Fearless Asking #4: How the Three Levels of Listening Impact Your Negotiation Success (video)
What are the three levels of listening? How do the different levels impact your negotiation success?
Level 1 is something we frequently encounter in our daily interactions, much to our disappointment and frustration. It's when you don't actually listen, but simply wait (or worse yet cut people off and interrupt the flow of conversation) to tell you about me, me, me.
It's the kind of listening you want to avoid when you're engaged in a negotiation with someone with whom you want to build a good reputation. A job offer negotiation, for example.
Level 2 is more rare and crucial to negotiation success. At this level, you're genuinely curious about your counterpart and mindfully taking in not just what they're saying but also how they're saying it.
You're taking in both verbal and non-verbal cues to collect key information about what's not being said but expressed through body language and tone of voice. (See above video for two demonstrated examples)
Level 3 builds on level 2 and requires you to listen with all your senses and your intuition. Influential people (think public speakers, certain political figures and highly skilled coaches) who tap into level 3 listening can "read the room" and respond accordingly, which is a powerful skill in a high-stakes negotiation conversation.
At this level, you're not only listening carefully into the heart of your counterpart, but also engaged with heightened situational awareness. You're fully connected. For example, is there collaboration and connection in the conversation? Or is there something disjointed or being held back?
The curious thing I've noticed in my experience coaching ambitious professionals, who routinely negotiate for $10K - $20K more in their job offers, is that those who listen at level 2 and 3 end up with outcomes that are more fulfilling and meaningful for them at a personal level.
I think it's because they listen carefully. They engage and connect with their negotiation counterparts. And most importantly, they trust themselves and their intuition in the process of negotiating.