Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Now that we know our value, our needs and wants, everyone elses’ needs and wants, and we have evaluated all the possibilities, we can negotiate. With respect.

Respect is defined as worthy of regard. That means I’ve put some effort in knowing about and understanding you and your motives.

When I talk about negotiation I’m sure many of you still are thinking that it’s a game with a winner and a loser. Stop it. There are no losers in good negotiation. In fact, if done properly, negotiation will end in win-win situations that continue to increase the level and chance of positive outcomes for future interactions.

It’s called building a relationship.

I can hear some of you scoffing, groaning, even rolling your eyes. Many of you see that emotionally-charged word and think “I don’t want to be in a relationship with this person/these people!” Relax. By relationship I only mean that you are building some level of understanding and consistency of behavior that helps you best determine your future interactions.

The flip side of not using respect is what many of you might refer to as manipulation. That is, “I’m doing something I figure will not benefit or help you, even may do you harm, because I can get something out of it.”

My youngest daughter, whom I mentioned earlier, knows all about manipulation. She knows what she wants and needs and goes after it intensely. Sometimes there are tears, yelling and mean words involved. So let me stop you here with another definition. When someone is willing to go to any lengths to harm themselves or another to get what they want, it’s called terrorism.

And we do NOT negotiate with terrorists.

Should you face a terrorist situation, one in which you find your needs and wants completely disregarded, one in which you are not being treated with respect, one in which your personal value continues to be threatened, you must stop the discussion in it’s entirety and walk away. Leave the negotiation completely because not only will you not win, you will lose—face, grace, respect, trust, honor, confidence, and many other valuable values.

This is another reason why rule number one is so important. When you know your value you are less likely to face terrorism.

Therefore, my best negotiation-practice advice to you is to continue working to reinforce rule number 1: know your value. The more you can stay connected to your value and why you have high value, the better your chances that you will have successful negotiations, relationships and growth throughout your life.

Next week we’ll start exploring where and how these negotiation rules can be used.  I think you’ll find the possibilities limitless, and, hopefully, you’ll find the stories amusing.

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Relationships don’t work too well when one person does all the giving or all the taking, so it’s vital that you understand the other people when negotiating. Specifically, you must understand their needs and wants.

Since we established last week that knowing what we want is difficult, you can imagine that knowing what others need or want is even more so.

So how do you find out? You can ask, and that’s not a bad way to start. But the best tools are simple ones. Observation and careful listening. Notice I didn’t say they were easy. That’s because simple doesn’t always mean easy.

For example, I often negotiate with my youngest daughter. She is a darling little girl who, when asked what she wants doesn’t EVER hesitate to tell you in detailed language. She prefers to pick out her own clothes, to determine her own lunch (and dinner) menu, to manage her speed and to set her own schedule. She doesn’t take too well to someone encroaching on any of these decisions, physically or verbally. While she might want to wear gym shorts with cowboy boots, eat baked beans and black olives, speed through homework but poke around in the garden and wake up at 4:30 a.m. on the weekends, I think it’s safe to say that one of her driving needs is independence (and maybe control too).

It’s part of her charm. And I respect that in my negotiations with her. This isn’t to say she has the upper hand. It means, that knowing she prefers to be independent, I might frame my language to show her how my needs can be met without infringing on her independence.

I hear you. No. It’s not manipulation. I truly care about her independence. I truly want her to feel fulfilled at the end of our negotiation. But not at the detriment of my need to keep her safe, healthy, educated, etc. That would be a sacrifice, and like Abbe Faria said in my favorite pirate story, The Count of Monte Cristo, “I’m not a saint.”

But we’ll talk about that next week when we learn how to Evaluate All The Posibilities.

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Those of you who know me know I have a “no self deprecation” rule that I enforce strictly. It stems from rule one of negotiation.

Every person has value. High value. Marianne Williamson explained it best when she said “we ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world.”

But there is only one person in your life that MUST think you’re valuable. YOU! And there is only one person who can control what is said about you — a major component of how others see you. YOU! So don’t self deprecate.

Valuing yourself means knowing and accepting who you are. There are a million self-help books that talk about this topic. But you don’t have to buy any of them. If you can answer the following questions, you’re good. If you can’t answer them, well, find the answers:
1. What do I like to do?
2. What do I do well?
3. Do I make sure I actively do those things I like and do well? (if your answer is no, change the question to “How can I make sure I actively do those things…”)
4. Who do I want to be?
5. Do I believe I can be who I want to be? (if your answer is no, change the question to “How can I take steps to ensure I will be who I want to be?”)

Seriously, if you can’t answer those questions, stop right now and answer them.

Yes, it’s that important. If you don’t master this rule, you will never negotiate well. All success in negotiation is determined by how well you know your value. Why? If you don’t think you’re important enough to deserve what you want, you won’t get it. That’s because if you don’t think you’re important enough, you aren’t likely are you put forth the effort necessary TO get it.

Of course, that means you must also know what you want. We’ll talk about that next week, so stay tuned…

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My entire life I’ve been fascinated with how people build relationships. It’s actually why I’m a professional communicator and not a physicist (well, that and calculus). During my studies, my observations and my experiences the one skill that most determined successful relationship building was knowing how to negotiate.

That’s because relationships and negotiation have a direct correlation. The better you know someone (relationship), the more likely you will have effective negotiations. And the better you negotiate, the more likely you and whomever you’re negotiating with will have a joint favorable outcome, which builds better relationships.

Now, when I say negotiation, I don’t mean that one person gets their way while another doesn’t. I mean that both peoples’ needs or wants are met.

It’s not always easy. But it is simple:

1.Know your value
2.Know your needs and wants
3.Know others needs and wants
4.Consider all possible outcomes
5.Treat everyone with respect

We will look at each of these of these rules individually over the next few weeks, and then learn when negotiating doesn’t work. Let’s start with Know Your Value.

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