The Hidden Value of Trust In A Negotiation (DACA) – Negotiation Tip of the Week

When someone trusts you in a negotiation (you’re always negotiating), they’re more likely to believe what you tell them. Thus, there’s hidden value in trust when negotiating from a long-term perspective. Once trust is broken it’s difficult to regain it. Therefore, broken trust sets off negative ripples that can have unintended and unexpected consequences in the future.

Let’s look at the trust factor with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as an example. The kids in the DACA program were brought to the US by their parents. In most cases, they had no input as to whether they would stay where they were, or travel to the US. They instinctively trusted their parents with that decision. Then, there’s the US government.

The US government basically said, if you register for the DACA program and abide by our requirements (i.e. check in every 2 years and make payment to stay in the program, go to college, serve in the military, stay employed, pay taxes), you’ll be OK in the US.

Some registered and some didn’t. Those in the DACA program trusted the government and abided by their mandate. Then, trust was thrust out the window. Those in the DACA program cried, ‘We did what you asked of us! Why are you going back on your word? We trusted you!’ Those that did not register for the program, if not stated out loud silently thought, ‘see, I told you so; you should not have trusted them. The government can’t be trusted. Now, the information you gave them will be used against you.’ The ripple that such a message sent to non-DACA members was, stay in the shadows and let the darkness protect you.

In the eyes of those in the program, the US government went back on its word and broke the trust it had conveyed. Suffice it to say, the ripples set forth from this situation will cause the government not to be trusted in future matters by different entities. They’ll mentally relate their situation to the resemblance of the DACA plight. That means those submitting information requested by the government will be skeptical at best and cynical at worse when contemplating a course of action that they should adopt. In essence, through the loss of trust, the government has made it more difficult for others to trust it.

If I tell you the truth, will you believe what I say and trust me? If my perception of the truth is altered in the future, will I be declared a liar? If so, what will become of our future negotiation efforts? Those are questions every negotiator needs to consider before and during a negotiation. That’s the hidden force that trust has on a negotiation.

When trust is the foundation upon which a negotiation is built, the truth becomes a happier companion in the negotiation. Therefore, when the truth as one knows it shifts, the shifting of the truth can still have believability.

Change allows you to embrace new experiences, and everything changes. Thus, what’s true today may be proven not to be valid tomorrow. Nevertheless, once trust has been established and nurtured by consistency, over a period of time change can withstand the onslaught of doubt and suspension. In so doing, even when your negotiations become difficult, you’ll have less of a challenge finding a path to success, simply because you had trust adding hidden value to your negotiation… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Negotiate Your Student Loan Debt

Outstanding student loan debt is a major problem for many graduates. It is possible to negotiate with your creditors and possibly reduce or even eliminate your student loan debt. If you’re not up to the negotiations yourself, you can hire a company to negotiate with creditors on your behalf. However, if you fully intend and have the ability to pay your debt, it’s usually better to contact your creditors yourself. If you reach the stage where you can’t keep up with the repayments, it’s vital that you contact your creditors as soon as possible and explain your situation.

It will help your situation greatly if you manage to contact your creditors before they contact you. Professional debt negotiating programs offer plans, similar to debt consolidation services: They negotiate with your creditors provided you have saved the minimum balance to settle the debt. Before signing on with a debt negotiation or consolidation service, you might want to check and ensure your creditors are willing to work with the agency you plan to choose. Consider using agencies that offer actual counseling and education, instead of simply enrolling all clients in a debt management program.

Debt negotiation is a process where you negotiate with your creditors to pay off your debts at a reduced amount – for example, if your student loan was for $16,000, you can negotiate a payoff of $7,500. Creditors will report accounts that have been reduced, and it will stay on your credit history for seven years. Note that creditors have no requirement to negotiate with you or a debt negotiation company and that they will often play “hard-ball” at the beginning of the negotiation process.

The very fact that you have appointed a debt negotiator on your behalf is a sign that you are a bad risk. Most creditors will settle for cash now as opposed to the balance over the next 10 years or so. Beware of debt elimination scams that insist consumers are not under obligation to repay their debts because creditors charge illegal interest rates. This is simply not true.

No matter what the state of your finances, there are positive solutions for both you and your creditors. Explain to them right up front what your situation is and how you believe that things can be worked out so that everyone will benefit.

By aggressively taking matters into your own hands, your creditors will know that you mean business and are motivated to seek remedy. Yes, asking your creditors to simply forgive some of your debt is always one option and is a good starting point when negotiating your student loan. Don’t expect your creditors to roll-over, however! But it does show them that you expect some action.

Consolidation versus Forgiveness

Debt consolidation is the better of the two when it comes to influencing your credit score. If you choose a debt consolidation company, your creditors may report delayed payment. When searching for a debt negotiation company, one of the best places to start is with debt consolidation lenders.

While credit counseling and debt consolidation are both pretty straightforward services, many people have trouble understanding the difference between debt negotiation and debt management. Many debt consolidation lenders provide detailed information about student loan debt, student loan debt consolidation and more.

Your financial situation may allow you to take out a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan helps manage your debt because the loan is usually over a longer period of time and possibly at a lower interest rate than your existing debt. It is a more aggressive approach to getting out of debt than making minimum payments, using credit counseling, or trying to negotiate with your creditors. If possible, consider borrowing from a friend or relative as the interest paid can be far less than from a financial institution. Please know however, that a debt consolidation loan is nothing more than a way of putting off the inevitable: The loan will eventually have to be paid off.

When your monthly bills become too much for you to handle, it makes sense to use debt consolidation or debt negotiation for solving debt and credit problems. If bills and other heavy payments are bogging you down, take action sooner than later to find solutions to your problem. Continued financial stress and burden can ruin everything in it’s path, not to mention permanently damaging your credit. If a student loan is at the heart of the problem, debt negotiation and/or consolidation can help you get back on track and out of debt.

Negotiation Secrets Resolve Conflicts

What skills do you employ when trying to resolve conflicts? The answer should be, the same skills you use when negotiating.

Conflict resolution is a subset of negotiation and thus, the better you are at negotiating, the better you’ll be at resolving conflicts. The information that follows gives insight into how you can enhance your negotiation and conflict resolution efforts.

1. Listening:

a. In any negotiation, when attempting to resolve conflicts, really understand the other person’s perspective and assess the basis for the conflict.

b. Consider the source of the other person’s motivation that stimulates his beliefs, thoughts, and desires for the outcome he’s striving to achieve. Seek to understand his perspective at an intellectual and emotional level. Ask open-ended questions (i.e. questions that require more than a yes or no response) to solicit insight as to why he holds such beliefs to be valid.

c. Ascertain who and/or what the source of his beliefs, thoughts, and desires are that’s generating the outcome he seeks. If you determine that there’s a vast conflict between the position you hold and his, cite sources from references that he believes to be credible, in an attempt to sway his viewpoint.

2. Patience:

a. Prior to responding with a rebuttal, be sure you understand the gist of the other person’s position. Let him talk. The more he talks, the greater the opportunity to glean additional insight and information about his mindset.

b. Watch rhetoric, yours and the other individual. Words have meanings and some words may convey thoughts that are different from the intent you meant. Be sure to use words that the other person understands and applies in the same manner as you intended for him to perceive.

c. If you are slow to respond to questions, you give the impression that you’re reflective. Answer a question too quickly and you could give the impression that you’re being flippant. Strike a balance between the two modes, based on the situation at hand.

3. Use of language:

a. Once you understand the other negotiator’s perspective, assess the viability of his beliefs, based on the verbiage he uses. Some words, such as, “I believe” versus “I know” or “I’m sure of”, conveys the degree to which he believes his thoughts to be accurate. In observing the manner in which he uses words, you’ll be able to peer into his beliefs and begin to determine the level of commitment he has for the outcome he seeks.

b. If you cannot oblige the outcome the other person seeks, explain in language that he can understand (use words he uses) why you can’t oblige him.

c. Avoid using inflammatory language. An ill word cast at an inappropriate time, will deflate the conversation and most likely, create a more negative environment.

4. Tone and pace of voice:

a. Align the tone and pace of your voice to the situation and strategy you’ve adopted. If the situation calls for a display of empathy, display it. If on the other hand, it’s more appropriate to allow the timbre of your voice to convey a more steadfast position, display that demeanor. Unless it’s part of your strategy, don’t be backed into a position you can’t, or don’t want to defend.

b. Keep in mind, a good thought/plan delivered with the appropriate demeanor can soften rejection, or enhance acceptance.

c. Try not to interrupt the other person when he’s speaking. Take note of how long he delivers his position and be aware of when he starts to repeat himself. Regardless of whether the other person starts to pontificate, don’t over talk him.

Just because you silence a man doesn’t mean you’ve converted him. In order to gain benefits from the resolution of a conflict, you must delve deep enough into the psychological mind of the other individual to emotionally and intellectually understand his perspective. You must know what holds sway with him; in order to do so, you have to experience his reality. Once you’re able to comprehend his perspective, you’ll be prepared to offer a solution to his situation. If the intersection between what you’re capable of delivering and what he needs intersects, success will lie at that junction… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• A conflict is nothing more than disparate positions. Never become mentally burdened as the result of a conflict. Understand the source of it before attempting to address it.

• In our everyday lives, we participate in conflict resolutions. If you take note and utilize some of the same tactics and strategies you employ in your negotiations, you’ll enhance your ability to resolve conflicts.

• Resolve in your mind that you’ll reduce tension in your personal and business life, by enhancing your communications with those you encounter. Become more adept at conflict resolution.