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Techniques Of Negotiation For Change Management – Mirroring

Techniques of Negotiation for Change Management – Mirroring

Communication is key to any change management project and is particularly important when dealing with resistance to change projects.

We’ve been unpacking The Art of Negotiation and how this can inform your communication strategies. Specifically, we’ve been looking at how these skills can help to eliminate resistance and improve communication to ensure a mutually beneficial outcome for all involved.

This week we look at Mirroring. The repeating back key words, behaviours and expressions used in conversation. This technique, let’s the other side know that you’re listening, paying attention and that you’re taking everything they’re saying into consideration.

Mirroring is a rapport building technique and is essential to establishing trust. This technique can be particularly useful in situations of hostility and confrontation. Mirroring can help create powerful connections with others, and in some instances causes people to engage more deeply in conversation making it a useful tool to gather information.

“It’s useful in any environment where collaboration is going to be more helpful than hostility”  says Noah Zandan, chief executive and co-founder of Quantified Communications

In this series we’re focusing on the positive impact of Negotiation. The art of mirroring is not meant to be manipulative. The purpose of using this technique is to open us up so we can become more receptive to hearing or seeing what might be a common ground. We want to do this as naturally as possible.

The best way to find the right balance and technique is to become observant. In fact, you may already subconsciously be practising mirroring without even realising it. If someone smiles, you smile back. Perhaps you’re using lingo specific to a particular interest or social group. These are all acts of mirroring.

So let’s look at how you can practice this technique so that it becomes a natural habit in conversation.

Pay attention to how you’re mirroring others and how they’re mirroring you. This will give you some insights into understanding how to apply this to workplace scenarios. Practice makes perfect. Talk to people you meet in social settings or networking events. Mirror in subtle ways and pay attention to how people begin to engage with you more quickly and more readily. This will help you to feel more comfortable with the technique in conversation. 

Once you’re more comfortable with the art of mirroring and have gained some confidence in the skill, you’ll be able to use it in conversations to garner a relationship of trust but more importantly establish a common ground based on genuine interest.

Get in touch with us at to find out more or Contact Us about our People Change Management Coaching services.


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