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Selling Your Ideas and Winning Agreement

by Kare Anderson
Author & Speaker

1. Anticipate what you want out of a situation before you go into it.
Know your bottom line in advance -- what you need most. You can then be more open, flexible and able to listen to them. Not anticipating your bottom line needs increases the chances you'll be more rigid and reactionary and less able to listen.

2. Demonstrate visible goodwill upfront.
Establish your willingness to find a compromise and ability to be genial even and especially if you don't like the person or the situation. This is first a commitment to your own standard of behavior, and secondly the best way to keep the channels open.

3. Know that "less is often more."
Especially in the beginning, listen more, talk and move less and keep your motions and voice lower and slower. These animal behaviors increase the chances that others will feel more safe and comfortable around you.

4. Go slow to go fast.
When you first meet and re-meet people, move and talk more slowly and obliquely. Give them room to "own their territory" and feel heard. Later you can be more direct and move quickly. For role models, watch the classic tv lead characters in Murder, She Wrote, Matlock and Columbo.

5. Act as if the world is going to treat you well.
Look to their positive intent, especially when they appear to have none.

6. Play with your full deck.
You have a great variety of personal physical and verbal styles, most of which you've lost after around fourth grade. Practice widening your range of behaviors to adapt to the moves and sounds in you which are most like the person you are around.

7. Step outside yourself to see the situation as the other people might.
In hostile situations we tend to focus on the best parts of how we are acting and the worst parts of how they are acting. This causes escalation. Presume innocence. You can't support the positive side of people by giving more negative feedback.

8. Make an instinctual habit to refer to the other person's interests first.
As described in the book, Getting What You Want, employ "Triangle Talk" and refer to their interests first (you), then how the topic relates to your mutual interests (us) and finally, how it relates to your interests (me.)

Research shows they will listen sooner, longer, remember more and assume you have a higher I.Q. than if you were to address your interests first, and then theirs.

9. Act to enable them to save face and you will preserve the relationship.
If you think they are lying, keep asking questions rather than acusing them of misrepresentation. Asking questions gives you the time to see if you were mistaken, thus possibly saving face for yourself, while gently cornering them to make a self-admission that they were mistaken and volunteer an alternative. You also leave room to escalate later.

10. Honor commonalities more frequenlty than bringing up the differences.
Whatever you refer to most and most intensely will be the center of your relationship. Keep referring to the part of them and their points that you can support and want to expand upon.

11. Don't assume they readily see the picture you are presenting.
Do not presume that the other side recognizes all the benefits of what you are proposing. Take time to vividly describe them. in their terms.

12. Don't push to close.
When considering how fast to move in suggesting a "final offer", lean towards the slower option. The best results, as with a Chinese meal, happen with the most time spent on advanced preparation and groundwork, so the final part goes most smoothly and quickly.

13. Have a point person.
If there is more than one person representing your interests, make sure that only one person is responsible for taking the lead in discussions.

14. Don't offer what you can't accept.
Do not bluff in making an offer you cannot life with, if accepted. For example, including parts which you believe the other person would find unacceptable and not accept and then would move onto another alternative.

15. Make the same offer a different way.
Do not overlook rearranging the same elements of an offer to find a more mutually attractive compromise. For example, in money, consider alternative timing and division of payments.

16. Walk your talk.
Find ways to reflect your values in how you approach your work and all the people in your life. Your mission gives you your daily context and boundaries.

17. Be present.
As many contests require, "You have to be present to win." Keep grounded and involved in what is happening right now, glancing to the past and future only for context and balance.

18. Consider how you say what you say.
Consider their perspective in how you make any request. For example, a priest once asked his superior if he could smoke while praying, which led to a negative answer. Yet if he'd asked if he could pray while smoking he might have received a more positive response.

19. Make and keep agreements.
In an often unpredictable world, you build an "emotional deposit' of trust when your words and actions aren't contradictory.then when your inevitable mistakes happen, they have built up a level of trust to help them forgive your lapse.

20. Have a larger vision of yourself as your reference point for making choices.
Establish your central life purpose and core values; let your actions reflect them. Your choices are then more clear, you will inspire trust and encourage others to act out their best side.

21. Take your high road.
Relate your vision to the mission of your organization and your role among family and friends.

22. Use time, rather than letting it control you.
Plan and act early to avoid last minute rushing and thinking. Do not be panicked when you have unavoidable outside time constraints. Use the time ressure to get more accomplished in less time.

23. Find fairness first.
Remember it is usually more important to be -- and appear to be-- fair than well-liked. And, while not mutually exclusive, they are not always synonymous options.

24. Agree amongst yourselves first.
If more than one person is involved in representing one perspective in a conflict, it is always helpful to agree on the bottom line first among yourselves; and to not mistake knowing the content to be discussed with agreeing on your common bottom line. We don't always hear the same things, even among genial colleagues. Thus your bottom line and specific approach bear repeating amongst yourselves before entering discussions with others.

25. Always show respect in your process even if you can't respect the person.
If you embarrass or anger someone you may never have their full attention again.

26. Recognize your blind spots and your hot buttons.
When you find yourself getting angry with someone else, look to yourself before lashing out.

27. Show respect for yourself by respecting them.
Even and especially when you have the upper hand, do not make a victim of the underdog.

28. Trust the power of trust over all other qualities.
Being right, smart or hardworking is often no help in protecting your interests. Being trusted to act in mutual best interests is often more valuable.

29. Be a "synthesizer "leader.
The person who listens longest at first, then most refers to others' points in common as a way of stating their own perspective will eventually gain the most power in a group.

30. Support their liking how they are acting.
The more they like the way they are when they are around you, the greater the chance is that they will like you, even give you credit for things you did not do and go out of the way to help you, event to their own detriment. On the other hand, if they do not like the way they are when they are around you, they will blame you for it, more than they are consciously aware. They won't give you credit for things you did and may even sabotage projects on which you are working, even to their own detriment.

31. Problems seldom exist at the level at which they are discussed.
When you continue arguing for more than ten minutes, ask yourself: "Are we arguing about what our disagreement is really about or is there a deeper conflict not being discussed?"

32. Aim humor at yourself.
Release tension by being self-deprecating. Poke fun at yourself. Make reference to a situation where you made a mistake or even looked foolish.

To learn more about the sometimes surprising ways that your body reveals what you think of yourself and what you expect of the world, consider getting Kare's book and audiotape package, Make Yourself Memorable, available for $15 check to "Kare Anderson" at 15 Sausalito Blvd., Sausalito, CA 94965.

�1999 by Kare Anderson. All rights reserved.

Kare Anderson is a behavioral futurist who speaks and writes about "Say It Better" methods of thoughtful communication, conflict resolution, cross-promotion and outreach, and multisensory techniques to create more memorable on-site experiences. An Emmy-winning former TV commentator, Wall Street Journal reporter she�s a national columnist in 98 monthly magazines (from Gourmet Retailer to Broadcast Engineering), nine-time author ( Getting What You Want, Pocket Cross-Promotions, Make Yourself Memorable, Beauty Inside Out, Cutting Deals With Unlikely Allies, Resolving Conflict Sooner . . .) and publisher of the "Say It Better" online newsletter now read by over 17,000 people in 32 countries, which is available free when you sign the guest book at her web site at Anderson is the co-founder of The Compelling Communications Group

Learn how to reduce or avoid arguments for just $10.95. Kare's new book, Resolving Conflict Sooner, offers a powerfully simple four-step method, plus 100 specific persuasion techniques. Reserve a copy now at your bookstore. Or order one by sending a $12 check to "Kare Anderson" at our address below and we'll include the "Clarity Cards" pack of 40 tips + inspirational sayings for free.

See what others are already saying about Resolving Conflict Sooner. Go to and click on the cover of the book. And please sign the guestbook to let us know you were there.

Get a complete persuasion and conflict resolution course: Learn over 600 communication techniques in Kare's most comprehensive educational product, the 6-tape and book program called "The Resolution Response" -- an engrossing, easy-to-follow, idea-packed program for you and your organization for just $89.00.

The Compelling Communications Group
15 Sausalito Blvd., Sausalito, Ca 94965-2464
Telephone: (415) 331-6336
Fax: (415) 331-6661
Email: [email protected]

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