Trust to negotiate

“Years to earn, seconds to break”, it is often said when talking about trust.

It is one of the most basic human being’s emotions: we all want to trust ourselves and that other people trust us. That is why, when we feel betrayed, wounds heal so slowly. And this is not our appraisal:

It’s easy to claim “Trust me”, but deserving it is a different thing. Like  in real life, the importance of feelings and emotions during the negotiating process is quite clear. We all know that we shouldn’t let us get carried away by them, we know we have to act as rational beings, but everybody has emotions from the moment we are born and confidence is one of them.

It seems evident but we usually forget that we negotiate with people. The relationship we build with them will have a significant effect on the negotiation, the possibility to reach an agreement and any future negotiations. There is no shorter way to direct succesful negotiation than through trust.

During the negotiation, there are dozens of factors that can affect trust: how you speak, what you say, whether you show concern, your way of listening, your ability to address their interests… There is also an entire code of symbols and body language around the “trust factor” that is quite well summarised in this illustration by Sacha Chua.

In Gamelearn we believe that trust can be built and maintained following some simply pieces of advice that make up the philosophy of our serious game in negotiation “Merchants”:

  • Show sincere interest in their problems
  • Pay attention to the little details
  • Always keep your promises
  • Clarify expectations
  • Demostrate personal integrity
  • Sincerely apologize if you make a mistake

Would you like to share some more tips? What are your experiences related to trust during the negotiation process? What are, in your opinion, the most common mistakes that lead us to the loss of confidence? Tell us!

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