In a series of blog posts we will show you how to improve your negotiation skills. Last time we talked about how we should Beware YES, and Master NO. Today we will show you how to take back control with CALIBRATED QUESTIONS.
So, if you find yourself to be in a position where your counterpart has the upper hand and you can’t or won’t meet their demands, just use a calibrated question.
It’s very simple. By just saying “How am I supposed to do that?” you educate your counterpart about the problem without starting a conflict. Open-ended questions take the aggression out of a confrontational statement and allow both parties to come back to the negotiation table.
Here are some guidelines:
When you use words like: what, how, who, when, where, and why, you inspire the counterpart to think and speak, rather than just giving a short yes or no. This is an easy way to calm a situation and continue a negotiation without creating a conflict. Calibrated questions give you the opportunity to take back control and allow you to find out what your counterpart is really thinking.
This way you can resolve any problems that your counterpart might have and you can continue the negotiation.