How do you adjust your mindset before a negotiation? Why is it important to step outside your comfort zone? Why is a connection in a negotiation everything? Melissa Fortunato retired from the FBI after 23 years. She spent her career as a crisis hostage negotiator and did undercover work. Now, she offers negotiation and conflict resolution training. We talk about learning to adjust your mindset when you get uncomfortable in this episode of Negotiations Ninja.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:48] Learn more about Melissa Fortunato
- [2:47] How to adjust your mindset for negotiation
- [6:32] How Melissa prepared for undercover work
- [10:17] Melissa’s experience working undercover
- [11:42] How to step out of your comfort zone
- [15:42] Focus on the power of connection
- [17:24] Learn to manage your emotions
How to adjust your mindset for a negotiation
People struggle with negotiation because they think negotiation is conflict. People tend to avoid conflict. And it’s hard to have the right mindset if you feel like you’re walking into conflict and are a conflict-averse person. That’s why it’s important to take the time to settle your mind and focus on what you’re trying to accomplish.
As a former hostage negotiator, Melissa was always surrounded by conflict. Most of the people she negotiated with didn’t want to talk to her. So she had to focus. What was she there to accomplish? What did she think of the other person? You have to work through your thoughts. And if you believe in the goal, you can settle your brain.
You need to believe in your goal
Salespeople either believe their product is a must-have or that it’s nice to have. As soon as you believe your product is “nice” to have, you may as well stop selling the product. You need to have confidence in the goal or product.
Confidence and belief in what you’re saying make you seem genuine. Other people adopt that feeling. You have to believe in who you are and what you’re presenting. When you do, you come across as believable and are more influential.
Embrace the uncomfortable
The more you focus on fear and doubt, the more you’ll struggle to be successful. You have to adjust your mindset and shift your focus toward your goal. You have to stop “feeling” and just do what you’ve set out to do.
Melissa remembers an undercover operation that went longer than expected. She was sitting in a car with another agent when she said, “I hate this. I don’t want to do it. I just want to go home.” Then she said, “Okay, I’m done; let’s go.” She had to purge the feelings that were crowding her mind. Once she did, she was ready to go.
If you’re working on a multi-million-dollar deal, it puts pressure on you. You have to learn how to manage your emotions. The only way to get better is to learn to be in your feelings, understand them, put them in their place, and do the work. Just because it doesn’t feel good doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do it.
Focus on the power of connection
Melissa Fortunato has found that as a mom, FBI agent, and negotiator, you have to connect with people. When you’re able to connect with others, you can accomplish much more. You come across as more likable, which increases your ability to influence and persuade. Connection drives value in negotiations.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Melissa Fortunato
Connect With Mark
- Follow Negotiations Ninja on Twitter: @NegotiationPod
- Connect with Mark on LinkedIn
- Follow Negotiations Ninja on LinkedIn
- Connect on Instagram: @NegotiationPod