Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Effective Communication Techniques

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

Effective Communication Techniques

Article excerpt

Black Belt Negotiating: Become a Master Negotiator Using Powerful Lessons from the Martial Arts, by Michael Soon Lee and Sensei Grant Tabuchi 2007 New York, NY: AMACOM, American Management Association 223 pages; Softcover; $15.00

Intended Audience(s): L

Major Headings from the Table of Contents: Modern Lessons from Ancient Traditions; Overcoming Fear of the Blow; Playing to Win; Learning the Rules of Power; Spying on Your Opponent; Identifying Vital Striking Points; Developing the Fighting Stance; Opening Tactics; Reading Your Opponent; Countering Your Opponent's Moves; Finding Middle Ground; Distancing Yourself from the Battle; Making Time Your Ally; Developing Advanced Fighting Skills; Breaking Impasses; Turning the Battle in Your Favor; Dealing with Dirty Fighters; Ending the Contest with Respect; The Road to Continuous Improvement

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience? This book will stretch your comfort zone and provide you with many specific methods to help you become a tougher, more successful negotiator.

The Top Things You Learned from Reading this Book:

1) Begin negotiating with a strong intent to win.

2) Begin by giving something of value to your opponent that is of little value to you.

3) Define exactly what you need from the negotiation, then add your wants.

4) Allow your opponents to take care of their own interests.

This book is tough. It's all about tough. It is not for the faint hearted, or perhaps it is. By reading this book, a weak negotiator can become a better, tougher negotiator. Yet, by advocating toughness in negotiations and making many situation-specific suggestions for tougher negotiating, the authors prepare the negotiator to perform the task in a smoother, though not friendlier, way. The authors set the tone at the beginning: Negotiating is a competition; and if you are not there to win, you have no business being involved. Negotiating is not about giving your opponent what he needs or wants. It is about getting what you want. That includes getting it for the least amount of giving.

However, later in the book, the authors suggest various ways of giving to your opponent. However, their purpose in giving is not to satisfy the opponent, but that we give to get. We set up our opponent to feel good by using specific presentation techniques aimed at relaxing them, getting them to let down their guard. Then, they suggest, we strike quickly, strongly (though not hurtfully), and precisely, both at the correct moment and at the exact spot previously identified as the opponent's weak spot.

Black Belt Negotiating covers ways to block your opponent, to identify your opponent's weaknesses, how to strike, and how to time the strike for the best effect. By comparing and contrasting negotiating with martial arts, the authors do a detailed examination of the mindset of both parties in a negotiation, as well as actions and counteractions. They get into an almost surprising amount of detail, talking about specific negotiable situations, and what to say and do in each situation. They provide specific techniques and the thinking behind using those techniques.

After setting their philosophy of toughness for the negotiations (play to win, overcoming fear), the authors talk about spying on your opponent and gathering information through various sources. They identify their opponent's needs and wants as their "weaknesses," the points where leverage and force can be best applied to achieve desired results. They also suggest that you should identify your own "strike points," weaknesses that you will want to hide.

When entering the negotiating arena, they suggest you first put your opponent at ease, make them relax and let their guard down by smiling, and keeping an open and empty mindset that does not set expectations of how the negotiations will go. Yet, envisioning the final results of successful negotiations are recommended. …

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