How to Negotiate a Deal by Framing

What’s in your head may not be what’s in another person’s head. In fact, it’s highly likely you are misaligned.

When someone asks you for something that can violate your view of reality, then framing the perception is important. Perhaps an employee comes to you as an owner and says they are worth double their pay and ask for it boldly. You think they are really worth half their current pay. Here’s how to deal with the imbalance:

  • Reframe. You don’t have to react. Simply reframe by diplomatically sharing your perspective. “_________, thanks for the request. I have enjoyed your contributions to the company. I do enjoy rewarding results. Here’s what I see you have contributed ….” “Here’s what I expected and am still waiting for…” You are kindly putting forth your version of reality.
  • Have conviction. Keep the conversation around missed expectations. Eventually there might be some disagreements. That’s ok. Let the conversation happen around your reality. Remember, part of being fair is to be honest.
  • Agree to disagree. If your missed expectations are not acknowledged or respected, then you already have a problem. Simply be ok with parting ways. You don’t want someone who has delusions of grandeur setting precedents or winning a negotiation. It’s an unfair deal. You may be the messenger of reality and that’s a good service in someone else’s journey.

I don’t think you have to reward or be persuaded towards someone’s feelings or underperformance. It’s easy to get lulled when there are social ties or guilt feelings. I do think honesty, fairness and rewarding excellence are important.

Lying to ourselves, rewarding mediocrity and favoring underperformers in an unfair way compared to excellent people is poor business. You simply underwrite leeches this way.

How do you have such conversations?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

2 thoughts on “How to Negotiate a Deal by Framing

  1. Love this! I would also add understanding the other person’s communication style and consciously adapting to it. For example if someone tends to be more logic driven using words such as “I think”, “I feel” or beating around the bush may be very frustrating to them. Understanding and adapting your communication is a superpower when negotiating.

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