The Negotiator's Dilemma: Ai or Hi®

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Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So, instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.
— Ginni Rometty

As humans, how do we change our minds? How do we change our behaviour to negotiate for a new product or a new service? Like it or not we need to change because of artificial intelligence (Ai).

In 2015 the world of Ai changed forever because for some tasks the accuracy of Ai now exceeded the accuracy of humans. After this change, many leaders and industries realised that there was now an urgency to change.

This urgency to change was not driven by an impending natural disaster like in July this year when a Thai boys’ soccer team and their coach were trapped in a flood-filled cave for 16 days. With limited food and fresh water, they changed their eating and drinking habits to stay alive. Their lives were in peril, and so they had no other choice but to change and change quickly.

For some leaders and industries, the urgency to change is driven by the need to catch up and create a compelling vision for the future. In this vision for the future, artificial intelligence - machine learning, automation and robotics – is a tool to achieve better outcomes at the negotiation table to produce optimal agreements.

All industries are being exposed to a different future where change happens with the aid of artificial intelligence (Ai). Your response is determined by how you embrace or fight the change, using your human intelligence (Hi) to make a decision. If you are fearful of Ai, then you will fall into the behaviour of your ancestors and have one of three responses:  fight, flight or freeze.

The dilemma for some negotiators will be Ai or Hi? The sweet spot is the intersection of Ai and Hi when leaders and negotiators realise the combination of both allows a greater focus on value during a negotiation.

So, how can you achieve a much better outcome in negotiations by harnessing and leveraging Ai and Hi? At a strategic level, your organisation should have a clear vision of how Ai can enhance the performance and sustainable profitability of your business. You need to plot a roadmap for Ai and its broader application to your business. Then, overlay this vision into your planning tools, or use the planning tools in the book, The Creative Negotiator, 2nd Edition.

In a world driven by digital disruption, economic and political uncertainty, how do you deal with Ai or Hi? The real dilemma for strategic negotiators is not which one will serve your needs best, but is how do you harness the power of Ai and Hi? Harnessing both will future-proof your business, and as a leader and negotiator, you have much better outcomes.

Ai won’t be able to replace most jobs anytime soon. But in almost every industry, people using Ai are starting to replace people who don’t use Ai, and the trend will only accelerate.
— Erik Brynjolfssonfrom, MIT Sloan School of Management

Understand what Ai means to you as a manager, leader or executive, and then ask how you can use Ai more effectively in your next major negotiation? To deepen your understanding of Ai, read What is Artificial Intelligence? A great research publication by Gary Peacock.

Young professionals in your organisation are used to a fast-paced ever-changing era of technological change. They might not have all the answers for the use of Ai in your negotiations, but they will know where to look. Your role as an experienced leader and negotiator is to apply your Hi to get a better outcome.

A negotiation can be lost through a lack of preparation or in the process of preparation – Ai is the key. Instead of trying to remember what you did last time, data drives better decisions. Preparing and comprehensively researching before negotiating helps solidify goals and emotions, enhancing the negotiation process and ensuring success through the use of big data, prepared with Ai.

Strategic negotiating skills form part of a group of core competencies needed by everyone. Managing and negotiating relationships with all stakeholders at the negotiation table is becoming increasingly important. As is your ability to determine the best way to communicate with different stakeholders. A critical analysis of the background of the negotiation—understanding organisational culture, identifying the people, their needs, their wants and what they can agree to is vital. Your Hi drives all these skills.

For negotiators the power of Ai is in the preparation phase, analysing masses of data before the negotiation starts. Hi then kicks in, using human ability to balance logic and emotion and make better decisions at the negotiating table. Ai helps greatly with the logical preparation; Hi allows you to make better decisions based on your emotion, and your instinct during difficult negotiations.

The good news is that now there is a course that examines the impact of Ai and Hi on major negotiations - Negotiation Leadership.

You can create a different future, but it requires a structured approach. As you think about the future, which is already here, don’t fight, flight or freeze, change your approach to preparation and be ready for a better outcome!