Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Laws Nine and Ten

Why do so many people go on endless training courses, continuously signing up for the next version of the same thing. I often wonder about this and in my ruminations about this behaviour I suddenly realised why this is.

The answer came to me as a bought yet another book and watched another DVD on sales etc The reason for many (I presume based on my own reasons) is that we tend to have a habit of going and spending a lot of time (& money) attending, listening, watching, even taking notes on the subject and then never truly doing anything with that knowledge with the result that after all this excellent investment, we haven’t taken the time to truly learn what we set out to learn

When I look up learn (online) the following words come up

“acquire a knowledge of, gain an understanding of, acquire skill in”

Which brings us to Irrefutable Law 9 and Irrefutable Law Ten of the Ten Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with influence!


Lets take a look at the wealth of useful information you’ve uncovered over the past weeks. Tips and techniques which when applied will – Get you more “Yes” to more of your requests, build more long term value adding relationships and ultimately enjoy a more fulfilling life

In Irrefutable Law One – You have to communicate what you want! You learned that if you don’t ask you don’t get and I shared a few classic tips on how to do this including “Ask for more than what you want”

Irrefutable Law Two – Sell it, don’t tell it! You learned the value message of structuring your message in such a way that showed value to the person and I shared among-st other powerful tips the art of reciprocation “if I, will you”

Irrefutable Law Three – You must add value then took you further down the journey of influence by introducing you to the key message “You are not paid for your time, but for the value you bring” and I hope really highlighted the importance and power of giving more than and getting involved in more than just your role and pay grade. I will never forget a story that the Better than good and Better than Most Legendary speaker and trainer Les Brown shared about the guy that volunteered his time at a business (he had lost his job and was struggling to find work) and was ready and willing to do anything and everything that people around the office asked of him. Within a few short weeks, the story goes, one of the senior managers left the company … who do you think got the job?

Irrefutable Law Four – You must handle the objection! Stressed the power of ‘challenging any NO’s you receive as this helped identify what you needed to improve and got you closer to your goals in the long run (I also shared a tried and tested method of doing this)

Irrefutable Law Five – Master in You! Introduced you to the biggest barrier as to why most of us struggle to apply Irrefutable Laws One – Not having the self-confidence as a result of not believing in yourself. I also shared a number of valuable resources which would help you become the powerful person you are destined to be

Irrefutable Law Six – Become a student of people! was a key moment as it stressed the message that “as important as knowing who you are, it is vitally important not to make this the focus as it results in operating from as position of ‘position’ rather than from a position of ‘Interest’ which is the easiest way to undo all the good work done so far

Irrefutable Law Seven – Know the game! the introduced you to the fact that all of this is simply a game and to truly move forward it is important to be able to identify the games and their rules of the parties involved. It is equally important to decide up front whether you choose to play that particular game or not

Irrefutable Law Eight – Become a person of influence! My most highly rated rule of the lot introduced you to the subtle yet immense difference between being influential and having influence.

Which brings us to

Irrefutable Law Nine – Practice! 

If you truly want to become a person who negotiates with influence it is imperative that you practice what you now know. As the famous saying goes

“knowing is not enough when doing is the key”

A few words of consolation at this point (from my experiences) For many of us, many of these Laws and principles are not easy or natural due to a range of reasons and therefore applying them is going to be hard. Applying them is going to be painful. You will (and I did, many a time) get it wrong and therein lies the magic. It is not about doing it right but getting it right. As Les Brown famously says

“Anything  is worth doing (Irrefutable Laws One-Eight) is worth doing … badly until you are doing it right”

And as Bernard Shaw said

“If you teach a man/woman anything, he/she will never learn. Learning is a learning process”

With the above in mind, here are a few tips to ease you into this practice phase ensuring you haven’t only acquired information but are forming a new habit

  • Tip One – Small steps – Choose one thing and one thing only from all these tips that you are going to commit to doing (Tip Two) The reason for only one (at max two things) is that this makes it manageable. More than two makes it complicated
  • Tip Two – Consistent habit forming – commit to doing this action every interaction for thirty days straight. Why thirty days? Something about it becoming a habit after 30 consecutive days of intentional application
  • Tip Three – Be intentional about the application! This means that before every interaction you pause a moment to make the decision to apply the practice piece. Write it out, read it to yourself, Visualize yourself doing/saying it, and Say/Do it out loud (perhaps in a private space is recommend lol) This sets your mind up for success
  •  Tip Three – recognise the application. It is important to recognise and celebrate key mile stones. give yourself a little reward for having done it for a day, a week, two weeks etc This practice tells you that what you are doing is in fact pleasurable
  • Tip Four – Do it consecutively for 30 days. This means if you miss a day you start again. why? because that is what it takes to create a habit

But that’s not all!!

In order to truly create the magic you need to bring it all together

Irrefutable Law Ten – Keep Learning

Remember you are going to stumble, you are going to fumble HOWEVER if you diligently focus on these Nine Rules you will eventually become the person you want to be

Each no is an opportunity to try again, to try it a different way


Keep Learning, never stop expecting greatness and above all keep your eye on the prize


Have a great evening and God bless

Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Law Eight

What is the difference between Persuasion (Influence) and Manipulation? This is the question I ask at the start of each of my Influence and Persuasion Workshop –

A question which sits at the very crux of being a person who negotiates with influence.

A question worth serious consideration and contemplation for any individual who wants to have more influence over others.

The difference? Strangely enough my research and observation of countless interactions in business and life has found that it in fact has very little to do with the persuasion/influencing technique used and everything to do with the observation and perception of the person on the receiving end of your ‘persuasion’

Pause a moment and think back over the past to a time where you were on the receiving end of somebody asking something of you. A time where although you said yes, you still sat there after the fact with a sense that you had been hoodwinked/taken advantage of. There was nothing sinister about the request, it was all above board however you just knew that you had been ‘manipulated’

This is why Irrefutable Law Eight came into being.

Irrefutable Law Eight – You need to HAVE Influence

Over the past two weeks I have shared with you my first Seven Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence. Seven Laws which I know (from my own application as well as testimonials of others) when applied with focus and positive intention result in: More Yes’s; Better, stronger more committed relationships and ultimately improved outcomes for yourself and the important people in your life.

This is where I need to share a cautionary tale – As I started applying the first Seven Laws  I still wasn’t getting the results I really wanted. At first I couldn’t figure out where the problem lay until I came across a book (which I share in the tips section) and all became clear. Unfortunately I realised the fundamental problem was that because I didn’t have influence, the application of influence resulted more often than not came across as manipulation

I realise at this point (from watching audiences who I spoken to and shared this message with) that as you read this you are probably scratching your head in confusion thinking “He says I need to influence but because I don’t have influence my influence will risk coming across as manipulation?!”

Write the following down and commit yourself to understanding this

“Being Persuasive is good, but having Influence is magic!”

Whats the key difference? Lets take a look at dictionary definitions of the following words

Persuade/Influence: (verb) The act of causing a person/people to believe or do something

Influence: (Adjective) A power (especially one that operates without any direct or apparent effort) which affects a person to do something

In other words to truly be able to negotiate with influence, you need to also have influence. You will be glad to know that we all are born with influence! Not only that but we all have the ability to develop our influence (refer to Irrefutable Law’s Three and Six for guidance on how this occurs)

Lets take a look at a few tips on how to become a person of influence

  • Tip One – Read the book ‘Becoming a person of influence‘ by John Maxwell and the late Jim Dornan. This is one of my core development tools which I read and continuously work on developing every year. In it you will find the blue print on how to truly become a person of influence
  • Tip Two – Start developing your ‘expert’ influence! ‘Expert’ influence is achieved through becoming an expert in your chosen field. This includes a journey and plan of continuous development (formal and/or informal) focusing on the advancement of learning and application of knowledge and skills help me develop my Expert Influence
  • Tip Three – Become a value adder! If you look back to Irrefutable Law Three – Add value you will come across a quote which read “You are not paid for your time, but for the value you bring” To truly be a person of influence do everything in your power to add value to the relationships you seek to build. This could include but is not limited to volunteering on projects and under promising/over delivering

With the application of these and may other tips I have slowly but surely started becoming a person of influence and along with the application of the first seven laws am continuously improving as a negotiator with influence

Tomorrow Negotiating with Influence – Irrefutable Law Nine



Negotiating with Influence: Irrefutable Law Seven

Have you ever wondered why there are times when you share information/advice or offer something to somebody which is of high value to them (note – you had the permission to share it and the influence to share it) and they reject/don’t take it up/go a different way?

This has befuddled me for a long time. Especially when I have been called in by a company leader to help improve their organisations productivity and performance or help create change in the culture. I come in, do the background research and make the appropriate recommendations which experience and track record have shown will achieve the desired results and the individual does something different.

I recognise that in some instances this may very well be down to misapplication of Irrefutable Laws One – Six however not all instances and through hard experience and study I have come to understand a key cause of this frustrating symptom which brings us nicely into Irrefutable Law Seven

Irrefutable Law Seven of Negotiating with Influence – Understand the game!


That’s right. At the end of it all, everything we do, every interaction we have is a game with different rules being played by different people each with their own intentions and motives. 

That’s why I love this quote by Sun Tzu

“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious”

There will be times when you can push forward and times when not. It’s not about ‘pushing forward’ but more importantly – as I outlined in yesterdays post on Irrefutable Law Six of Negotiating with Influence – about ensuring that each interaction is a ‘Win-Win’

Here are a few tips to help start applying Irrefutable Law Seven

  • Tip One –  Identify and commit to the games you will play and won’t play.

“Everyday we face decisions in our interactions with other people. We live our lives and inspire lives through the way we play the game. Some bully, some are bullied and some play tit for tat” (unknown)

Before you get involved in the game it is always worth deciding what type of player you are going to be. This helps down the line as you can be far more responsive in your interactions rather than reactive

  • Tip two – Learn to identify and utilise the different tactics and strategies game players use. A quick google search for negotiation tactics brings up the following which can help you accelerate this (look who comes up at the top of the list :0)


  • Tip Three – (especially in a work setting) read up and learn about the Political Games People Play

There you have it – Irrefutable Law Seven – Learn to play the game.

Next up Irrefutable Law Eight of Negotiating with influence

Have a fab Wednesday and remember “Life doesn’t get better by chance, but by change”

Negotiating with influence: The Ten Irrefutable Laws

If you have been following my posts for a while, you may have picked up (or not) that my passion and purpose is in helping people achieve their goals and dreams. I love being able to share lessons from my own life which help others move onward and upward in their career, business and even life.

Confession – One of my big life ambitions is to earn my living as a Motivational Teacher 😉 and I had my first opportunity a few weeks back to start this trajectory formally when I was invited by a friend to speak at their company quarterly meeting. I have to state right off the bat that this was an incredible honor for me, and at the same time quite stretching as this required a 45 minute talk (my longest to date has been 15 min) in front of a crowd of complete strangers (most of my talks have been to in-house training groups and or members of my church’s congregation)

The day came. I was prepared! I knew what I needed/wanted to say and I was excited to share with this amazing group. I got to the event prior to the start so that I could get a feel for the room and meet a few of the attendees – My talk was at the end of the day and followed a presentation by one of the senior leaders, lunch, a few more presentations (all which I love because once again these events gave me time to take in the atmosphere, learn more about the audience and get into the zone. Then my turn came up enter stage left, lights come up and I was on and all of a sudden my mouth was full of cotton balls, my mind kept having blank moments and I thought “Floor please swallow me up now”

Over the course of last week I shared four of the ten Irrefutable Laws of Negotiating with Influence. As a reminder

I know through experience that when you apply these four laws consistently the chances of you getting more Yes’s, and building stronger value adding relationships are increased  significantly.

The challenge in all of this unfortunately is that the mind is a devious thing and because there is a high chance you haven’t applied Irrefutable Law Five that the first four laws don’t happen or if they do are not done as should be.

This is what brings me to today’s post and the picture below


The figure in the picture is one of the great Chinese general, military strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu who lived between 544 BC and 496 BC (the Chinese Spring and Autumn). The Sun Tzu that wrote (in my opinion) one of the greatest war and business strategy books of all time The ART of War. The quote in grey is from the book – I took the liberty of adding the “or lost” bit as I felt that this was the piece to be very aware of.

Let me explain – YOUR MIND (and specifically your subconscious mind) is the deal breaker. What you are thinking and believing about yourself and the moment is what becomes your reality – Take my opening story as a point: I started off really strong and then mid way through my opening I had a thought that I had missed a few of my traditional opening statements and that this was bad (cotton ball moment number one). Luckily I know how to work through this and continued albeit a little shakier than my start. Then I noticed that there were a few people looking down and my mind immediately went to “Oh no, I am not engaging them, I must be speaking badly) and from there the cotton mouth seemed to get worse and worse.

For more insight into these internal dialogues we have with ourselves I highly recommend reading The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steven Peters which I mentioned in one of the earlier posts. Prof Peters has explained the way our mind works in an easily understandable and highly entertaining manner.

The power of the mind and the impact of self fulfilling prophesies is very real. Let me share some research I came across in the daily blog I subscribe to Program on Negotiation (PoN) from Harvard Business. Three Professors – Kristina A. Diekmann (University of Utah), Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Notre Dame University), and Adam Galinsky (Columbia Business School) in research they conducted on self-fulfilling prophecies in negotiation found that negotiators who expected their competitors to be more competitive (even if not a reality) tended to reduce their own demands resulting in worse outcomes. That’s only half  the bad news. They also found that because of this behaviour the competitor (because of the win) started to believe they WERE more competitive and therefore started to claim more value.

Adapted from the PoN Daily Blog: Power in Negotiation and self-fulfilling Prophesies (link above)

Further research I came across once again thanks to the Program on Negotiation Daily Blog – has shown that if we do not manage our minds, our minds will manage us and in negotiation this translates into the propensity to take damaging actions like

  • making a first initial offer/request
  • Responding quickly to what ever the counter is
  • Making steep concessions
  • Exit negotiation early

So how do we manage our minds and ensure we are in a space to apply Laws One to Four effectively and consistently?

Join me tomorrow when I share Irrefutable Law Five


Have a great evening