A life of harmony and connection is a life of negotiation – now that might not sound very exciting, but that is only because you have not experienced the power and joy of effective win-win negotiation. True effective negotiation allows you to have your cake and eat it too, to get all the things you wanted for yourself, to share them with others, and to give the things that they would like as well, and just to sweeten the mix it leads to loving connections and friendships with the people around you. Negotiation whether done consciously or unconsciously, through conversation or through action is the only way to solve many of our life problems. I hope you will become more and more interested in negotiation as you discover its power.
Negotiation starts with a safe space where people are able to explore. This requires presence, and this requires holding a space where people are not hurt, and where they can be themselves and express themselves. This is in many ways the deepest and most difficult part because this requires us to develop ourselves and our own emotional maturity in order to create that space for ourselves and for others.
Now we need to understand the needs – understand what it is that is driving people, what it is that is driving you. It is not the overt obvious, conflicting desires that are important, but the underlying needs and feelings so you need to ask “why?” – why is that important? and it is important that needs of different parties are not contrasted and compared, but that we simply make a list of all the needs – add them together, so that we can meet all of them at once. Meeting all the needs at once often seems difficult and unbelievable, but meeting only some of the needs generally leads to conflict and so is ineffective and often actually impossible.
Get creative – come up with lots of ideas, crazy ideas, good ideas and bad ideas. Important here is not to criticise while being creative. Let the creative juices flow and we will critique afterwards.
now we look for enthusiastic agreement – for things that we can all agree on – do not be satisfied by grudging agreement, we need ideas that will meet all our needs, try to improve on the ideas you came up with, discard the bad ones, combine and develop the good ones till you come up with a solution that is exciting.
Now you need to put it into action. The best ideas and solutions often require building – they are not just a resolution and that is it, they are the beginning of a project together.