Negotiation: Breaking Down the Barriers

How do we break down barriers in negotiations?  Negotiation begins between a parent and a child from birth.  As adults, how do we keep those negotiations from breaking down?  Big job, maybe impossible, but with the right tools it may work.

In brainstorming about the appropriate tools for the negotiators toolbox I came up with a few questions. What motivates each party (money, power, notoriety, altruism, etc.)?  What intentions are at play (what good can be done)?  Do the parties have enough information available to be able to answer these questions?  Again, I thought back to that relationship between a parent and a baby.  Literally, a baby needs milk in the beginning to live and grow.

I thought MILK, Aha!

M for Motives (what keeps you going).

I for Intentions (what is going to happen if you win).

L is for Listening (actively listen to each other).

K for Knowledge (is enough information available to understand your motives and intentions)…

Yes! That’s it!  MILK.  Stir up some milk in every negotiation.  The next time you are asked to step in and help negotiations that seem to be at a standstill, take a break from the big issues and get to know the human beings and help them to get to know each other and serve some MILK.

By:  Victoria Drake