Every day, you're engaging in micro-negotiations. You're always trying to communicate a message to someone else.

When you hear the word 'negotiation,' you may quickly start thinking of strategies to convince or win someone over through aggression and influence. But that's not negotiation. Rather, negotiating is to stand in your position and clarify your position until you reach an agreement with the person.

The need to aggressively make a case for your idea is a false misconception. In fact, when you are actively trying to get the other party to like you and your idea, you are destroying your ability to win them over.

By letting go of the need to convince the other party to like you or your idea, you retain your ability to continually clarify your position. The need to be liked distracts you from being able to stand by your idea.

And it shows up in unconventional, sneaky ways--because everyone wants to be liked. Here are four areas to be aware of:

1. You should want to stir a range of emotions in another person

When you are pitching your idea, you may have one emotion that you want to elicit in the other person. Not being open to a range of unknown emotions can distract you from clarifying your idea properly. 

Allow freedom for the party to ask you more questions and really dive deep. A negative emotion at the beginning of a conversation can turn into a positive emotion by the end.

That range of emotions allows for flexibility and continued conversation. If you focus on where the other party is in the conversation, rather than where you want them to be, you will be able to connect more meaningfully and increase your chances of coming to an agreement. 

2. You should want to hear critical feedback

Allowing room for criticism means that you are willing to grow.

When you aren't busy proving yourself or your idea, you can create an opportunity to connect with the other party and potentially collaborate on your idea in a way that you didn't initially think of on your own.

3. You shouldn't mind rejection

Rejection is inevitable on your way to success. Rejection enables you to continue learning from each experience and tweak your ideas along the way. 

If you don't want to do the work to tweak your ideas and grow, it is possible you are in the wrong space. Being passionate about your beliefs and ideas means you are willing to explore them continuously at all costs.

4. You should want to have to explain your idea more than once

Your need to be understood at first attempt will block you from healthy communication. Repeating your message in various ways gets you to improve your interpersonal skills.

Every person will require you to challenge your communication skills because every person retains and understands information differently. 


Ultimately, the need to explore can replace the need to be liked in order to have successful negotiation. Look at every negotiation as exploration. You will always win and walk away with something better than simply being liked.

Published on: Jul 19, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.