You might question what martial arts and negotiation have in common. As a life time practicing martial artist, I continuously use lessons from numerous martial arts to help me in my expert life. One of the most common styles going through all martial arts is the silencing of the “self.” Martial artists practice meditation to peaceful themselves and become more attuned to the procedures of the self and the world around them.
Arbitrators need to also be conscious, particularly if they want to be effective. When you’re doing all the talking and pressing, you’re the rock or the stone. Whereas when you’re water, you take whatever shape you need to end up being. This puts you instantly in control, even if that needs persistence and time. You can be prepared for anything without being obstructed by your senses and ideas.
If you’re tense or sidetracked by the planning and anticipation of your next approach your opponent, you’re a lot more likely to be struck. Similarly, if your senses and thoughts obstruct you in negotiation, you’re more likely to hand out your position, strategy and point of weakness. However if you come prepared to listen with total openness, you begin to observe things. You find openings in arguments, decipher the necessary backstories behind the arguments and realize where the real concerns lie.
Negotiation is investigative; it’s an art for the curious. Those who approach it with a peaceful and open mind are less likely to expose their powerlessness for attack. This is what it suggests to become the water and not the stone.
Here are some martial arts strategies to apply to settlements:
1. Unwind without revealing strength or weak point
Great competitors will disappoint their strength due to the fact that it likewise might display a weakness. Exposing your strength can expose your vulnerability. To be like water, unwind.
I remember an instance where I did exactly this. I was going to a play in New York City’s Times Square with my company partner at the time, accompanied by his girlfriend and my wife. After the great program, the audience poured through the exit. I was about 10 feet far from my other half and organization partner’s sweetheart when I observed a male studying them. He seemed to be taking a look at their bags. I could sense he was about to make a move, so I right away stood and closed the gap between him and the women.
I looked him in the eye and put and smiled out my hand to shake his hand, and I stated, “Hey, how are you doing?” He put out his hand and shook mine, and I just stated, “There’s absolutely nothing for you here.” He shook my hand for a little bit longer than you ‘d expect and after that smiled and walked away.
This is a perfect example of the power of a be-like-water technique. I wasn’t threatening. I wasn’t afraid. I might have approached the matter differently and been combative and accusatory, however that would have caused even more problem than it was worth. I understood in that instance to be like the water– calm, gathered. I listened and observed my environments and barriers, eventually understanding that through the art of listening and silencing myself that I might leave the situation unscathed yet smarter.
“In the battle between the stone and water, in time, the water wins.” ̶ Japanese Proverb
2. Find openings
In martial arts, the search for that opening in your opponent is a patient one that eventually yields outcomes.
Negotiation is a human process and hence rich in human interaction, showing your human side, establishing that you care and showing compassion make the people you engage with more comfortable. How can you do this? By listening and asking concerns.
Think of that you enter your settlement with concerns. You can be found in like water. You’re prepared however do not presume your outcome by making needs of what you desire. You ask great questions.
What are great concerns? Those that, like water, find an opening.
Finding openings can be the most challenging part of a settlement, and listening and asking offer the best opening. You may leave something important on the table if you’re specific about precisely what you want at the outset. If you request for excessive, the settlement might end quickly.
Openings need open-ended concerns and a little bit of small talk. People are more responsive to open-ended questions. Asking open-ended concerns produces an environment in which your counterparty believes and thinks that the ideas presented are his or her own.
When you open by listening, you’re letting the other celebration in the settlement lead. But you need to let them lead in such a way that doesn’t appear as though you’re trying to corner them. This suggests asking open-ended concerns, not closed-ended ones. Think of closed-ended questions as those that can be addressed with yes or no, while open-ended concerns welcome story.
Patiently look for that opening in your opponent. Consider borrowing from classic sales methods and utilizing questions to uncover shared interests. React to the opponent’s answers with follow-up questions to establish trust.
An opening I’ve utilized is: “So, why are we here?” I’ve diffused stress with an easy, “How can I assist?”
Openings to negotiations should be easy, non-threatening, welcoming and used to develop trust.
3. Await the best moment
Don’t enter into a settlement with your sword drawn. Be available in empty-handed. Be available in formless and shapeless, like water. Come in prepared to ask stimulating concerns that will lead to finding details that you can utilize to your benefit. Initially you need to get them talking.
Intently concentrate on listening so that you’ll keep in mind everything you hear. Uncover all of the vital backstory to find out the other party’s real desires and discontentments and what they most want. Then, and just then, link your services, your products and your point of view with the other person’s requirements and desires.
Openings are conceptual spaces where you can evaluate, interject and match their requirements and desires with yours. You must be so well prepared and clear on your working out position that presenting these as requirements and chances will be simple and easy. It will be natural. You’ll be leading, however the other celebration will think that the lead is theirs. When you act this way and act, the other party will seem like they’re teaching you.
Be available in ready to listen with complete openness until the opportunity to provide your position arises. Most of all, be patient and relaxed. Be like water.