Negotiation is a complex and challenging process. It requires us to be able to understand the other person’s needs, interests, and priorities. It also requires us to be able to build rapport and trust with the other person.
One powerful technique that can be used to build rapport and trust in negotiation is mirroring. Mirroring is the act of repeating the last few words of what the other person has said. This shows that you are listening and that you understand what they are saying. It can also help you to understand the other person’s perspective.
Where does the mirroring technique come from?
The mirroring technique is one of the nine key principles of negotiation that are outlined in the book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator who spent 24 years in the Bureau, including 18 years as a lead international kidnapping negotiator. In his book, he shares the techniques that he used to successfully negotiate with some of the most dangerous criminals in the world.
How does mirroring work?
Mirroring works by activating the same neural pathways in our brains as the other person’s. This creates a sense of connection and understanding between us and the other person. It also shows that we are listening and that we understand what they are saying.
For example, if the other person says, “I’m really not happy with the way this deal is going,” you might say, “Not happy?” This shows that you are listening and that you understand their frustration. It also activates the same neural pathways in your brain as the other person’s, which creates a sense of connection and understanding.
Here are two examples of how mirroring can be used in negotiation:
- Example 1: You are negotiating a salary with a potential employer. The employer says, “I’m really looking for someone who is a team player.” You could mirror this by saying, “Team player.” This shows that you understand what the employer is looking for and that you are willing to be a team player.
- Example 2: You are negotiating a price for a car. The seller says, “I’m really not willing to go any lower on the price.” You could mirror this by saying, “Not willing to go any lower.” This shows that you understand the seller’s position and that you are not going to push them any further.
How to use mirroring effectively
Mirroring is a powerful technique, but it is important to use it effectively. Here are a few tips:
- Use mirroring sparingly. If you mirror too much, it can start to feel unnatural and forced.
- Be genuine. If you are not genuine, the other person will be able to tell and it will backfire.
- Pay attention to the other person’s body language. If the other person is not receptive to mirroring, you should stop.
- Use mirroring in conjunction with other negotiation techniques. Mirroring is most effective when used in conjunction with other negotiation techniques, such as active listening and summarizing.
The mirroring technique is a powerful tool that can be used to build rapport, trust, and a mutually beneficial agreement in negotiation. It is a simple technique, but it can be very effective. If you are looking for ways to improve your negotiation skills, I highly recommend using mirroring.
- When mirroring, focus on the key words or phrases that the other person uses. Don’t just repeat everything they say.
- You can also mirror the other person’s body language or tone of voice. This can help to create a deeper sense of connection and understanding.
- Be mindful of the other person’s cultural background. In some cultures, mirroring may be seen as a sign of disrespect.