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Negotiate to gain the time you need to find the truth

51vcylss4nl._sx322_bo1204203200_ In the last post on Vietnamese nail salons, I discussed the power of sharing a story and the social currency it earns. This week’s post let’s cover how to be a good negotiator.

When I think of a negotiator I think of the movie by the same name starring Samuel L Jackson. Here’s the IMDB synopsis of the film,

“In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.”

Do you think about hostage situations when you hear the word negotiator? My goal today is to get you to think about how you are a negotiator. Except we aren’t talking about taking hostages to get your job back.

What do you do when you need time to gain the truth? You need to listen. You need to learn to allow the person you are negotiating with the feel heard, understood, and not pressured to do what you want them to do.

Today I want to focus on the most surprising quotes from “Getting to Yes” by Fisher, Ury, and Patton. Looking over the list the quotes I’ve selected they boil down to the following takeaways:

  1. Allow others to talk themselves out because this allows them to feel heard and it allows them to speak out their grievances so there is more room to negotiate.
  2. Know what you want to accomplish before even starting.
  3. Ask questions instead of making statements.

Now that you know what we’re going to cover, let’s dive right in.

“Allow the other side to let off steam. Often one effective way to deal with people’s anger, frustration, and other negative emotions is to help them release those feelings. People obtain psychological release through the simple process of recounting their grievances.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Sounds easy enough right? Just sit back and let the person talk until they have recounted their grievances. Not so easy to sit back and not say anything is it? It’s even harder not to flinch or defend yourself when they are saying something untrue.

“You offer little little support to the inflammatory substance, giving the speaker every encouragement to speak himself out, and leave little or no residue to fester.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Once the speaker is speaking, do not interrupt. Make space for discussion and get them to feel comfortable around you.

“The cheapest concessions you can make to the other side is to let them know that they have been heard.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Again, just shut up and take the easy win. Once you’ve given them a chance to discuss their grievances they feel better.

“People listen better if they feel you have understood them.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

On top of just allowing them to let off some steam, your ability to let them fully speak out their thoughts will give you super powers.

“They tend to think that those who understood them are intelligent and sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Be sure to stack your reasons up before you go in for your request.

“If you want someone to listen and understand your reasoning, give your interests and reasoning first and your conclusions or proposals later.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Generate a ton of options before you start trimming the fat and honing in on your wants.

“By looking from the outset for the single best answer, you are likely to short circuit a wiser decision making process in which you select form a large number of possible answers.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

What do you do if the person starts attacking you and blaming you for the problems they are experiencing?

“Recast an attack on you as an attack on the problem. Sit back and allow them to let off steam.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Always stick with questions.

“Ask questions and pause. Statements generate resistance, whereas questions generate answers.” – Fisher, Ury, and Patton

Now that you know how to make people feel comfortable around you because you have heard their grievances, shared that you understand them, and asked them more questions instead of telling them what to do, they will be more willing to listen to your concerns and more open to negotiate.

Have you had a chance to use the suggestions in this post in your life to negotiate with someone? How did it go? Email me, I’d love to hear about it.

Why are so many nail salons run by Vietnamese women?

contagiousI just finished reading Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious – Why Things Catch On.” Berger shares his 6 step checklist for building contagious products.

I’d like to share all 6 steps in this blog post. But there’s so much in this book, it won’t fit in one blog post.

Today I want to arm you with a story so compelling, you’ll be telling it for years.

The number one reason people share is to make themselves look good. They call this social currency.

“How does it make people look to talk about a product or idea? Most people would rather look smart than dumb, rich than poor, and cool than geeky. Just like the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, what we talk about influences how others see us.” – Berger

Today I wanted to arm you with a story so compelling you have you try it out by telling your friends. Then you’ll see, first-hand, how this story boosts your social currency. You’ll look good telling it and your friends will be impressed.

Why are so many nail salons run by Vietnamese women?

“Ask three people where they got their last manicure and chances are good that at least one had a Vietnamese nail technician. But the story of how it got that way might surprise you. It started with twenty women and a set of long coral nails.

She’d been a high school teacher in her home country, but when Thuan Le arrived at Hope Village in 1975, she had nothing but the clothes on her back. The tent city outside Sacramento was a holding ground for Vietnamese refugees who escaped to America after the fall of Saigon. Teeming with new immigrants, the camp simultaneously brimmed with hope and despair. People had come to America with the dream of a better life for themselves and their families, but with little English knowledge, the possibilities were limited.

Actress Tippi Hedren, who had starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, was drawn to the refugee’s plight and would visit Hope Village every few days. Hedren wanted to help, so she became a mentor to some of the women. Former business owners, teachers, and government officials in Vietnam, these industrious women were eager to get to work. Hedren was enchanted by their stories of Vietnam. They in turn, noticed something about her: her beautiful nails.

The women admired Hedren’s glossy light pink fingernails, so she brought her manicurist in once a week to give them lessons. How to trim cuticles, wrap nails, and remove calluses. The women were quick studies and practiced on Hedren, themselves, and anyone they could get their hands on.

Soon a plan was hatched. Hedren got the women free classes at a nearby beauty school. They learned how to file, paint, and trim. Then Hedren asked around and helped Le and the other women find jobs in Santa Monica and surrounding cities.

It was tough at first, Manicures were not yet the rage and there was lots of competition. But Le and the other women passed their licensing exams and started doing business. They worked hard, labored long hours, and took the jobs no one else wanted. The women were diligent and kept at it. They made money and worked their way up.

Seeing Le’s success, a few of her friends decided to get into the business. They opened one of the first beauty salons owned by Vietnamese Americans and encouraged others to do the same.

The success stories soon spread. The thousands of Vietnamese who came to the US looking for new possibilities heard what others were doing, and they listened. Vietnamese nail salons started opening up all around Sacramento. Then through the rest of California. Then the entire country. These twenty women started the trend, but soon it had a life of its own.

Today, 80 percent of manicurists in California are Vietnamese Americans. Nationwide the number is greater than 40 percent. Vietnamese nail salons became contagious.” – Berger

When I first read this, I was floored. How can the prevalence of Vietnamese nail salons be summed up with such a succinct, bewildering, and empowering story?

Here’s the homework for this week: Go tell this story to your friends. It doesn’t even matter if they get mani/pedis. They will already know about Vietnamese nail salons.

How did it go? How did you feel when you were telling the story?

I felt powerful. I’ve told this story 3 times. Each time I’ve watched as the listener’s eyes get locked in at the prospect of learning this secret knowledge. You can actually see them thinking about who they can share the story with so they can boost their social currency.

Contact me if this was surprising to you. I’d love to hear about it!