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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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