Tag Archive for negotiating

Improve Communication at Work – How to Agree to Disagree

Sounds a little crazy I know, but knowing how to walk away from a contentious situation while still being able to agree is a necessary communication skill in business.

What exactly do I mean? Well, if you find yourself in a conversation in which you have consciously applied good communication skills including being an active listener and still find you cannot agree on any point, or you simply do not see eye-to-eye, then it just might be time to agree to disagree.

The consequences of taking a stand for yourself and your principles may be far reaching so be sure you know what you are doing. Communicating your opposing view while maintaining your composure takes fortitude and conviction.

I had a boss once who calmly walked into my office and simply announced that he (the president) had agreed to disagree with the CEO. Not quite sure what that meant, I gave him a questioning look and asked for an explanation.

Apparently, a major request or change of direction, or a shift in command  resulted in a situation where neither  he nor the CEO were willing to compromise. So they agreed to disagree.

It was civil conversation but the result of agreeing to disagree  meant my boss opted to leave his position. Yet, I have no doubt that he slept well that night. He honored his integrity.

You may find yourself in this position some day and you may not be in the financial position to simply walk away as my boss did.  The situation you are disagreeing with may be more than simply a blow to your ego, it may involve something unethical.

If you can agree to disagree and continue working without interruption then go for it.  But if you find the situation puts you at risk for a lawsuit or worse and you decide to stay ask yourself this–is the cost to your peace-of-mind, to your integrity,  to your family, to your self-worth and your health worth it?

What challenging communication situations have you dealt with at work?

Find more answers to these questions in Misunderstood! The Fast Guide to Communicating at Work–What to Say, How to Say It and When to Shut Up.  Buy it at Amazon.com

Communicating at Work – Negotiating and Persuasive Conversations

dreamstimefree_3471831Negotiate anything, anytime.

Negotiations and persuasive communication are the skills most requested by business professionals. Communicating in the workplace requires tact, awareness, timing and the right words.

Here are three more key elements for successful negotiating and persuasive conversations:

1.  Keep control of your emotions.

Negotiations trigger your emotions when you fail to realize that you are an adult speaking to another adult. Too frequently people fall into the “child-to-adult” role where pleading replaces negotiating. If you find that your emotions are surfacing excuse yourself from the situation rather than blundering ahead while blubbering. Get a hold of yourself–you’re an adult.

2.  Know what you want–specifically.

Don’t leave the details of your request up to someone else. I once negotiated the terms of my firing. (Yes, everything is negotiable!) I was young and caught off guard (most people are) and found myself losing control. (see #1 above) I stated that I wanted further discussion but that I needed to leave the building for a short time. This gave me time to make decisions about what would serve me best in the next few weeks. I came back and asked for  1.) an office 2.) in another building where I could make calls 3.) a receptionist that would receive and forward my calls without comment and 4.) at least 3 weeks to conduct my job search. I don’t know where I got the nerve to ask for this but I felt the firing was unjustified. I got everything. And I got a job with a 43% increase within a week. Know what you want.

3.  Know who you are talking to.

Will you be speaking to a dominant personality with a tendency toward angry outbursts? Or will you be lucky enough to be engaging a logical person or someone with high empathy? Tailor your communication to the behavior type you’ll be persuading or negotiating with.

Negotiating is a learned skill necessary for business success. Invest some time to learn the language and you’ll begin to feel at ease in any persuasive conversation.