Wednesday 9 June 2021

Wise Leaders Are Great Negotiators

 This video and blog post is the ninth in a series of fifteen about the roles Wise Leaders play.

Here's the video and post on Facilitators.

Here's the video and post on Pragmatists.

Here's the video and post on Synthesisers.

Here's the video and post on Presenters.

Here's the video and post on Conversationalists.

Here's the video and post on Storytellers.

Here's the video and post on coaching and mentoring.

Here's the video and post on truth-telling. 

I believe a co-promise is always better than a compromise. Do whatever it takes to gain a co-promise. This requires great negotiation skills. 

On the surface this is all about what people involved will and won't do and and what they can and can't do.

At a deeper level it's a little more complicated.

This book by the FBI's former chief negotiator Chris Voss will help you.

There's much that's excellent in the book. I particularly like the fact that being a remarkable negotiator has much to do with being a remarkable human being!

Chris is scathing of compromise. He says:

"I'm here to call bullshit on compromise right now. We don't compromise because it's right; we compromise because it is easy and because it saves face. We compromise in order to say that at least we got half the pie. Distilled to its essence, we compromise to be safe. Most people in negotiation are driven by fear or the desire to avoid pain. Too few are driven by their actual goals. So don't settle and - here's the simple rule - never split the difference.

Are you seeing through their eyes?

I help lots of people get through a conflict, difficulty or disagreement and reach a shared-view for the way forward.

The trouble is often not seeing the issues through the eyes of others.

Marcel Proust had it right many years ago when he observed "The magic of discovery lies not in new landscapes but in having new eyes."

Wise Leaders build bridges

What writers Collins and Porras called the tyranny of either/or in their book Built to Last, still dominates our world. When either/or is at the fore there are only winners and losers. Both/and is what wise leadership is about.

Party x v. party y has been a central either/or of modern politics. Whether it’s party x or party y or this individual or that individual, East or West, Christian or Muslim, have’s or have not's, whenever it’s either/or we all lose.

Wise leaders build bridges between opposing forces so that both work together for the good of all. This is the role of the negotiator.

Unwise leaders increase the divides. They alienate, pull apart, separate. Unwise leaders fail to find a co-promise and pretend to be looking for compromise. 

Unwise leaders speak double talk. Their hallmark is lots of words that lack meaning, decency and common sense. Unwise leaders are into the blame and shame game that nobody can win least of all in politics the people they claim to be serving. Unwise leaders are the gods of either/or.

Wise leaders are authentic, transparent and trustworthy. We are compelled to follow wise leaders because they tell a compelling, believable story that rings true in our hearts as well as our minds. Wise leaders are the Kings and Queens of both/and.

Like never before we must stand against the tyranny of either/or.

Here's a post and short podcast about the rewards of both/and and co-promises.

Become the wise leader you want to be.


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