Sunday, November 18, 2007

Negotiation: Law of Silence

“It’s good to shut up sometimes.”

Marcel Marceau

The philosophy of negotiating that welcomes collaboration, creates joint value and treats all interaction as part of an ongoing relationship is preferable to limiting constructs of a zero sum win-lose proposition.

A restaurateur negotiates constantly with employees, suppliers, bankers, landlords, designers, architects and even customers. There are many great sources of references in the negotiation universe. Some are listed on the left hand section of this blog. I will explore other negotiating topics in future posts.

Silence is perhaps the most powerful gambit in your array of negotiating strategies. Whenever you are in any negotiating situation utilize silence. After someone ask you a question or completes a presentation, think about the question or the presentation, wait a breath in silence before responding. It is from the silence that clarity flows. When you have completed a presentation or asked a question, take a breath and remain still and silent. Be still and silent, do not disturb the silence, do not add anything else, do not try to judge what the other person or persons is thinking, do not help them with their answer, be still and silent.