Margaret Neale – TRANSCRIPT
I teach negotiation. I do research in negotiation. I write books in negotiation. And I work with students and executives to help them get more of what they want from their negotiations. And one of the biggest challenges that we face in negotiations is that we view negotiations as a battle. And that battle is characterized by “I’m going to try to get stuff from you that you don’t want to give me; and I’m going to try to keep you from getting my stuff.”
And if we view negotiations as a battle, we already have a problem. I’m going to suggest that what’s more important is that we look at negotiations as an opportunity for collaborative problem-solving, looking for a solution that makes me better off, better off than my alternatives, better off than my status quo. But because there is no command and control in negotiation, I cannot force you to say “Yes.” All I can do is present proposals where you believe it is in your interest to say “Yes.”
And so, once I take that perspective on negotiation which highlights the importance of the other as well as me, so many more things open up to negotiation: whether it’s a new job – I’m trying to negotiate the terms of my employment contract – whether I’m trying to do an acquisition for my company; whether I’m in a meeting; whether I’m deciding with my spouse who’s going to take the dog out on a cold and rainy night; or whether I’m thinking about what the rules are that my offspring will have to follow and I will have to agree to when they use my car. And this is very good advice, but I am here today with a confession that I don’t always follow my very good advice. And I want to introduce you to my longtime negotiating counterpart. This is Sal.