Daily Reading Notes

Getting Past No

Day 4

Posted on 2019-06-17

Budding heads and arguing only leads to nobody being happy with a result of a negotiation. The secret to coming up with an agreement that makes everyone happy is re-framing the problem.

No matter how the other side approaches the negotiation, you should always try to re-frame their statement into an open ended question that leads towards a joint problem solving effort. This requires questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. You must ask a “how”, “why”, “who”, or “what” question. These questions make the other side think because they can’t have canned answers. Starting them on a path of thinking about the problem, instead of going by their play book, opens up the possibility of solutions.

Asking for advice after an attack can completely diffuse the attack and bring the discussion back to the problem. Asking to double down on the problem in face of stone wall can move the discussion forward despite and ultimatum. Asking for open ended clarifications can show a trick while giving the other side a graceful exit.

Don’t let the actions of others take your eye off the problem. If you must, explain to them that you are trying to increase the size of the pie so everyone gets a share they would be happy with. Make sure they know that you have as much interest in them being happy as you do in making yourself happy. Cooperation will only blossom is both of you see the path to a solution as join problem solving.

Getting Past No