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Follow these four steps to a winning counter proposal!

Step One: Restate their words exactly as they said them

  • It seems to me that you are saying . . .
  • What I hear is . . . .

Step Two: Ask clarifying questions

  • What is your greatest concern here today?
  • What bothers you the most about that suggestion?
  • What about that is important to you?
  • Tell me more about that.
  • What does that look like to you?
  • If you were in my shoes, what would you suggest?

Step Three: Reframe their response in a way that will allow them to be heard and reflects their interests.

  • I hear what you are saying. You are saying that _________ {positive statement} is important to you.
  • I get it now. _________ {positive statement} is important to you.

Step Four: Make a counter proposal. Now that you understand what the other person is trying to say, and the other person feels heard, s/he is much more likely to greet a counter proposal as an invitation to solve the problem.

  • Now that I understand ____________ {positive statement} is important, what if we were to . . .