Monday, 2 March 2009
So often we’re called on to “wrestle” opponents in verbal battles for supremacy: From negotiating a favourable contract settlement to getting your point across in a meeting. Is it just a game of “my ego is bigger than your ego”? Or can anyone play?
Here are four valuable techniques to help you get the edge in strategic conversations:
1. Listen more than talking. About 5 times more in fact! You learn much more about your opponent by listening to him than by hearing yourself.
2. Ask more questions. Look what happens in TV interviews: “He who asks the questions controls the conversation!”
3. Don’t take it personally. As soon as you feel “hooked” emotionally, you’ve lost the conversation. Let your opponent have her “spray”. It can no more affect you than a wet dog shaking itself!
4. State your position clearly and deliberately. Don’t fluff around. If you’ve thought about it beforehand you should know exactly what’s at stake for you. Make that clear to your opponent, while at the same time inviting comment. “That’s my position – what’s your view?”