Negotiating isn’t easy, and it takes a fair amount of social skills. Getting to know the person you’re negotiating with can make a big difference in closing a deal.
Photo by SCY.
Over at LinkedIn, professor and negotiating expert Adam Grant cites a study published by the American Psychological Association. Researchers instructed students negotiate over email. Some of them only exchanged their names and addresses, and those subjects reached deals less than 40% of the time. But when students shared irrelevant personal info, like details about their hometowns or hobbies, they reached a deal 59% of the time.
People are more likely to come to an agreement with someone they know. Grant explains that people generally follow the “norm of reciprocity,” meaning they respond to how they’re treated. He argues that the best way to earn someone’s trust is to show trust, and that means sharing information: specifically, an unrelated fact about yourself. This sends a signal that you’re trustworthy, and your fellow negotiator feels inclined to reciprocate.
Grant does warn that you should be selective about the information you share. You don’t want to give away info that could make you vulnerable, he says. For example, if you’re negotiating salary, it’s probably not a good idea to talk to your boss about your financial problems. That’s relevant info that makes the negotiation vulnerable.
Overall, it’s about building a small amount of rapport with the person you’re negotiating with, and opening up a little bit can go a long way. Read more at the link below.