And to what extent?
Effective negotiators have an agenda to reach a particular outcome as a result of a series of meetings or conversations, and so do effective sales people, facilitators, leaders and people in other significant positions in business.
To what extent does pushing a particular agenda in a business negotiation involve manipulation, and how does that impact trust and collaboration?
This may seem like a bizarre question, but with Google’s recent research indicating that psychological safety is the number one key driving the highest performing teams, and with Patrick Lencioni’s work showing that organizational health, based in a foundation of trust, trumps everything else in terms of giving successful organizations a competitive edge, I’m wondering if any degree of manipulation can be good in a business interaction?
This is the first of three blog entries exploring manipulation in business interactions. In the first I will open up the conversation, in the second I will summarize the comments and ideas that came out of our discussion, and then I will set up an experiment to practice over the next month. The third entry will come after that experiment is over, sharing the results.
In our best practices forum discussions (both in person and on the phone) this upcoming Wednesday, July 12th, we’ll be discussing successful negotiating techniques, and I plan to open up the dialogue. Please feel free to weigh in either by sending me an e-mail, posting comments here, or joining one of our discussion groups next week. It should be interesting!
Here are some questions to get you thinking:
- Have you ever been in a conversation where you either knew or suspected that the other person had an agenda, and in that conversation how much trust did you have?
- How comfortable are you negotiating, and if you are uncomfortable, what causes the discomfort?
- Have you ever left a conversation feeling that the other person managed to get something from you that you hadn’t wanted to give up? Did it feel like a betrayal?
- Who are the best negotiators you know? Would you want to be in a position of negotiating with them?
- Do you think it’s possible to have an agenda, and a productive negotiation, with absolutely no manipulation whatsoever?
- How do you define manipulation? Is there a different word that you would use to describe the way sales people or negotiators achieve the best results in their conversations?
- In your own leadership development, how would you like to grow your communication skills specific to these kinds of interactions?
Click here for more information on our upcoming discussion and to RSVP!