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How does fear impede people’s ability to negotiate in business? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Hunter Ray Barker, Co-Founder at Bullfrog Digital Marketing Agency & SEO Company, on Quora:

One of the most important skills you can have in “big business” is the ability to negotiate. Major deals and agreements are all reached through negotiation. But surprisingly, many people are afraid to negotiate, even when it comes to something as simple as asking for a raise.

So why is this? Well, part of it has to do with the fact that negotiation can be very uncomfortable for a lot of folks. It can also be stressful, especially if you’re not used to negotiating. But for the most part, the real reason people are afraid to negotiate is simply that they are afraid of a conflict.

Conflict can be scary. But avoiding conflict altogether is not going to help you reach a successful negotiation. In the worst-case scenario, it might make things worse!

Here are my top 3 reasons why fear impedes people’s ability to negotiate in business:

1. Fear of Rejection

One of the greatest fears people have when it comes to negotiation is the fear of rejection. They’re afraid that if they ask for what they want, they’ll be told “NO.”


But here’s the thing: you won’t always get what you want in a negotiation. And that’s okay.

The key is to focus on what you’re willing to walk away with. If you go into a negotiation knowing your bottom line, then you’re less likely to be rejected outright. And even if you don’t get everything you want, you can still walk away with something.

You have to learn that being told “no” is just a part of the game.

2. Fear of Looking Dumb

Another fear people have is that they will look stupid while negotiating. They’re afraid that if they don’t know what they’re doing or saying that they’ll make a fool of themselves.

But the truth is… nobody knows everything. And even the most experienced negotiators will make mistakes.

The key is to be prepared. Do your research beforehand so you know what you’re talking about. And if you don’t know the answer to something, don’t be afraid to admit it. People can smell dishonesty. The other person will respect you more for being honest than for trying to bluff your way through it.

3. Fear of Losing Control

Finally, folks are afraid of losing control when they negotiate. They’re afraid that if they don’t have all the answers, the other person will take advantage of them. But the reality is that you just can’t control everything in a negotiation.

The key is to focus on what you can control. Make sure you know your goals and what you’re willing to concede. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. There’s no shame in admitting that you need some guidance.

These are just a few reasons why fear impedes people’s ability to negotiate in business. If you’re afraid to negotiate, remember that you’re not the only one. And more importantly, remember that there are ways to overcome your fears.

With a little preparation and practice, you’ll be able to negotiate confidently and effectively.

This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.


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