Why Do Negotiations Disintegrate?
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
There are many ways we weave our fates. Negotiating is how the tapestry of our humanity is made. The silhouettes of our unique experiences, our particular values and beliefs, all come into focus when we negotiate effectively. Negotiation is how we come together to persuade others to pursue our common interests. Good faith negotiation is the process that sets painful histories aside. It turns hardened memories into guideposts, and instead of using our emotions as distractions, they become filters for interpreting and reinforcing our intentions. These are the engagements that lift us up out of confusion and heal us after conflicts.
Unfortunately, we approach negotiations as futile exercises and as opportunities to play blame games. We invite others to negotiate, but then we attack them with our ineffective bickering. This leads nowhere, because what we do is not negotiation at all. What we’ve been calling negotiation is a dangerous activity. It is time spent in generating false compromises, and producing unenforceable promises. Effective negotiating is not the disorganized mess we often engage in. It is not a waste of time in brinkmanship, or some purposeless expenditure of energy, with obscenely high costs. It is something else through which we find ways to get what we want without abusing the rights of others.
Effective negotiating is a skill. It takes conscious effort and practice to develop. It involves an ability to experience life fully, and not merely through the ordinary senses. It is a skillful application of intelligence to values, to decide what interests we pursue, and at what costs. This is nothing like the fighting we frequently engage in. Rather, it is a math game with simple rules that work perfectly, even in complex situations. If we don’t learn the rules, then we don’t really play the game. Instead, the game plays us, and gives us things we don’t want. This is how we walk away from negotiations without getting what we want. It is the root of our buyer’s remorse, when we feel like we’ve been forced to give up what we need for ourselves, without getting anything in return.
Negotiation demands physical and mental endurance. Weak and disturbed minded people should not jump into negotiations, because they will get nothing. Fear is a deficit starting point and it should be overcome, along with all anxieties before pushing the start button. It is a process that takes dedicated mind-power and complete attentiveness. If done carelessly, important interests and values fall out of place, and end up outside of their proper contexts.
So, just as we may see a full spectrum of colors, when light passes through a clear prism, we must push our interests through the appropriate media, to get the results we want. This means we need to know what makes negotiation effective if we are ever going to get what we really want.
© Jeremiah N. Ollennu and www.ollennuandassociates.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah N. Ollennu and www.ollennuandassociates.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.