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Life’s Negotiations – Insights I Learned

realty-1151243_1280One of the first eye-opening things I learned at the University of Baltimore in the Negotiation and Conflict Management program was that we negotiate every single day of our lives. Stuart Diamond writes in Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life, ” Negotiation is at the heart of human interaction. Every time people interact, there is negotiation going on: verbally or nonverbally, consciously or unconsciously“.

I never considered myself much of a negotiator until I started at UB. I never took into account that every time I spoke with someone about what we would have for dinner; what would we be doing on Friday night; or what color would we paint the living room, etc. would actually be a negotiation. I found this realization to be eye-opening because when I thought of people negotiating, I often thought of serious businesspeople in suits or a car lot salesmen or real estate agent. So when I had my first negotiation class, I naively thought the skills I would be learning would only be useful in a business setting or if I was buying a car – but I was wrong.

I want to share this week some tips I learned in my negotiation class that helps me in my everyday life.

The first thing I learned was from Roger Fisher and William Ury’s international bestseller book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In which is “separate the people from the problem”. It was a fantastic insight because I would often equate the person as THE PROBLEM. I would forget that people bring their emotions, values, and perspectives about the problem to every discussion as do I. Acknowledge the individual’s perspective and name the problem or issue between the two of you. For example, the issue is the purchase of your first home. Just because your spouse wants a colonial and you want a ranch-style home does not make one person the sole problem in selecting your perfect home. By not acknowledging that the person you are negotiating with is an individual who has their emotions, values and perspectives you are hindering the success of the negotiation.

The second thing I learned is that every individual, a negotiator, has a particular set of interests they are trying to satisfy, and it is important to focus on those and not on positions. Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In explains, “Desires and concerns are interests. Interests motivate people; Your position is something you have decided upon“. Let’s go back to the house hunting. You decide you must have the ranch-style home. In your mind, this is it. It is your position or your strongly held decision. Your spouse says it must be a 2-story colonial. He grew up in one and there is no other way to live. Done deal. Negotiating on a position one might have can often lead to a deadlock where no solutions are generated and no house bought. However, negotiating on someone’s interests allows you to learn more about their concerns and provides you more room for discussion and resolution.

The third thing I learned, communication is everything in a negotiation. Whether you are negotiating with a business partner over the next big investment or with your significant other over where to go for dinner, what house to buy, or where to enjoy vacation – communication is essential in coming to a decision. It is important to be explicit in our interests and communicate them to the other person. It is also crucial to listen to the other party to hear their interests and concerns. Both sides then must be aware that one party may put a special meaning or emphasis on a particular interest which may bear no weight or special meaning to the other person. Therefore, clarifying and asking questions is imperative for better understanding.

The final thing I wanted to share may have been the most powerful thing I learned, and that is to view the person I am negotiating with as a partner and not an adversary. The example they gave in class is rather than thinking of yourselves sitting on opposite sides of a table think of yourselves sitting side-by-side both looking for an outcome that is mutually beneficial. By reframing the way you look at the person you are negotiating with, you provide yourself with an opportunity to be more open-minded and willing to engage in constructive conversation that could benefit both parties in achieving their desired outcomes.

Check out our negotiation series this month http://www.texasconflictcoach.com/category/upcoming-shows/

 

Happy Negotiating,

Abigail R.C. McManus M.S Negotiation and Conflict Management

Apprentice

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Conflict Chat with….Pattie Porter, Tracy Culbreath King and Abigail R.C. McManus

Pattie8Tracy-Culbreathclark.photo.

Got Conflict? If you have a conflict with someone and are not sure how to handle it, then let us know. Here is your opportunity to ask your question with Conflict Management experts who are mediators, conflict coaches and facilitators on how to think about, analyze or resolve your situation.

Think about it. Are you currently engaged in an active conflict with your co-workers or boss? Ignoring your neighbor because of a conversation you don’t want to have? In a disagreement with your spouse? Or simply afraid to bring up a concern with a friend in fear of stirring up problems.

Discussions Topics:

Negative Wedding Vendor Review

Demanding Bride

 

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Tips From The Wedding Lawyer On Preventing And Handling Wedding Conflicts

Christie AsselinTracy-Culbreathclark.photo.

Christie Asselin, the blogger and attorney behind YourWeddingLawyer.com will share tips designed to help engaged couples prevent and handle conflicts with wedding vendors. Christie has a background in business disputes and consumer law, and loves event planning and weddings. Her mission is to educate and empower engaged couples with legal know-how.

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Common Conflicts and Peace Practices for Engaged or Newlywed Couples

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Tracy-Culbreathclark.photo.

Are you currently, or soon to be, an Engaged or Newlywed Couple?  While this is an exciting time, it can also bring certain stresses that can be difficult to navigate. We will discuss common conflicts you may experience in your relationship at this stage, as well as peace practices and prevention techniques.  Join us to learn valuable tips to help you maintain the relationship of a lifetime!

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Conflict Chat with….Pattie Porter, Tracy Culbreath King and Abigail McManus

Tracy Culbreathclark.photo.

Got Conflict? If you have a conflict with someone, and are not sure how to handle it, then let us know. Here is your opportunity to ask your question with Conflict Management experts who are mediators, conflict coaches and facilitators on how to think about, analyze or resolve your situation.

Think about it. Are you currently engaged in an active conflict with your co-workers or boss? Ignoring your neighbor because of a conversation you don’t want to have? In a disagreement with your spouse? Or simply afraid to bring up a concern with a friend in fear of stirring up problems.

“How does the ignorance of Muslim customs and beliefs, along with the fear of Arabic speaking individuals impact how we engage with these differences? Read about the recent incidents of fear-based discrimination on popular Southwest Airlines in the U.S.”

Discussion Topics:

  1.  “Southwest Airlines draws outrage over man removed for speaking Arabic,” The Guardian, Apr 16, 2016
  2. “Muslim woman kicked off plane as flight attendant said she ‘did not feel comfortable’ with the passenger,” The Independent, Apr 15, 2016
  3. “I used to be a flight attendant. Dealing with passengers’ racism is part of the job”.

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Money doesn’t grow on trees. Resolving money disputes with family, friends and neighbors

Linda GryczanTracy-CulbreathDo you and your spouse spend differently?  Fighting with siblings about inheritance?  Can’t decide how to split costs with a neighbor?  Going out with friends who don’t pay their fair share? Money is a common source of disagreement.  Listen to Linda Gryczan and Tracy Culbreath King, and learn how to uncover and resolve the real issue behind money disputes.

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Conflict Chat with….Pattie Porter, Tracy Culbreath King and Abigail McManus

 

Tracy Culbreathclark.photo.Got Conflict? If you have a conflict with someone, and are not sure how to handle it, then let us know. Here is your opportunity to ask your question with Conflict Management experts who are mediators, conflict coaches and facilitators on how to think about, analyze or resolve your situation.

Think about it. Are you currently engaged in an active conflict with your co-workers or boss? Ignoring your neighbor because of a conversation you don’t want to have? In a disagreement with your spouse? Or simply afraid to bring up a concern with a friend in fear of stirring up problems.

Articles of Discussion:

  1. Wife Wants Concert Ticket Payment Sooner Than Later
  2. Baltimore to Launch Mediation Program for Citizen’s Complaints Against Police
  3. The Lesson We Can Learn From The Man Who Skipped Work For 6 Years
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“Nipped in the Bud–Not in the Butt – How to Use Mediation to Resolve Neighbor Conflicts Over Our Pets”

Debra Atticus Pet Home Alone copy.jpeg-1Tracy-Culbreath

 

 

 

 

Our pets are family members.  When conflicts arise involving this family companion in divorce, landlord tenant or neighbor issues (to name only a few) emotions are peaked and litigation is often the selected form of resolution.  Yet courts view pets as property.  This choice may prove not to be the best venue in which to discuss a disagreement over an animal. Join Debra Hamilton as she discusses how using mediation to resolve issues involving animals may be a safer, confidential and more user friendly means of reaching an agreement over a pet which helps everyone win.

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The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World

Burt BerloweTracy CulbreathCompassionate rebels are the new real-life superheroes without the capes and the celebrity, with the super powers of compassion and courage and determination that can change the world in so many different ways that offer cause for hope in these troubled times. Their powerful stories, being told publicly for the first time, will encourage you to find and unleash the compassionate rebel that resides in all of us, guides us through tough times, helps us find solutions to our most pressing problems, and makes us all potential agents of social change.

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Online Dispute Resolution: The Simple Way To Build Peace In The Digital Era

 

ALBERTO ELISAVETSKYTracy CulbreathOur century is permanently presenting paradoxical situations. Thanks to Globalization, the economical vicissitudes of Gambia can produce a decided influence in Bolivia. Even though the growth of the communication media is undeniable, people feel increasingly alone. Internet has burst into our lives to stay.

Alberto Elisavetsky, director of the non-profit social network ODR Latinoamerica, will speak with us about his experiences in the use of new technologies applied to conflict resolution in Hispanic America, and how this modality can provide quick and low-cost resolution to various sorts of conflicts.

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