Tuesday Performance Tip

Start With Agreements, Then Move On to Differences: This weeks tip stems from some training we’re doing with clients on the topic of negotiation. I’ve done more than a fair bit of negotiating in my lifetime; discussing terms with tribal sheikhs who can point us towards huge caches of explosives, determining what it’s going to take for an errand-runner to wear a satellite tracker into an Abu Sayaf training camp, or just getting to the bottom line on the price-tag for service to a professional athletic client.

Anytime someone has what you need and you have what they need, the ensuing interaction will involve some degree of negotiation. Different lives and different stories means people bring different assets to the table; it also means people bring very different perspectives to the table, which often as not, can gum up the works, and worst case, impede any cooperation at all.
In working with clients this week on negotiation skills, one of the big breakthroughs we’re covering is the practice of focusing on the aspects of our relationship that we agree on before moving along to areas where opinions differ. After all, once people have made the effort to collaborate in the first place, its because there’s something everyone stands to gain that can’t be accomplished by going it alone. Start with the areas of agreement, and the areas of dispute will fall in line more easily.

So in the coming weeks, whether its talking with colleagues about how to re-engage with the economy or arguing politics with family members at dinner, start with the agreements, those commonalities that we all recognize as factual, then move on to the differing perspectives; you’ll be surprised at the difference a little concurrence makes.
Quote of the Day “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
Marcus Aurelius
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