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Busting Negotiation Myths with Dan Oblinger and Allan Tsang, Ep #146

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If you want a glimpse into the conversations experienced negotiators have on a daily basis—a sort of “scotch talk”—tune in to this episode of Negotiations Ninja! Dan Oblinger and Allan Tsang join me for a Q&A session where we dispel some common myths about negotiation. We chat about changing your mindset and viewing negotiation as a craft—not a gimmick.

Dan Oblinger is a business consultant and negotiation coach with 10+ years of crisis negotiation experience under his belt.

Allan Tsang, by day, is a negotiation coach and trainer to executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. By night…he is also a negotiation coach and trainer—working with people in Asia.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:32] Dan Oblinger and Allan Tsang Hijack the show!
  • [1:53] Dan Oblinger’s background in crisis negotiation
  • [3:03] Allan Tsang’s background in negotiation coaching
  • [4:25] How did their Q&A’s on LinkedIn start
  • [7:44] Their biggest negotiation pet peeves
  • [13:20] There is no easy button in negotiation
  • [18:28] The interplay between strategies, tactics, and mindset
  • [23:41] The importance of role-playing negotiations
  • [25:23] Dan’s takeaway for the audience
  • [27:28] Allan’s takeaway for listeners

Dan and Allan’s #NegotiationTribe on LinkedIn: Busting Negotiation Myths

Dan and Allan both love studying negotiation and they love practicing it. They bounce ideas off of each other constantly—often in the middle of the night while they’re both still working. They started hosting a Q&A as a way to collaborate. There’s nothing quite like Q&A—it’s unscripted, untamed, and quirky. They are serious about the craft, but not serious about themselves, which makes for a hilarious yet educational Q&A.

They started hosting a Q&A because they saw a need that needed to be met. There are a lot of myths, misconceptions, and invalid ways of thinking and behaving that are running rampant in the industry. Many businesses are needing to negotiate and re-negotiate right now as their businesses are in a state of flux due to the coronavirus pandemic. But they don’t know how to negotiate properly.

When you’re in front of an audience and people ask you questions, you can’t blow smoke. They’ve had interested college students who know nothing about negotiation join their Q&A session, all the way up to experienced negotiators and peers. It’s about bringing people together—and dispelling some common negotiation myths that need to bite the dust.

Myth #1: You always get what you want

When Allan is hired to train sales teams or executive management, he discovers they’ve had other negotiation training in the past. Shocking. Even worse, their previous negotiation training was full of misconceptions and invalid strategies that should never be used in negotiation. On top of that, they’ve been following these “old ways” religiously. So Allan notes that his first hurdle is to overcome the negotiation myths that have been pounded into people.

The biggest negotiation myths he’s encountered? The concepts of always having a “win-win” negotiation and only doing business with people you like and trust. Newsflash: you don’t get to only work with people you like. Likewise, a win-win isn’t possible in every scenario. There will be a give-and-take to get the outcome you need for your business. Even then, you won’t always get what you want.

Myth #2: Negotiation comes with an easy button

Everyone seems to think there are easy answers or “3 Simple Steps” to improve your negotiations and walk away winning. Sure, some simple strategies, techniques, and tactics can help you win in the short-term. But they don’t give you any depth moving forward when you’re trying to build a mutually beneficial and long-term business relationship.

There are some techniques that you can’t reuse. As Allan so perfectly stated: There are only so many times you can use a side-kick on someone before they chop your leg off. What is the easiest way to be adaptable in these kinds of situations? How do you overcome the desire for “easy” and switch your mindset? Dan and Allan share their take—so keep listening.

Myth #3: Knowledge is power

The idea is that knowledge is power is a lie. The application of knowledge is power. Dan takes the thought one step further: It is the ability to apply that power in all circumstances against an adversary in the least hospitable environment. Allan points out that knowledge without roleplay, without practice, is like trying to learn the art of martial arts from a Bruce Lee interview in a magazine. It’s completely useless.

Practice is the mother of all skill. Repetition is the mother of all skill. There’s a difference between knowing something theoretically and knowing something practically. And until you apply the theories you’re learning, you don’t know how they actually work and how to apply them correctly.

In this episode, Allan and Dan chat more about the power of listening, practical application, and learning new skills. They talk about how negotiation is a craft—it can’t be a hobby or an interest. If you’re ready to take a deep dive into negotiation, give this episode a listen—and check out the resources for information about their ongoing negotiation Q&A’s.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Dan Oblinger

Connect with Allan Tsang

Connect With Mark

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