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BEAR speaker says stand on principle of ethical negotiations

By Sun Advocate

EksAyn Anderson says he stands on principle. The principle of ethical negotiations that is.
Anderson, who spoke to the Business Expansion and Retention general meeting on May 26 is a well known professional negotiator and he told the group that honesty in any negotiation, business or personal, is a fundamental of getting a win-win situation for both parties.
“A principle is something bigger than us,” he said. “You can align yourself with it or you can oppose it at your peril.”
To help the assembled group to understand where he was coming from, he said he wanted to talk about gravity; a principle that is the same wherever you go in the universe.
“Gravity is a principle that is a basic fact of life,” he said. “It is bigger than us. But you can use it to your advantage if you understand it.”
He had the group come up with some ways gravity can help someone prosper. One suggestion was that gravity made water fall which could produce energy. Another suggested that scales measure weight, which is determined by gravity. People sell things by weight. And what about opposing it? Well it can be done by flying, but gravity still rules.
“The principles of negotiation are the same,” he said. “You can live by them, or you can die by them.”
He said it is all about understanding the other party’s position. And that means understanding that position first, before you make a move. Expectations one may have or another party may have are often very different, but by knowing what the other person wants, a happy resolution can often be the result.
“Let’s say you find a diamond in your back yard and you think it must be worth at least $10,000,” he said. “You take it to a diamond expert and he says it is actually worth $100,000. If he offers you $30,000 for it, you just lost $70,000. But if you reverse that and he offers you $70,000 you would feel a lot better about that.”
Negotiations are a way of both parties getting what they want in Anderson’s eyes. But to get there you must use techniques.
“However, techniques never trump principles,” said Anderson.
He demonstrated the technique of asking questions to the group, to get answers and to understand the other other party’s positions on issues at hand.
“You ask questions until you get the information you want,” he said. “You ask questions that opens up the other person’s desires, and you can find out what is important to them.”
During the presentation he broke the group into teams of two where they had to question each other to find out an answer, literally about anything one of the people chose. The exercise made some people uncomfortable, but he said that was the point. Until you understand how to use the techniques, how they work, it is uncomfortable.
He also said that words are not all there is in a negotiation.
“Ninety three percent of what you are saying to someone, you are not saying with words,” he stated. Body language, facial expressions and other things are important when negotiating too.
He said the principles of negotiation go well beyond just knowing what other people want however.
“If you are honest in your dealings all the time it will align you with the principle,” he said. “Honesty and the Golden Rule are principles. People may have different perspectives on things, but the truth is always the same.”
Traditional thinking in sales is that you never name your position, because the first person that does loses. But Anderson said that naming your position is not a bad thing, as long as you understand the other persons position first.
And besides, a win for both parties is what should be striven for. Ethical negotiations are important and one of the the precepts that Anderson uses is that in everything, no matter what the question, love is the answer.

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