You know the kind I’m talking about – the meeting whose outcome will have life altering implications for you. No pressure there!
These things kind of have a life of their own, and they can seem like there is a certain inevitability about them – as if what’s going to happen is almost a foregone conclusion.
I think one of the reasons for this is that the very nature of their importance rides on the fact that there is a massive power imbalance. The party you are meeting with has the ability to make this tremendously important decision that will determine how you move forward in your life, and ultimately you seem to have very little say in the outcome.
Or do you? You certainly have control over how you present your case for whatever it is you want, and you get to decide how you will react to whatever negotiation may transpire. Depending on how important the thing is we’re talking about, you may ultimately have to prepare to do whatever it takes to achieve the desired outcome. Because, if the other person holds all the cards, you don’t have much to bargain with.
This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. How well can you read what is important to the other party? Because if you can figure out what that is, there’s your only real bargaining chip right there. Appeal to what is important to them.
The goal is to make them feel good about giving you what you want.
Or at least as close as you can get it.