Negotiating: Getting a PEACE of the Action

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you regain control of a negotiation on the brink of failure. Reading time: 3:27

        The shouting is getting louder. The name-calling more acerbic. The discussion more argumentative. Now your negotiating session is on the verge of falling apart. What do you do? Call on a higher power.  And get a Peace of the action.

      Unlocking Grid-Lockb hands Albrecht_Dürer_Betende_Hände

Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin

         That’s what Ben Franklin did during the vigorous debate over the philosophy and policy in writing the Constitution of the United States.

     The power struggle ensued for five weeks. The largest states wanted representation by population. The smallest states wanted one vote per state to make sure their voices were heard as loudly as the large states.

       Grid-lock.

      This Constitutional Congress was on the verge of stalemating at best. Then Ben Franklin gave us all a keen leadership lesson:

          Cool it when the going gets hot and heavy.

       Franklin called for a three-day cooling off period.  He also proposed that when Congress reconvened the first order of business would be a prayer “ to enlighten our minds with a portion of heavenly wisdom, influence our hearts with a love of truth and justice, and crown our labors with complete and abundant success! Continue reading “Negotiating: Getting a PEACE of the Action”

Negotiating With Your Talking Stick

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

 Here’s an idea enhancing your listening skills to become a more productive negotiator. Reading time: 2:24.

           They glared at each other sitting across the table in an intense negotiating session.  Their screaming match still echoing in their ears from the last time these two negotiators met.

Orchestra Conductor Wields his Baton
Orchestra Conductor Wields his Baton
Baton Twirling
Baton Twirling

        Finally one of the negotiators broke his stare, reached down and placed a long, slender, sheathed  object on the table. The opposing negotiator winced and pushed himself back from the table at what he thought could have been some type of weapon.

        “Relax,” smiled the negotiator as he slowly unsheathed his curiosity object.

        No it wasn’t a knife. Or a mini sword. It was a two-foot long stick that looked more like an orchestra conductor’s baton than a baton twirler’s instrument of choice.

        It was a Talking Stick.

       “No, it’s not a weapon,” smiled the negotiator as he methodically placed the carved wooden staff that looked like a mini-totem pole on the table between them. “It’s a tool to help us both listen better to each other so that we can both get what we need out of our negotiating.”

      The opposing negotiator pulled himself closer to the table and leaned in and said: “Well, now we are getting somewhere. How does this tool work?”

       The negotiator then formally introduced The Talking Stick to his fellow negotiator. “The person holding The Talking Stick holds the floor, ” the first negotiator said. “He or she speaks and everyone else must listen until he or she decides to give The Talking Stick to the another person.”

         The second negotiator was intrigued. “You know I have heard of The Talking Stick before. Didn’t the native American Indians use a Talking Stick in their meetings,” the second negotiator asked? “Yes, yes,” said the first negotiator. “One of my mentors from a lot of years ago gave me this Talking Stick,” said the first negotiator, “and I thought it might be of some utility to us today.” Continue reading “Negotiating With Your Talking Stick”