We’ve all been there in negotiations; you want something, they want something else, and you can’t reach an agreement.
Sitting at lunch one day Bill told us a story about how he helped to negotiate the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both sides had their metaphorical fingers on the button, and he knew he had to find common ground to avoid a huge disaster. He determined that neither side wanted and accidental nuclear war, and from this they negotiated peace.
He told me that the key was moving from positions to interests.
A position is a locked-in state of mind; I want this, if I don’t get it I lose, I want to win and I want you to lose.
When both sides take positions, there is no movement.
Interests are the why behind the positions. What is driving someone to take that stance?
When you can figure out someone’s interests, that opens the door to create solutions where everyone wins.
Recently I met someone who inspired me to my very core; where they’ve come from, what they believe in, what they are doing, who they are, the integrity and courage they live with, the way they are living, the choices they are making, the trust they choose to live with…
They say the man who is going to live to 150 has already been born.
In my life, I’ve spent a lot of time in my head.
And as it turns out, so do people.
When in doubt, think!
Being involved in many businesses personally, and advising many more, I’ve seen a pattern that commonly afflicts entrepreneurs.
But be the author.
In life, if you can’t win, change the rules.