Formal negotiations are a key part of communication — in law, business, politics and war (when the fighting is over, that is).
Informal negotiations are an everyday part of our lives — at work, at home and in our important relationships.
I am not an expert in the art of negotiation. I'm not sure I'm even good. But I have been working hard over the years to develop a few of the key skills and techniques required to create more win-win outcomes.
Here are my top four:
Willard Harley, a marriage counsellor and clinical psychologist who teaches couples a win-win approach to negotiation, explains in his book He Wins She Wins the following: Marriages do not hold up over the long term when disputes and differences are generally resolved by having one partner sacrifice/lose so the other partner can win.
While sacrifice as a strategy can work well when you are dating (i.e., who hasn't spent time doing things you really didn't have an interest in during the early days?), it doesn't take much time before sacrifice/losing becomes both expected and unappreciated.
Letting your spouse "win" as an act of caring usually leads to one partner being unhappy and resentful. Bit by bit, it eats away at loving relationships. Both parties need to be willing in good faith to reach an agreement that satisfies both sides.
The art of negotiation is way more complicated. But in simplistic terms, these skills and techniques go a very long way toward improving our ability to:
For more insights into listening and understanding another persons point of view, check out two blogs: The Wandering Mind & The Art of Perspective
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.