Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Beyond Reason

The keynote speaker at the seminar yesterday was Daniel Shapiro, the associate director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and the author of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as you Negotiate.

It's always reassuring when science and research back up common sense, and essentially his message boiled down to the wisdom that I was raised with, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

Most negotiations are on a personal level and although many of the anecdotes that accompanied the lecture were with regard to international border disputes and clashes between historically warring sects, I think the techniques are ones that we should all embrace in our personal relationships--and they really boil down to being polite and genuine and respectful.

The first tool in a successful negotiation is reason--know your position and the purpose for it. But, beyond that there are certain things that can enhance the chance of a successful negotiation and will preserve the relationship.

Appreciation Understand the other person's point of view, find merit in what they think, feel or do and communicate your understanding.
Autonomy When autonomy is impinged, we no longer listen. So always consult before deciding.
Affiliation Find a way to connect on a structural level with the other party. Find common ground not associated with the conflict.
Status We all have areas of particular expertise, acknowledge the other person's status in that regard.
Role Make sure that each person's role is fulfilling.

So, yes, Beckie in answer to your question, here are some ideas that might help. Good luck!


The Texican said...

You are really talented at summaries. I'll bet you are really good in closing arguments. It's Wednesday in case you are keeping up with such trivia. :)

Beth said...

Thanks Texican, I am known for my brevity in the courtroom--make the point and sit down is my technique. I'd like to say that it is a carefully developed strategy but actually I just can't think of anything else to say once the point is made.

The Texican said...

Every day you amaze me with some quality I admire. A lawyer who is brief - I know they prepare briefs, but even those lack brevity. :)

beckie said...

Beth, I agree with the texican, you do summarize very well. Reading your 'points' made me realize that is basically what our lawyer told us to do when dealing with the ex. Maybe by reading the book, I will be able to do it better.

For The People said...

Wow! That is great. I love to see new ways to understand and connect with others. Thank you!