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Key Takeaways

  • You can’t change the past but you can change how you remember it.
  • To overcome grief, one needs to reconstruct their brain with the help of a therapist. This would help them think differently about what happened in the past and comprehend that the past is history and that it can never be changed.
  • In negotiations, we must recognize the emotion that’s influencing our decisions and the decisions of the counterparty to navigate it effectively.
  • Boys should not confuse affection with performance. If you didn’t understand as a child or as an adolescent, you could always learn it in adulthood.
  • Fathers must love their children unconditionally regardless of their performance in school or the field. They should not criticize or attack their children when they fail to perform well.
  • You must constantly ask yourself what emotions are driving you so that they can help you be fully aware of yourself.
  • Be aware of our present losses and losses from the past. Dig into them, understand what you feel, come back to the full joy of life, and then work with your desires.

Executive Summary:

Hi folks! Thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. In this episode, we are continuing our conversation with George Kohlrieser, an organizational and clinical psychologist and founder and director of the High-Performance Leadership Program. 

If you haven’t already checked out Part A of the episode, we strongly recommend that you do that first. Now, without any further delay, let’s jump into the conversation with George.

You Can’t Change The Past, But You Can Change How You Remember It

George resumes the conversation by sharing some insightful information on grief. He suggests that we need to feel grief, or in other words, acknowledge that we are indeed grieving in order to heal. Talking about it with close ones can also help ease the grieving process.

In addition to that, Mr. Kohlreiser debunks one of the biggest myths surrounding grief, which is that grieving is best done alone. The process of grieving has, since the beginning of mankind, been something that is collectively experienced in tribes, groups, and families. One needs to be able to put words to it and feel the primary emotions of anger, fear, and sadness to overcome grief.   

We also need to change how we perceive separation or loss. To deal with grief, people must understand that it is not an end but rather an opportunity for a fresh start. On that note, George recalls losing one of his sons in 1993 and cites Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, a Swiss-American physiatrist who helped him overcome the trauma and see the beauty of life.

The woman helped George get to the depth of his emotions by talking about the traumatic experience, which helped him heal. George then mentions one of the articles that he co-wrote called the Hidden Perils of Unresolved Grief, which explains how to be aware, accept grief, and act and overcome it. 

Overall, one needs to reconstruct their brain by learning how to think differently in order to overcome grief. This would help them think differently about what happened in the past and comprehend that the past is history and that it can never be changed. However, how you remember it can be changed. It’s a matter of brain reconstruction and being able to put words to pain.

Our Feelings Often Influence Our Decisions

When asked to share how one can manage emotions when they appear in negotiations, George highlights that although negotiators are often encouraged to leverage and are rational in difficult negotiations, the truth is that their emotions sometimes guide them. 

That’s because we are all human beings who happen to think, and emotions are often the foundation of all decisions. People don’t realize that the subconscious influences the decision they’re making through these deep underlying feelings that are there. They’re evolutionary, and it’s impossible to get over them with a flick of a switch. 

Therefore, in negotiations, we must recognize the emotions influencing our decisions and the decisions of the counterparty to navigate it effectively.  

Bonding With The Counterparty Is Crucial In Negotiations

Next, George talks a bit about the importance of empathy and vulnerability in leadership. He suggests that leaders must be vulnerable and willing to be hurt to lead their subordinates effectively.  

George then mentions a psychologist called Carl Rogers, who made him understand what it means to bond and how important it is in leadership and negotiations. Bonding can be as simple as showing interest in another person by exchanging words and smiles. 

Using phrases such as, “What’s your name? What’s your background?” can help one bond with another immensely. Non-verbal communication also plays a major role in bonding, such as exchanging handshakes and eye contact.

In conclusion, when you bond with the counterparty, negotiations become easier, and the results, more often than not, tend to be in your favor.  

Boys Should Not Confuse Affection With Performance

After that, George throws some insights into the importance of care and love for boys. When growing up, boys are often treated in harsh ways by their parents and teachers to make them competitive. Most boys in their early days are only shown affection when performing well, whether in school or in the field. 

However, this often leads to boys confusing performance with affection. In other words, it makes them feel that they are not lovable if they are not performing well, which takes a toll on their mental health, social skills, and personality down the road. 

So, to avoid that, boys need to learn to disconnect affection from performance. And fathers need to love their children unconditionally regardless of their performance in school or the field. They should not criticize or attack their children when they fail to perform well. 

Boundaries Are Important To Maintain Who You Are 

Moving on, George urges the listeners to be aware of their states of being. You must constantly ask yourself what emotions are driving you so that they can help you be fully aware of yourself. 

Apart from that, he also asks us to be aware of our present losses and losses from the past. Dig into them, understand what you feel, come back to the full joy of life, and then work with your desires. And when you turn that desire into a dream, it can become a source of secure base and inspiration for you.

When you reach the dream, let it go and find a new one. Always keep moving in life. It will often mean a change in identity along the way. So, you have to be able to have secure bases. And when those secure bases end, George suggests that we let them go, as holding onto one secure base can become a burden.

You will bond and build connections and trust with many people during that process. However, establish your boundaries, which are important to maintain who you are.

George, Aram, and Nolan discuss a lot more on this episode of the NEGOTIATEx Podcast. Write to us at team@negotiatex.com and share your thoughts on this very informational podcast episode.

Thank you for listening!


Nolan Martin: : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with George Kohlrieser, an organizational and clinical psychologist and founder and director of the High Performance Leadership Program. If you haven’t already checked out part A of the episode, be sure to do that first. Now, let's jump into the conversation with George.

Aram Donigian : Yeah. I'm just curious on the grief piece in helping, how can I do that? I know part of this is dialogue and listening. Are there other ways that I can help create that in my circles, in my world to help people who are grieving?

How To Help People Who Are Grieving [1:50] 

George Kohlrieser : Absolutely. You have to feel it to heal it, so you have to be able to talk about it. One of the biggest myths is that you can grieve alone. Grieving has, from the beginning of mankind, been something that happens in tribes, in groups, in families. It's a social construct, and you have to be able to put words to it and go to the primary emotions of anger, fear, sadness. To be able to then go through that.

You have to be able to change the mindset that you see separation or loss, not as an end, but as an opportunity for a beginning. So, you lose a child. And I had my own experience of losing one of my sons in 1993 and and experienced that from Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, her great help in turning that loss into an inspiration and going through all the pain with horrible, the worst grief in my life.

But to be able to come back then and see the beauty of life, but I had to go through getting to the depth of those emotions by talking about it, helping to go through, expressing it. Healing it is dependent on being able to feel it. And most people don't like to feel pain. And that's why I wrote an article with my colleague Charles for the  McKenzie Quarterly on the Hidden Grief of Leaders and its impact on leadership.

It's a very powerful article, if you haven't seen it, talking about how to be aware, how to accept and then how to act and overcome it. The basic process is reconstructing the brain, being able to think differently about what happened in the past. The past is over. It's history. It will never be changed, but how you remember, remember it can be changed, it is brain reconstruction and there's a whole model of how to be able to do that. But the foundation is to be able to put words to the pain.

AD : Yeah. I wanna read the article and Nolan, we need to make sure we make that available to our listeners. You're talking George here, you know, obviously about the role of emotions in general. We know that emotions show up in negotiation as much as people wanna try that they don't, you hope that they don't. Earlier you said, you know, emotions or energy, energy has to go somewhere very specifically with regards to negotiation.

Can you share any examples of how emotions show up and what does it look like when we manage them? Well, whether it's in ourselves or others.

How Do Emotions Show Up In Negotiations [4:20]

GK : Okay, very good. I work with a lot of negotiators in organizations. Swiss Re, who's dealing with one-off negotiation on these big projects with planes and trains and so forth to logistics all over the world. And there's this whole idea of leveraging, being very rational. And the fact is, we are feeling beings who happen to think emotions are the foundation of all decisions.

People don't realize that the decision they're making is influenced from the subconscious by these deep underlying feelings that are there. They're evolutionary, you can't get over 'em. They connect to instinct, they connect to intuition, all kinds of things. So, in negotiation, we have to recognize the emotion that's influencing the decision I'm making and the decision of the other people. It may be very, very deeply. So you listen to secondary different ways of describing anger, fear and sadness are the foundation.

GK : Joy is another one of the foundation emotions, but that takes us on a different path. In negotiation, you give full recognition. And this is part of the technique. It sounds like you are feeling, it sounds like you're saying you're angry. It sounds like you're really sad about this. Oh, you seem to be saying, and you get into the emotion in a direct or safe way, rather than doing it bluntly or doing it in an aggressive way. Because when you open emotion, it can open many triggers. And most of the hostage taking is based on a trigger. Here's what every negotiator needs to know. When you face a trigger in yourself or a trigger in others, it's not the first time it goes back. So triggers are built around betrayal, shame, disappointment, thousands of early experiences in your life that get repeated later.

And it seems like it's all happening now, but it's in fact a long history of how the emotions have been built up around a certain thing or shame. Shame is one of the most powerful ones where you have to be able to understand what's behind the shame. And was it sadness? Was it fear? Was it anger? And this is a delicate area and you guys know from the military that there are those soldiers who come out of the military with post-traumatic stress. It's always going to be grief.

Grief is the foundation. And those who get over it are able to go through that grief and they don't do it alone. You know, one of the worst things that can happen when you go through a deep trauma is don't sleep alone. I don't care who you're sleeping with. But most suicides occur when you're sleeping alone, overdose on drugs or alcohol when you're alone. How to be able to manage the emotion of what traumatic experiences are. And you guys have seen some of the worst you can see.

AD : Yeah, it's interesting cuz it, again, it goes, feels like I have to be able to be fairly grounded myself, see these things in myself if I'm gonna pick them up on others, right? If I want to be able to tune into the emotions of others, I have to start by being in, tuned in with myself…it’s a….

GK : Lead yourself, you know, we talk about leading self, leading others, leading organizations. It all starts with leading yourself. And how many soldiers did you see coming out of the military with post-traumatic stress? They cannot bond. They cannot bond, right? They've lost trust or they're filled with grief, or they're filled with rage and anger, or they're filled with fear. So they wake up at the slightest sound. They become hyper alert. All of these symptoms of post-traumatic stress. And leaders have to understand this because there are people in organizations who have traumatic experiences. You would never label them as traumatic because they don't look traumatic on the outside. But inside the person experiences as tremendously hurtful or negative that can activate. And we know the high numbers of suicide and the rampant depression that is going raging through organizations, especially since Covid.

AD : And the ability for a leader to, you used the word empathy earlier to really demonstrate empathy there and connect with how someone's feeling internally. It's not easy. It even requires some vulnerability on my part, right?

GK : You have to be vulnerable. You know, those leaders who think that, the harder you are or the more that you are vulnerable, that you're a poor leader, you have to be vulnerable. That means you have to be willing to be hurt. And I don't know if you guys have heard of a psychologist named Carl Rogers.

Well, he, around a long time before you were even born probably. I had the opportunity to work with him and train with him for three years. He talked about unconditional positive  and that was one of the key trainers, secure bases in my life who really helped me understand what it means to bond. Cause I grew up in a pretty tough German Catholic family in Ohio, where they did not spare the rod.  

And so there was, there was a challenge. And so I had to go through that whole process of really learning how to bond. And had I not learned that from him and many others along the way, I would not be able to effectively bond to this day.

AD : What are the steps? What are the steps of bonding? Like how do you do that?

Importance Of Bonding With The Counterparty In Negotiations [10:03]

GK : Well, I don't think about steps as much as ways. So a smile can be part of a bond. Words can be part of a bond, showing any interest in another person. That's why questions are so powerful. Showing interest, being curious.  What's your name? What's, what's your background? These nonverbal expressions with looking in the eyes, having social media limit the contact you have with people is, is a problem. So how do we connect? And then when we are connected, how do we feel with that person?

And do we learn to trust them? And we have a real crisis with young people. The research is shocking. Young people are becoming more and more socially unintelligent. They don't know what social intelligence or emotional intelligence is. And there looks like the research is leaning towards social media as one of the key factors.

GK : You can have two kids on opposite side of the room. They don't go and talk to one another. They don't go and negotiate directly. They send messages. And then I think the whole cultural society, the adversarial attitude, we have so much of the failure to accept difference. You see, as a hostage negotiator, one of the early things I had to learn was how to accept any perception, anything anybody says as psychotic and crazy, it is, I can accept it, but I don't have to agree.

And there comes a moment when I express that disagreement. But am I interested in hearing what the deepest conspiracy is? My experience of the most paranoid people I've ever dealt with, with a gun, was over the phone. And then eventually it's standing in front of him. He was paranoid beyond belief. And I stepped into that paranoia by listening, accepting, and sort of playing along with it until I earned his trust. And then we got him to the hospital. He thought the FBI had wired his house.  He had windows, clo... I mean, it was really quite dramatic.

AD : [laughs]

NM : I'm sure obviously a big role that kind of plays in that is your ability to influence others to obviously make their own decision as you kind of talked about previously, and give them those options. So what can a negotiator do to be more effective in changing the mindsets of others or helping them, helping to influence them to take a different option.

How Can A Negotiator Help Influence The Mindset Of Others [12:36]

GK : Or, well, let's take a very stubborn person. We all dealt with stubborn people, right? The best way to get through to..

AD : I don't know what you're talking about, George.

GK : There we go.

AD : Never, not my kids, not a, not a previous boss. I have no one in mind.

GK: : You don't help someone with a closed mindset or very stubborn by telling 'em what they should think. You can start an inquiry. What makes you think that? What has been your experience with that? Is this working for you or do you pay a price for that? You show curiosity, and you start building trust by questions. It's primarily questions. Don't tell people what they should think.

The leaders who fail to understand the importance of asking questions really fail. And when you get to be a CEO or a division head, a top executive, what happens is they often think they have to know things and they prove that their identity is strong, that they're the smartest at the table. So they never ask questions, they tell people.

So the answer to your question really is about how to be able to get into the other person through questioning and understanding reflection, and then ultimately sharing your own reaction. Building trust, and I don't know if you guys agree, but we're living in a less and less trustful world. I mean, people don't seem to trust as much.

I grew up on a farm back in Ohio. I mean, the trust was trust. Even here in Switzerland, you used to be able to not lock your car. I mean, nobody would ever steal. Now everybody's locking their car because there is more theft and people are not trusting.

AD : Yeah, I grew up on a farm in eastern Oregon, George, and it was very, very much the same way, right? A handshake between people was enough to know that, you know, things were gonna get done.

GK : Your word was, it was a handshake. You didn't need a written contract.

AD : We've been talking here about social bonding and you, you often discuss the research that says that women tend to make better leaders than men because of their ability to create relationships and build bonds. So I wonder if we can get into gender a little bit.

GK : You like to walk on eggshells, don't you?

AD : I do. I wanna know what we as men should be learning from women to become more effective leaders.

Differences Between A Man And A Woman In Regards To Emotions And Leadership Skills [14:55]

GK : Simple. Caring. Caring, caring. Caring. Empathy. Empathy. Empathy. Compassion. Compassion. Compassion. And where do boys learn that? Where would you say boys learn that?

NM : The mothers.

AD : Well, I'd say from the fathers.

GK : You need a caring mother. You need affection from the….the real caring person is a father. If the young boy did not see the father show emotion, express emotion. The moment a son sees a father cry, they emotionally connect in a different way. And see fathers show caring attitudes do caring things that gets hardwired and is the first experience of the child/boy, learning how to care.

What women have to learn is they have that natural social bonding. And by the way, this has not been connected to genetics or hereditary processes. This seems to be learned. And girls grow up with the ability to bond or connect, but they have to learn how to stand the ground. They have to learn how to negotiate. You have to learn to argue. Now, it's very important to have a mother who demonstrates that, but they need also to deal with men.

A father figure or some father, a father who they reaffirms. I like when you negotiate. I like when you push back. I like when you argue the young girl can stand her ground. And also with sports team, sports have been found to be one of the most effective ways to teach leadership to girls. Stand your ground, endure pain, you get hit, you get right back up and you're in the game.

Boys have to understand that caring. If you didn't have that as a child or as an adolescent, you can always learn it. But often it'll be a major crisis before you learn to take affection. And we have another big problem with boys. We confuse performance with affection. And this leads to many, much perfectionism among boys in which they think if they're not performing perfectly, they're not lovable.

And so they have to be able to disconnect affection from performance. And many fathers teach that they don't unconditionally praise their child. They praise them when they perform well. And when they don't perform well, they are criticized or attacked. And that often is a foundation of failure to take criticism. It feels like I am unloved. Something is wrong with me.

AD : Having my own children, George, that is, something I want to be,  you know, very aware of that. How do I express unconditional affection without it getting mixed up with performance and separating those two things. It feels difficult because sometimes I do want them to do things in exact way, in a particular way, in a correct way maybe.

GK : And, but that's a very good attitude. That's the daring side. But the daring side is the foundation. This is not to say back off from the daring, teaching them to do it the right way, holding them accountable, but it's built on caring. You have to be able to show enough affection, be able to show enough unconditional positive regard, separate from new performance. And then when they're performing, this is what's expected. Tough Love! It's the old tough love idea that got distorted and, and often is not used anymore. But tough love was often connected with lack of caring or fear. Fear is not a way to raise kids or to lead. Fear can get temporary results but not sustain performance.

NM : So, when it kind of make the connection now from all the time that we talked about you being a crisis negotiator, hospice negotiator, and now two businesses and a routine negotiations. So they may be going to, what are kind of like some of those main things that we can pull from your experience back there and apply it to today? Negotiations in business?

Role of Emotions And Boundaries In Negotiations [18:47]

GK : I think number one on that list is to be aware of your own states of being. How, how you feel inside. What emotions are driving you? Do you wake up and are you in a positive state? How do you feel? If you're not in a positive state? What's the emotion that's driving that? So that you are fully aware of yourself. Be aware of your present losses. Secondly, be aware of your present losses and losses from the past.

If they've not, if you've not gotten over them, get over them. Dig into 'em, understand what you feel, come back to the full joy of life and then work with your desires. What do I desire? And when you turn that desire into a dream, then you're really wanting to go. That dream can become a secure base and it inspires you. And then when you reach the dream, say goodbye, you have to let it go.

GK : Find a new dream. It often will mean a change in identity along the way. You have to be able to have secure bases. Never be without secure bases. When secure bases come to an end, let 'em go. Don't hold onto 'em too long becomes a kind of Stockholm syndrome where a good secure base becomes a burden, a negative.

And in that process also be able to know how to bond and bonding and being able to go through that and learning to trust and know what boundaries you establish. Many people say, well what, what happens if I bond too much? There is no such thing as bonding too much. There is bonding where you don't establish boundaries. Boundaries become very important to maintain who you are. I suppose there are lots of others, but those are some of the ones that come to mind  at the front. Well..

NM : I think that’s great. Thank you!

AD : Yeah, I love the, "you can't bond too much". You just, sometimes bond without boundaries. That's, again, just a great way to frame that. The importance of establishing those. You've spent a lifetime now in this field. I'm sure you've never had a mistake. [laughs] suffered a negotiation failure. But if you, if you had an example, talk about walking on eggshells of a, of a failure you've experienced George, what'd you learn? Anything you learned?

George’s Negotiation Failures [21:08]

GK : Yeah, what did I learn? I have never had a failure of… and we define failure. That 95% success rate is where after a hostage negotiator enters a situation, there's no major, no deaths or major injuries after that, I have been fortunate the negotiations that I was involved in,  directly ended up in positive outcomes. But I was dealing with domestic violence where people wanted things. Now I have been on the scene as a consultant where I've seen other situations that failed and somebody did commit suicide or did kill a hostage.

On a personal level, the biggest failure in my own negotiation was over a program that I really believed would work. And I pushed and pushed and was turned down. And I think the reason it was turned down was because I didn't listen to the pain that was gonna cause to the other people involved in that project.

GK : The other people in the hospital would be too much influenced in a negative way without taking that into account. And that's one of the first lessons I learned. I was deeply hurt cuz I believed in it. And it wasn't till later that in examining it, I understood the importance of listening to a pain point. I may have a great idea, [laughs], but do I know what pain that's gonna cause somebody, right? The change may produce some really negative outcomes. People don't naturally resist change. They resist the fear of change or the pain, the unknown. And when you don't take that into account, there's gonna be something destructive. That was one of the big ones. And then I can talk about real estate mistakes I've made buying a house where, “oh, I loved that house or my wife loved it so much and we made concessions. We later regretted short-term gains for long-term pain.

[laughs] Beware everyone! Now pain points are such an interesting indicator when you talk, go back to what you were talking about with, you know, seeking out desires, understand people's desires. We often frame that in what they want. And sometimes it's also in the framing of what are they trying to avoid and tuning into that. And I think sometimes I'd test this with you, it's listening between the lines for those pain points because they're not as obvious. Am I more likely to share the positive things I want? I'm gonna hide those pain things more, maybe because of shame or something else. And it's really difficult to pull those out. I've gotta hear what's not being said.

GK : Absolutely. I use the rule of three. So when I first ask about a pain point or indirectly, you don't just come out and say, what's your pain point? It sounds like this will be very disappointing for you, or this has been very disappointing. And the person says, well, it's not that bad. Yeah. Then I come back a second time. Can you go a little bit deeper into what that is? What impact did it have on you? What do you regret? And then the second time, if you don't get to it, you come back a third time and usually by the third time, if the person trusts you enough, they'll open up and say, well, yeah, it really, it scared the daylights outta me. And the reason I, I couldn't do this, I don't wanna do this, is I'm afraid of what it's gonna cost or what it's gonna not, I don't mean financial cost, it's what it, what pain it's gonna produce.

So you're right, you have to listen between the lines and be able to pick up those pain points. Those people who come from sales, this is very hard because they wanna sell how wonderful their product is. It's wonderful, their service, but they have to understand by buying your service or your pain point,  you may be, or you're buying your service or your product, they may be producing pain in the other person or in the system around them.

AD : You shared a failure. Do you have an example of something you consider to be a significant success when it was highly unlikely or improbable? And by practicing some of these things that you've been discussing, George, are you able to, to pull something off that, I dunno, maybe you even, you were even doubtful that was gonna happen.

George’s Negotiation Successes [25:17]

GK : Well, I don't come from a strong academic background. I've been around academics, but I'm an old farm boy. So I came from experience [laughs]. I remember when I developed the HPL  program, that was 21 years ago. My boss at that time, Dr. Peter Raj, president of IMD,  wanted me to participate in a program for advanced leadership.

And he proposed it as a kinda helicopter process, bringing in different professors to teach this particular part of leadership in another part, all in leadership. And I had the courage to say to him, no, I don't wanna do that. If you tell me I have to, you're my boss, I'll do it, but I don't think it's a good idea. He was shocked, he was actually angry. [laughs]

And then he asked me, why not? And I said, well, they don't come to me entertained and they come for an emotional experience and that was a strong word to use, emotional experience.

GK : And he said, what do you mean by that? And I said, well, I mean, they have to find some way to move their emotions to, it's not just a theoretical interest for them, it should be connected. And he said, well, can you come up with something? And so that was the most daring moment to say good. No. And then I designed a program, not a lot of support based on the first HPL we did in 2000. And it was a success.

We did it once a year and now we're up to 15 times a year, 60 top leaders at a time, over 135 sessions. We're almost at 8,000 graduates around the world. So that was a courageous thing, just walking into an academic field. I mean, I had been a professor at UD and different places and, and I got in because I was substituting for somebody in conflict management without a full position. And then they offered me a position. And when I saw how successful I was, I proposed this HPL. It was one of the great successes in my professional career.

AD : Yeah, that's fantastic.

NM : And I know that Aram and I are kind of always interested in here about how negotiations plays a role in your personal life. So aside from HPL and, and aside from any of the crisis negotiations, [laughs], so how has that come into play in your personal life George?

George’s Negotiations In Personal Life [27:38]

GK : It doesn't work as well with my wife, <laugh> with my kids. My kids especially will say, dad, don't gimme that negotiation stuff.

NM : [laughs] Yep

GK : And you know, using choice, you know, the old straight would, would you like to do this or that? Would you like to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt after they catch onto you, you have to have a deeper bond, a deeper relationship. My youngest son actually teaches negotiation. He's 27 now. He's actually teaching here in Europe, negotiation.

AD : Wonderful!

GK : He's a tough one to negotiate with. You think I'm tough. He's really tough!

AD : [laughs] We'll have to have him on in the, in the, in the following episode and, and and see what's it like?

GK : The son of a negotiation house

AD : There you go. Hey George, as we get ready to, to wrap up, is there, is there anything you'd wanna kinda leave our listeners with any key considerations, things they need to be doing to improve their negotiation skills and abilities?

Key Considerations [28:35]

GK : Yeah, I would say, cuz I thought of, I thought about that I would say change the mindset from domination, leveraging power, win lose to relationship negotiation is essentially a relationship and that requires the first step of bonding. Separating the problem from the person, at least in the beginning where the conflicts are there, knowing the desires. And then within that relationship, understand how I can help the other person also get what they need along the process. Be able to control your adversarial,  or your,  adversarial attitude and your aggressive attitude so that you, you, don't have that amygdala hijack of saying and doing things you later regret. You have to be able to tolerate rejection, humiliation, embarrassment.

There's all kind of tactics people use to make you feel bad. But don't let anyone ever make you feel bad. Remember what your goal is in a negotiation. Keep your mind's eye on that and be able along that way to understand what the other person wants. Being able to make the right concession at the right time.

And all kind of proposals and options are on the table. How do we enlarge the pie? It's not just a zero sum game. So that proposals and thinking about options and understanding this is a relationship. It's not a one-off kind of thing. So I also wanna emphasize that I think negotiation is a mutual gain, not just win-win. I like win-win, but that's a limiting factor in a way. I'm a little opposed to win-win as a goal. It's mutual gain. Everybody gains something, everybody loses something. If you've not lost something, it's not been a negotiation. If you've not made a concession, it's not a negotiation.

AD : George, that's, it's a wonderful wrap up and I really appreciate your, your summary there. Hard for me to go back and add anything to it. I'll just share the things that really struck for me professionally, but also personally, right, the ability to use choice, not force.

Thanks for hitting on that. The idea that negotiation is around the process, not just commanding and controlling and telling people what they should do, but really tapping in connection and empathy and, you know, desires the power of caring, a base of caring, followed by daring. 

And that's a great challenge for me. And then thinking about how we, how we engage through dialogue with emotions and helping people through grief and, and, and different challenges. So thanks so much,  really appreciate your time with us and your, your expertise and your thoughts. Thanks, thanks for taking the time to be with us.

GK : You're very welcome. And by the way, you captured the ideas there very, very well. It's been a real pleasure. I've truly enjoyed this. Time went by very fast.

AD : Agreed.

NM : Yep. Absolutely. Thanks George again for joining us today. You're very welcome

GK : Today. You're welcome. Good luck in all your negotiations, guys.

NM : Thanks. Now that's it for us on today's podcast. Please rate review and subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already, and we'll see you in the next episode.

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