I believe that negotiation is the most complex social situation of all. I also believe that an ability to handle complex social situations with ease is a great boost to self confidence. Furthermore, If you are a good negotiator, whether or not you are dealing with another person who is skilled at negotiation, you will get exactly what you want out of the deal. Developing your negotiation skills sounds like an excellent idea, so it surprises me that so many people refuse to negotiate.
Refusing to negotiate
A common misapprehension is that entering into negotiation will put one in a position of vulnerability. “This is non-negotiable” sounds like a very strong and determined statement, but how powerful is it really?
It seems to me that people who refuse to negotiate are protecting themselves from some imagined, potentially overwhelming, hostile force. When people feel powerless, they have to defend themselves against that illusion of hostility with all the passive blocks they can summon. They dare not be active: they just stubbornly refuse to negotiate. Refusing to negotiate puts a person in a very vulnerable situation indeed :- a good example of a womb twin survivor re-enacting their womb twin’s losing battle for survival.
An inborn ability to negotiate
I believe that those womb twin survivors whose twin developed far enough to respond, discovered the basic principles of negotiation in the earliest weeks and months in the womb. If you watch born twins negotiating the space they share, you will see that each twin is constantly aware of the other and highly empathetic to their feelings.
By using intuition and anticipation to guide their moment-by-moment negotiation of space, they can both survive and get their needs met. The weaker Beta twin tends not to take the initiative, so loses ground to the stronger, Alpha twin. The beta just gets used to not getting what he or she really wants and claims “not to mind” rather then complain.
This effect can be seen among womb twin survivors much as in pairs of born twins: if you insist on always playing the Beta twin in any negotiated relationship (ie. where there is competition) then you will always lose out. On the other hand, if you recognise your Alpha power and use it, then you will always get what you want. Get what you want by wanting what you get.
Some principles of negotiation
The process of negotiation is a co-operative process that engages the desires of each party and accords the achievement of each persons desire the same degree of respect. The solution is arrived at by a detailed process of bargaining and letting go of some portions of desire, so that the outcome is mutually beneficial. The motive for negotiation is the preservation of a balanced and harmonious relationship with is beneficial to everyone involved.
Six characteristics are used by the participating parties:
Without empathy you will not be able to see the other person’s point of view. Without that, you will not be able to understand the other person’s stubborn refusal to negotiate, neither will you be able to put forward what you want in terms that will match the views of the other.
Without intuition you will miss opportunities to reach out to the other in a friendly and understanding way, anticipating problems before they arise.
Willingness to let go
If you are unwilling to let go of at least some portion of what you desire, then the result will be a stalemate. By letting go, you will model to the other a good way of reaching a compromise. You may decide to let go of all your desires for the sake of maintaining a relationship through a difficult patch where the other party is defensive and paranoid about being manipulated.
Willingness to co-operate
By making it your greatest desire that a settlement be reached between you, then you will willingly co-operate with the will of the other person. Non-cooperation obviously blocks any negotiation process but this may be clearer to you than the other person and you may have to be the first person to give a little.
Hope will get you through the negotiating process, because if you believe that a good outcome is possible, then it will be achieved. Hope will also enable you to believe that your 50% of what is on offer can be yours simply because no one else has the right to claim it. That is the bottom line of your negotiating position, and it may take some while for you to get it all.
Where there is trust between the two parties there is no need for defensiveness and negotiation is easy. Trust is the capacity that oils the wheels of negotiation and is a large component of love.