When it comes to negotiations, let’s face it: We don’t always act rationally. And quite often a seemingly friendly discussion can turn nasty. If you and your counterpart are not seeing eye to eye, don’t try to force the other person to take your point of view by threatening them. Instead, do everything you can to share your understanding of the situation without implying that you have malicious intent. Try to frame implications as natural consequences, not calculated revenge. Rather than saying, “Cross the non-compete one inch and we’ll sue you,” say, “I want to be clear that I have an obligation to protect the firm’s interests.” You don’t need to apologize for protecting your interests, but don’t relish your power to do so. And always press for dialogue, not concession. As you share any potential natural consequences, reassure your counterpart of your wish to avoid those consequences and your willingness to continue the dialogue in search of better mutual outcomes.
-Adapted from _“How to Deal with the Irrational Parts of a Negotiation,”_ by Joseph Grenny-
*Joseph Grenny* is a four-time New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and leading social scientist for business performance. His work has been translated into 28 languages, is available in 36 countries, and has generated results for 300 of the Fortune 500. He is the cofounder of VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development.