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How to develop tenacity to negotiate and how to use it successfully?
One of the most important advice that we should all receive is "fear nothing"

How to develop tenacity to negotiate and how to use it successfully?

Camilo Casteñeda-Cardona

Camilo Casteñeda-Cardona


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According to the famous English writer and scientist Matt Ridley, author of the famous book The rational optimist, weekly columnist for the magazine Times and author of the TED talk “When ideas have sex ”, with two million visits. One of the most important tips that we should all receive is "Fear nothing"


"People who succeed are not smarter than us"


"The adult world is not full of gods"


"It's just people who have acquired the skills and habits that work for them"


And I would personally add, "And they generate the correct results"


Without tenacity or courage, there is nothing


But how does that apply in negotiation?


All the time, when we are negotiating, it is frequent to hear from our clients, colleagues, bosses, friends and family, words or phrases such as:


"No", "it can't be done", "I don't want to", "what you propose can't be done", "it's impossible"


Tenacity is key to overcoming these barriers, but what is being tenacious?


Somehow being tenacious is be brave and stubborn. It is not giving up just because the other person sees barriers that we do not see, or that we see passable.


To be tenacious in a negotiation ...

  1. The first thing that should happen is that you feel and decide not to bend your arm and force yourself to look for options. To achieve this I suggest you build mental models.


-That is, just when the person you are negotiating with tells you “it can't be done” or “that's impossible”, think about what the consequences will be of NOT achieving this negotiation successfully, what's more, exaggerate these consequences. This will force you to feel like you have to insist, be tenacious.


-Think about how you will feel when you leave the place without having been able to reach an agreement. Recreate these sensations for a moment and I assure you that you will not like them. That will make not giving up not an option.


  1. The second most important thing is that you know how to overcome the obstacles that the counterpart with whom you are negotiating puts you. how do you do that?


-I make a clarification, these instructions assume that you are well prepared, that you did the task well done and you know very well what you are proposing and how you are going to implement it.


Now, to the point ...

  • People always say that something "cannot be done" or that "it is impossible" because no one has solved the "how"


  • So, one of the most effective ways to overcome these types of barriers in a negotiation is to show the counterpart "how we are going to achieve what we are promising"


  • When someone tells you that something cannot be done, do not take it personally, or get into a fight, just show them the "how." Now, if you can't explain, at least plausibly "the how," you came to the negotiation ill-prepared.


Being tenacious in a negotiation and having the “how” arguments will help you avoid falling into the trap of wanting to reach an agreement quickly. They will help you show that:

  1. You do not accept a "no" just because the other does not see things the way you see them
  2. You have the implementation arguments that show that what you say can be done.
  3. That you will not fall into the trap of reaching an agreement quickly, but of reaching the best possible agreement.


I want to emphasize point 3. You will find people who in negotiations want to put us against the doors with their tone of voice, their aggressive comments, or creating a sense of scarcity. All this for you to negotiate fast. Mistake, never get put in this situation.

Be tenacious and put up with the urge to reach an agreement quickly, until you reach a good agreement.


Most of the time, it is better to not reach an agreement than to reach a bad agreement


In conclusion

  1. Tenacity is key to deciding not to give up when the counterpart says that "you can't do something."
  2. We can develop tenacity by creating the appropriate mental models
  3. A key to overcoming objections is answering the “how” we plan to do things.
  4. Being tenacious helps us to maintain our position and not get quickly pigeonholed into a bad deal.

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