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Negotiating for Life

By JB Shelton-Spurr

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Negotiate as if your life depends on it: Because it does.

You may consider yourself a born negotiator, blessed with innate skills, talents and mindset for success. Or you may be facing the reality that learning more about the negotiating process, and taking time and energy for training, practice and experiences, will dramatically improve your win-win rates. In either instance, take to heart, mind and action the insight that since you negotiate every day of your life, it is logical and vital to do it to the best of your abilities.

Negotiating through Life

Negotiating with yourself first is your lifelong responsibility. A fulfilling life is composed of making decisions, setting priorities, researching, planning, communicating, empathizing, and acting to achieve your goals — all essentials of successful negotiating.

By thinking about your own personal and professional experiences, you will discover interesting revelations about and for yourself. These are revelations you can apply to future negotiations. I present my three examples of negotiating situations, asking you to identify, learn from, and resonate with them.

Negotiating with a Seven-Year-Old

Children are naturals at finding and sharing humor. Since I consider a sense of humor one of the more important senses in negotiating, I’m sharing a memory of interacting with the younger set to put life into perspective, relax and renew myself. It lessens my stress levels, while increasing my ability to concentrate.

My seven-year-old godson Evan was determined to spend the afternoon Boogie-boarding and swimming. The waves were too dangerous, the water too cold, so I negotiated a safe compromise that would satisfy him.

We ran across the North Carolina beach, slowing down only to admire the baby sandpipers learning to take wing, we played ‘What super power do you wish for’? He stopped, caught his breath, and proudly announced, “I wish I could fly and help the birds who were having trouble staying up in the air. I’d swoop under them and lift them up with both my hands.

We revived our run, until I stopped to tell Evan, “I’d wish for the super power of making children happy.” Evan responded, staring into my eyes, saying, “You can’t wish for that: You already have it.” Ten years later and writing this still makes me cry happy tears.

Negotiating for Life by JB Shelton-Spurr


Copyright © 2014 JB Shelton-Spurr
Copyright ©   2014  The Negotiator Magazine
The Negotiator Magazine  August 2014