Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing. – Carrie Fisher
Source: Company Funds, Flickr.com
To certify that everything goes according to that plan, managers often use strategies based on threats and demands. Surprisingly, they work most of the time. Many leaders are at the mercy of their employees, and team managers often get lured into a sense of self-satisfaction; in general, their team members are thriving to get their positions but they also understand the manager’s hierarchic position.
Developed by the FBI for actual hostage negotiations, this model can be adapted and applied in the business environment as well. When a project manager depends on his employees, and he can’t make them to obey, he becomes a hostage. We often assume that a tough attitude is everything we need to make ourselves respected. Well, it’s not quite true. When employees get sick and tired of being screamed at, they fight back. That’s bad news for the project manager because he loses authority and can’t control his team members anymore.
Source: mdennes, Flickr.com
➢ Rapport – when trying to build rapport with criminals (team members), the dynamic changes. Rather than allowing them to do all the talking, you (team manager) have the chance to relate to your criminal. Create a deeper bond, engage in a conversation and make him let his guard down. This will soothe the whole negotiation process. Although the approach is methodical and slow, the end result will create mutual ground between the project manager (hostage) and team member (criminal).
It can be tough for leaders and company owners to deal with hostage negotiations. Difficult employees can be difficult to control, and often times the situation can become impossible to deal with. In this case, your employees become “criminals” because they’re in charge. As a leader, you can’t allow that to happen and you’ve got one way of making things better – by negotiating.
How do you negotiate with people who don’t want to negotiate? First of all, you shouldn’t see the process as a win/lose endeavor. Active listening matters the most; when employees feel appreciated by their bosses, they’re willing to let their guard down and talk about mutual agreements. Relate to their issues, talk about finding solutions and show that you actually care for what they have to say.
Project managers are held hostage when employees (criminals) are not respecting them and are not doing their jobs. This can change, provided that you’re willing to make sacrifices and take one for the team – compromise without having to reveal all your cards and you might just succeed.
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