- Erin Gleason Alvarez
Visualization Meditation + Negotiation
Hi there negotiators,
I am a big fan of planning when it comes to negotiation for a number of reasons. Making time to plan ahead is helpful because:
It helps you gain clarity on what is important to you - what you're really working toward
Planning can prepare you for what will likely come up in the conversation and ways to address those issues
It puts a spotlight on information you are missing
It can help you better understand others' perspectives, and how to try to work with them during the discussion
You have space to acknowledge the strengths and potential challenges in your own position
It is also a great way to acknowledge the emotions that are coming up for you
When it comes to negotiation, a host of "low vibration" emotion can arise. These range from anxiety and fear to anger and frustration. Generally normal human reactions to stressful situations, but also potential distractors from the end game if you let them. For example, negotiation can often feel trying because the stakes might feel high or the power imbalance unfair.
So, let's talk about visualization as an aid in negotiation preparations…
Science tells us that people who visualize their success have a much higher rate of experiencing actual success. So let's direct positive thoughts and energy to the manner in which we negotiate.
When you have a thought, it triggers the same cascade of neurochemicals, regardless of whether you are thinking about the past, present, or future. Your brain is stimulated the same way whether you’re physically performing an action or simply visualizing it happen in your mind’s eye.
When an athlete, for example, visualizes success on the court, or in the pool, or the track, or whatever… the body and brain perceive that as being a reality - something happening in the present moment (even though it hasn't happened in real life just yet).
And this sets off a cascade effect, which scientists have found leads to improved performance and success.
When you start to visualize as a regular practice, a series of things happen. In fact, the practice of visualizing on a regular basis has been found as an effective aid in:
Recovering from illness
Learning to play an instrument
Alleviating depression and anxiety
Improving relationships, and
Promoting success in career and business endeavors
In 2016, TD Bank surveyed around 1500 business owners to find out if they used visualization and if so, how? The results indicated that people who imagine their financial and business goals possess more confidence and they achieve their goals more often than people who don’t use visualization.
If making time to see one’s success in the pool or on the stage has been proven as effective for achieving success, applying this approach to negotiations is certainly something to try.
Here are some ideas for how you can utilize visualization before your next negotiation... whether that's with your professional colleagues or your kids.
First, get a clear picture of what you plan to achieve. In the context of negotiation, this might be helpful to you in a variety of ways, including:
You may choose to visualize the planning process, remaining open to new ideas and developing an approach to the negotiation that will help you achieve your desired outcome.
You might also visualize how the sharing and bargaining phases of the negotiation transpire in a way that leads you to your desired outcome.
Another option is to focus on that endgame - really hone in on the final stage of the negotiation, what it feels like and what you have achieved.
Once you are clear on where to place your focus, imagine that scene in detail. Repeatedly.
Join the waitlist for our 10 Day Visualization Challenge, starting January 1, 2022.
If you visualize your goals or intentions regularly, your brain is conditioned to focus on the things in your environment that feed your vision. This in turn helps bring you to actions to support your achievement of that goal. It takes practice, a commitment to regular practice, and the sincere belief in the process.
That is why I am hosting this Challenge for the first ten days of January 2022. I’ll provide you with a framework for using visualization and then we’ll all commit to a few minutes every day to try this out and share experiences.
If you are not making time to do this - to focus on the path ahead and to see your wins in advance - then join me and let’s see what happens when you do. For me, it’s been an amazing experience.