Are You a Great Negotiator?

Eric Stone
5 min readSep 2


How to Impact and Influence through Relatedness?

© 2023 Philippe Benichou

Behind every human interaction, there are invisible dynamics at play. Some are physical, such as the impact somebody’s appearance has on us, while others are psychological and emotional, such as moods, tone of voice or eloquence.

A dynamic is a specific focus that influences the direction and quality of relatedness. When you interact with another human being, you enter a vast network of conditioned perspectives, judgements, cultural predispositions, not to mention circumstances, past and present. All are seemingly imperceptible. However, they play an important role as far as how we approach the other.

The more conscious of these human manifestations you become, the more leverage you possess on the other. I call it “the listening”. Indeed, we are listened to through a vast network of impressions, expectations and projections. As we enter into communication with the other, we may believe it’s a blank slate and that we are open-minded, but the truth is that the other “occurs” to us inside the social, cultural, political, and religious backgrounds we were born into. The same goes for how you occur to others. There never is a “neutral” interaction. Exchanges are always loaded with pre-existing conditions.

Regardless of the occasion or situation, we filter all communications through a complex nexus of past experiences, background frequencies of learning and processing, mental and emotional perspectives, visual and acoustic memories, intuition and instinct, as well as tactile and other sensory hunches.

We measure and scan all these levels and nuances for various purposes and intentions. For example, a date, a merger, an interview for a new job, a negotiation, a presentation, a Ted Talk, etc. From this vantage point, every exchange, regardless of its content or application, is a “negotiated sharing” between distinct views on life and understanding of the world.

With this perspective in mind, if you capture “how someone listens to you” and how you “occur” to them specifically, your game plan to impact, touch, inspire or any other intention, will align more effectively with your purpose.

“Effective communication is sourced in how we listen to each other. It has little to do with the faculty to hear sounds, but rather, with what the filtering mechanism of the other allows.”

To illustrate it with a simple metaphor, if someone’s filter and how you occur to them is that they think of you as “an idiot who doesn’t know what he or she is talking about”, you better address that filter. I am using a silly example so as to bring a better understanding to how much our “filters” rule human interactions. Therefore, it is the quality and content of our listening that determine the outcome of our negotiations.

Conviction comes from accomplishment

A seasoned speaker and communicator thus becomes the architect of their conversations and negotiations, which includes audiences. We occur and are listened to very specifically by an audience, the trick is to figure it out, play into it and dance with it. It takes practice and confidence. If you discover and speak into “where a person or an audience lives emotionally and intellectually in relationship to you”, they will literally shift their listening. That’s the magic!

Affinity and two-way communication

There are techniques that instantly affect someone’s listening. If executed with heart and compassion, it will disarm the prejudice or low frequencies at play.

How do you engage with someone’s filtering?

Without affinity, nothing exciting ever happens. You may have a lot in common with someone, but if you don’t like them, your sharing will have very little impact, and vice-versa. Through a clear understanding that friendship, relatedness, kinship and rapport are all rooted in affinity, it becomes obvious that we must generate powerful affinity items in order to cultivate successful relationships. It is a professional focus. As a professional, you naturally must become accountable for unearthing the things you like or even love about the people you work with. This is not voodoo science, and yet it is too often avoided or ignored.

My invitation is to make sure you find those items. After all, there are so many things to like about people. The way they dress, the way they move, their gestures, postures, reactions…you can like their office, their car, their watch, their demeanor, their candor, their positiveness, the way they think or laugh, and so on.

The nature of a professional focus, as opposed to a rookie one, is that the professional will make sure it hits the mark. In our personal and social environments, we can get careless, immature or absent-minded, etc. We can lose our focus and intentions. Instead, we follow our moods, our conditioning, our fatigue, our judgements and not-so-graceful frustrations. A professional cannot afford that.

It is the distinct choice of what “listening” to bring to the table that gives a leader the creative advantage. The intention to create affinity is far more effective than the intention to sell, explain, prove, teach, convey or present. How can you leverage the potential energies and talents of individuals around you, if affinity is low? As an example, the best partners love each other and they are not afraid to say it. It is through atmospheres of affinity and relatedness that things get done with ease.

Continue to ignite your appetite to love and appreciate, and you will maintain your chances of being recognized for your unique talents, caring and expertise. An appetite can easily be increased once the impact it produces becomes obvious.

There are two modes at play within human interactions: revealing or hiding. At any given moment, we are busy hiding or busy revealing. You will naturally expand your popularity by being willing to make yourself known. Celebrities know this really well. Elvis Presley is a classic example. He made his love and appreciation of his fans so clear. Not only did he share it openly, but if you happen to study his performances closely, you begin to realize that it was his top focus. His immense popularity was intimately connected to the “listening” he brought to his fans, and boy did they respond! In essence, the best way to be known is to be seen and heard as someone who consistently places appreciation, gratefulness and relatedness at the very top.

Inspirational Leadership

Here are some areas to look into creatively when it comes to managing styles:

  • Do you and people around you feel loved? Appreciated?
  • Accomplished?
  • Focused?
  • Energized? Appreciative?
  • What are your “filters and listening” about trust and openness?
  • Are you aware of the “filters and listening” you bring with you at work?
  • How often do you acknowledge your team for their work or dedication?
  • Your employees? Your boss? Your associates?



Eric Stone

All great outcomes in life come from a paradigm shift in perspective. Maximize your personal development with emotional awareness, confidence & great skills.