During my workshops, I often come across wary participant who finds a way to let me know that they hate negotiating because they don’t like confrontation. They tell me that they would rather walk away or not say anything than get into a conflict with someone. This is bad news because negotiation is the basis for all agreements. Without negotiating, we may simply:
Give in too quickly.
Walk away from potentially great outcomes
Keep our true feelings to ourselves and build up resentment
Leave our counterparts feeling unappreciated
Leave value on the table.
Conflicts arise when two groups or individuals interacting in the same situation see the situation differently. The differences may be because of different sets of ideals, beliefs, opinions, or information. Imagine a world where conflicts did not exist. We would all be believing the same things and share the same perspectives on everything. Without our differences, there would be no room for creative explorations and differences of opinion. Conflicts are unavoidable and inevitable as long as we are in existence with other people.
The challenge then is not to avoid conflicts but to learn to be able to recognise them as opportunities to learn and grow and then to develop the skill sets to be able to resolve conflict skillfully – This is where Emotionally Intelligent Negotiation can help.
In today’s context of challenging conversations and diverse interests, it is important to invest in the skills that will enable you to turn potential conflicts into opportunities for new understandings and outcomes.