moment for some “in-flow” of information before you begin the “out-flow” of information.