Mike Hourigan, Negotiation & Listening Skills Motivational Speaker

Negotiation & Listening Skills Motivational Speaker

Are You Listening or Leaping?

In my area of expertise, being a negotiation and listening listening skills motivational keynote speaker, I often ask my in-person or virtual attendees if, during a negotiation, they listen or leap? I am usually met with head scratching.
Negotiation and listening skills are inter-twined. As a keynote speaker and consultant on negotiation skills, I have sat through hundreds, if not thousands of negotiations. Needing great listening skills is as true now, often in a virtual sense, as in an in-person sense prior to lockdowns and semi-lockdowns.

Are You Listening or Leaping?
The specialists tell me that with the exception of those “fast talkers” in the car commercials, people talk between 120 to 150 words per minute. However, most of us think at a rate, on average, of about 700 words per minute. It often means that in a negotiation, we are thinking – sometimes too fast – in advance of what the person across the table is about to say or mean. They may be on “Point B,” while you’re on “Point D.” This is dangerous for any negotiation.

The trick is to prepare and to wait. The “prepare” part is essential. Know your product or service; know what you need; know capabilities, specifications, or whatever aspect or attribute that needs addressing. There is no substitute for preparation.

If you thoroughly prepare, then the big problem is not a knowledge deficit but a listening assumption. It is in believing that you know what the other side want or needs before they have the opportunity to address it. I will call that “leaping.”
Because we think much faster than speak, in far too many negotiations (especially with inexperienced negotiators), we stop hearing before we understand concerns or motivation. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost each year when conversations are cut short or assumptions are made before the other side has the chance to express itself. When conversations are “abbreviated” or talked over, it can completely change the tenor of the negotiation.

Listening is the key negotiation skill
If, during the negotiation, we assume rather than listen, we might miss the intent of what the other party needs. As a negotiation and listening skills motivational keynote speaker I stress that you listen until you have the chance to make a point based on knowledge. However, listening is key.
Wait until the opportunity is right, but make certain of what that opportunity might be. Whether the negotiation entails buying a fleet of jetliners or entering into a negotiation for the hot dog concession at the New York Jets, hear out the concerns before you assume you know the concerns.
Every negotiation is unique, but listening is a time-honored skill applicable to any business situation and condition. Negotiation and listening skills go hand-in-hand never leave one at home in favor of the other.

Book Mike Hourigan, Negotiation & Listening Skills Keynote and Breakout Speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.

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    Mike does much more than present one-of-a-kind keynote speeches - he provides fun and fact filled breakout sessions as well as dynamic training programs for numerous organizations like Marriott, Disney, Harley-Davidson and even the U.S. Army.