To Negotiate Successfully, Whose Ethical Compass Do You Follow?

When you negotiate, do you have problems with your ethical compass? Do you assess those with whom you negotiate to determine the direction in which their ethical compass points?

During negotiations, people get ‘caught up in the moment’. As a result, sometimes they say and/or do ‘things’ that are misleading, misaligned with their core values, and even downright fraudulent. Nevertheless, one’s ethical compass is a matter of perception.

Consider the following situations and in your own mind assess who’s right from an ethical point of view.

· As the result of a new state law (SB 1070 in a state in the U.S.), the local police have the right to stop anyone that does not ‘look’ a certain way. Some people are cheering, because they’ll get relief from local crimes that have occurred. Other people think the law will serve as a tool used to stop and possibly harass people that ‘look’ a certain way. Are there ethical misalignments at work in this situation, or a genuine concern for the public’s safety?

· You’re stuck in a plane, on the tarmac for hours. Airline authorities indicate they don’t want to let passengers deplane, because ‘conditions’ could change at a moment’s notice and they need to be in a position to ‘take off’ sooner versus later. Are they lying, or are they trying to avoid the hassle of going through the rigors of deplaning passengers?

· Your stockbroker suggests you buy a financial product, while telling others they should sell the same financial product. Some say financial reform is the answer. Others say, financial reform will be too restrictive. Is greed the factor that’s causing the ethical compass to be ‘off centered’ in this situation, or is it self-preservation. To what degree is the stockbroker’s ethical compass askew?

In the above situations, who is ethically right and what’s the ‘real’ source of motivation? Are the people advantaged in these situations duplicitous in their lack of ethics? Are they simply viewing situations from the perspective that the solution will solve a problem? It really depends upon the perspective from which you view each situation and the goals participants are striving to accomplish. In reality, people on either side of the continuum could be manipulating their ethical compasses for their financial and/or self-satisfying betterment.

In this negotiation tip, I’m not passing judgment on any negotiator, nor the practices he uses. To each I say, to thyself be true. Let your conscious be your guide.

When negotiating, determine ahead of time what you’re willing to do to obtain what you’re seeking. Assess the other negotiator’s capacity to ‘bend’ the truth in his efforts to get what he wants. In the balance will lie to what extent you and the other negotiator are willing to go to achieve the outcome being sought. To the degree that your assessment is accurate, you’ll have more control of the negotiation, from which you should be able to craft a more beneficial outcome… and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· When you negotiate, if you find yourself in a state of ‘wicked wittiness (lying)’, consider the consequences of your actions. You don’t want to win a battle, at the expense of losing the war.

· Where possible, never knowingly pressure the other negotiator into a position whereby he has to lie to sustain or embellish his point. Be cognizant of his body language to gain insight into his source of motivation.

· Seek to understand what may motivate someone to lie. In so doing, you can guard against that source and use it to your advantage if the situation is warranted.

Why You Should Not Memorize the Body of Your Speech Or Presentation

At a workshop I was holding in Toronto, one of the participants proceeded to deliver part of a rote, memorized persuasive presentation. This man, who I will call Bill, told us that he was a ‘professional’ speaker and that his presentations lasted 90 minutes. Luckily for us, he was only allowed to speak for 8-9 minutes; however, it took just 5 minutes of his memorized script for the attention of the group to begin to fade, as their eyes glazed over.

What was so interesting about Bill’s delivery was that at one point, he forgot a word. He then looked up to the ceiling, trying to capture the word. It was at that moment, and at that moment only, that he sounded and looked natural.

If you memorize your presentation or your speech, you are bound by the memorized word. Public speaking has, as one of its two fundamentals terms, the word speaking. The premise is that you are to talk to your audience, not at them. If you deliver a memorized script, you are not talking to or communicating with your listeners, you are performing. In that sense, you are acting.

The difficulty with memorization is two-fold:

1. If you forget where you are, you will have much more difficulty recapturing your thoughts. With memorization, there is a different thought process involved than in speaking around notes, a PowerPoint presentation or slides. In the latter, you have bullet points pointing you in the right direction. If you forget where you are when playing the piano, for example, it is quite possible that your fingers will continue to play even if your mind goes blank. This only happens, however, if you know the musical selection inside and out. Why the same does not hold true for memorization in speaking, however, is because the words will not come out of your mouth if you have forgotten what comes next.

2. The other problem with memorization is that you do not sound natural. Your delivery is much like that of the telesales people who phone you with their memorized script, trying to sell you something. What is fascinating about their approach is that they have no desire to communicate with you. Their role is to spit out a pile of words, trying to force you to listen and never once showing an interest in your response. Trying to politely end the conversation is near to impossible; and, sometimes the only way to tell them you are not interested is to hang up. Much the same is happening to the delivery of the memorized speech or presentation. It does not allow for your awareness of your audience’s reaction to you.

There are times when memorization is a must in public speaking. The body of your speech or presentation is not one of them.

Costly Presentation Errors – Easy To Avoid

Big client presentation coming up? Set your compass on winning. To win, watch out for these costly presentation errors. These 5 common pitfalls are easy to avoid-if you start now.

Many presenters rely on old slides. They dust them out, combine them with each other, and head off to win the day. Does this sound familiar? If you’re short on time and running fast, this kind of practice is easy to fall into. But it is dangerous and costly.

Recently, I participated in a conference panel. We reviewed 17 presentations from 17 candidates in a supervisory program. Each candidate’s presentation was reviewed from several perspectives. Leadership. Learning concepts. Story flow. Presentation impact.

The panel included experts on leadership, the program content, business context and presentation expertise. I reviewed each presentation’s effectiveness-from design to delivery.

Curious what caused the biggest problems?

Here are the 5 biggest and most costly errors in presentation style.

1. Abrupt and Formal Tone

The presenter was schooled in a military style. He presented his information with crisp perfection. What went wrong?

The reviewers did not feel included. They wanted to hear about human experience, insights and personal reflections. He was shocked and dismayed at their response. In individual interviews he continued to remain formal without sharing his personal experiences.

This presenter risked a failing score because he was too abrupt and overly formal.

2. Rambling Stories

The presenter loved telling stories. Everything was a fable, traditional tale and intricate plot. It was fascinating and colorful. What went wrong?

The panel did not see the point of all the stories. They wanted to hear a concise overview and clear conclusion. This presenter got an A+ in storytelling but a D in presenting learning conclusions.

The presenter failed to understand his audience. He did not adjust his personal strengths and style to match their goals.

3. Cluttered Slides

The presenter had a passion for marketing and branding stories. Every slide was chock full of visuals, examples and product pictures. What went wrong?

The display was confusing and overwhelming. The learning points were not clear. The passion was obvious…but the result was not visually memorable.

4. Boring Bullet Points

This presenter took a careful, analytical approach. Every point was spelled out in bullets. What went wrong?

It was supremely boring. While clearly articulated, we demanded pictures, illustrations and stories.

5. Poor Time Management

The presenter was so enthusiastic that she bubbled on endlessly. Guess what? She ran out of time.

The panel did not take lightly to this pitfall. The criticism was strong and focused on effective time management.

What does this say to you? You may have a more patient, more sensitive and more forgiving audience. Or you might not.

Keep a careful watch on these top pitfalls. They are easy to avoid when you use a presentation storyboard to plan a compelling presentation.

With a storyboard, you can quickly spot redundancies, potential ramblings and boring bits. You’ll instantly see areas where you could bore your audience…or get so excited that you use track of time.

One tip that will help you right away. Time your rehearsals. Practice giving your presentation with the clock as your guide. Many people find that rehearsing with a clock is a surefire way to reduce danger zones and deliver with impact.

To get to the top of your career, you’ll give hundreds if not thousands of presentations. One lousy presentation can cause serious damage. On the other hand, one exceptional presentation can boost your career to the top. To get ahead in your career, get smart about presenting. Take time to learn the steps to success and avoid costly mistakes.

It’s time to discover how to present with maximum impact.