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Negotiation - Life Skill

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We negotiate with life for all that we have and all that we need.  We cannot survive without negotiating our needs.   Sometimes, negotiation is nothing more than paying for what we want from whatever the source without a murmur.  Most of the time, when we deal with others, we have to give something in exchange for what we get.   This give and take can is nothing more than negotiation, even if it is nothing more than a commercial transaction.   No one wants to pay more for something than is required to get what they want.   No one wants to be taken or end up a chump.  “A chump is someone who accepts what is offered to him.”    [1]


Anytime people come together, there is opportunity for exchange, something of value for something of value.   If you are a giver by nature, there is no reason why you cannot get something in exchange.   “If you are going to give up anything give it up as part of a trade.  If you know what is valuable to the other side, you can ask for something else in trade for it.” [2]  


Negotiation can take many different forms from a mere altruistic giving away of one’s self on one extreme to selfishly taking what one wants by force and leaving destruction in its wake. Better outcomes are achieved by applying best practices in a well-established negotiation process.  As a rule, you should start hard.  By starting the negotiation process very demanding and strict, you alert the other side to be on their toes and not to try any amateur games with you.  You can always loosen up later.


“In business as in life, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Negotiation is by definition a give and take situation. If you have nothing to offer, then you are engaged in a persuasion situation.”[3]  “A chump is anyone who accepts without protest anything that is offered to him.”[4] 


In a sense, all social interactions involve some form of negotiation.   The more skilled you are in the social graces of negotiation, the more likely you are to having not only good relationships with others but gaining access to those satisfiers that matter to you most.   “The more you believe you deserve to get what you want, the more likely you are to come out with a satisfying deal.”[5]


Everything is negotiable.



Not every negotiation has to be won.  In intimate relationships, you negotiate so that others gain what they want and need most.   In a beneficiary relationships, the terms of the negotiation is how best to give what to others at the right time. 


Don't try to win the little battles with other people.

Les Giblin


The best advise that can be given about negotiating is the following:  set high demands, hold form but back off slowly, separate the people from the negotiation, focus on interests, invention options for mutual gain, and insist on objective criteria to break deadlocks.


You will receive more than what you ask for, so make extreme demands.

C. W. Sooter


Negotiation is an important life skill, because we live in an social-economic, inter-dependent society wherein we must negotiate with others to satisfy our needs.   Even simple transactions are a negotiation of sorts.  The more important and complex transactions require time and effort to complete.  So, you must decide in advance if the prospective negotiation is worth the price.  At the end of the negotiation, all parties are likely to feel exhausted.  A good negotiation is often described as one where all parties think they give way too much to get too little and yet still be willing to consummate the deal. 


Here are four reasons why being a good negotiator is important.  First, everything in life is negotiable and you get more of what you want if you are a good negotiator.  Second, nothing happens until we sell someone that the action/transaction is in everyone’s best interest. Three, we must trade with others since we can’t satisfy all our needs by ourselves.  We must sell what we produce and buy what we don’t.  Thus, our survival depends on dealing with others and bartering for our survival needs.   Even relationships are built on negotiations of some sort.  Forth, disputes with others are settled by negotiating the terms and conditions that each party will follow in the future. A key part of motivating yourself and other is negotiating the rewards that each is likely to receive by cooperating.  Thus, success in life depends upon the quality of our negotiating skill.


In business, you don't get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.

[1] iNicholas Schaffzin

[2] Nicholas Schaffzin

[3] Dave Lakhani, Persuasion, The Art of Getting What You Want

[4] Nicholas Schaffzin,  Don't be a Chump

[5] Nicholas Schaffzin,  Don't be a Chump



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