Improve Your Negotiating Skills Through Storytelling
The object of empathy is understanding.
– Lauren Wispé, The Pyshcology of Sympathy (1991)
And, I argue, the foundation for compromise – which is the cornerstone of all successful negotiations – is understanding.
Storytelling is one of our oldest forms of communication. Artful storytelling can convey information and understanding that’s at once both intellectual and emotional. It’s hardly surprising then that the empathic storyteller is one of the most effective negotiators. The key, of course, is how you structure the narrative: the emphasis and illustrations you attach to problem statements; the analogies and metaphors you use to express benefits and value propositions; the appropriate use of syntax, jargon, meter, and timing; insightful questions and dialogs. The threads you weave into your narrative (and their order) should be carefully considered through the lens of empathy.
Consider this: Is your message focused on the other person, or is it focused on you?
Numerous exercises, many of which use conceptual role-playing, can be useful in strengthening your empathic storyteller. Please contact us at Center Square to discuss how we may be able to assist in enhancing your social selling, social marketing, and traditional negotiations skill sets through empathic storytelling.