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What Will You Learn From Today's Episode

  • To grow in life, we must have our thoughts and beliefs tested, and only then will we truly value them.
  • Adding value to a relationship means saying the right words and giving the other party the opportunity to speak about how they were upset.
  • It's important to talk courageously with people with whom we disagree and try to understand them so we can navigate and resolve conflict.
  • We must practice resolving conflict to become better at it. Even though you might not be good at it today, five years down the road, it'll enhance your leadership potential.
  • Spend time understanding where somebody's coming from and then help them see a better way or help them see why their way is wrong.

Executive Summary:

Hey everyone! Thanks for joining us on another episode of the NEGOTIATEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Andy Allan, the author of the article “Five Tips to Avoid Controversial Topics At The Holiday Table” and an editor for Cru Resources.

If you haven’t already checked out part A of the show, be sure to do that first. With that said, let’s jump into the conversation with Andy.

We Should Not Be Afraid Of Having Our Views Tested

Andy shares an encounter where he found himself in a heated discussion with a man at the gym. The individual in question had a different philosophy on religion from Andy, and when questioned on his views, told Andy that “no one’s ever told me I am wrong”. In a moment of frustration, Andy found himself yelling out loud that he is in fact wrong. Up to that point, though the conversation had been heated, there was a respectful exchange of ideas taking place. However, with Andy’s outright rejection of the man’s views, that quickly ended.

Upon reflecting on the incident, Andy realized he shouldn’t have done that and that he was actually afraid to have his own views questioned. If you don’t evaluate your views against a counterpoint, you will never know if they are at all accurate or valuable. Much like a building inspector at a construction site, you cannot know how strong your beliefs are if you don’t dare to have their foundation tested.

Andy further states that the only way to grow in life is by testing and engaging those who disagree with us. Although it might feel uncomfortable to talk to people we disagree with; we must be courageous and do it. If we don’t, the value of our thoughts and beliefs is suspect at best.

To Restore A Broken Relationship, We Need To Add Value To It

Next, Andy suggests that whenever we have a serious conflict with someone, we must not forget value. After all, it’s not really the facts or the realities, but our tone that speaks volumes about the value we add to the relationship.

When we breach a relationship, we must not shy away from apologizing. Taking the necessary steps to make amends for grievances caused can transform a minor conflict into a value-affirming relationship milestone. According to Andy, adding value is not just about saying the right words but also giving the aggrieved party the opportunity to express their feelings.

As human beings, we feel valued when we are acknowledged and understood. So, the next time you run into a conflict with someone, be sure to ask them how they felt and if they were upset.

In a similar vein, non-apologies or those that carry an “if” with them, such as “I’m sorry IF you felt bad”, are a strict no-no as they transfer the agency of the grievance from you to the counterpart.

It’s Important To Try to Understand The People with Whom We Disagree

Aram suggests that in general, there’s a great sense of discomfort in having difficult conversations with people in opposition to you. “Adding value” in those relationships is much harder because there is a sense of fear that the other party might say something that could strike you.

To this, Andy replies that it all comes down to whether they want to live a life of courage or fear. If you really want to live a life of growth and prevent your relationship from dying, then adding value to your relationships is an absolute must.

It might feel comfortable at the moment to resist taking an opportunity to understand the people we disagree with, but it could result in isolation and loneliness. And from a business point of view, you are likely to max out your leadership potential.

For Andy, the point at which you are unwilling to engage in conflict is the point at which you will not be able to lead at a higher level. Higher leadership is all about managing and engaging in conflict. So, let’s commit to talking courageously with those we disagree with, and try to understand them.

You can’t win somebody over unless you understand where they’re coming from.

We Must Practice Resolving Conflict To Become Good At It

Moving on, Andy believes that resolving and managing conflict is like learning a new language. You have to speak it poorly before speaking it well, and never stop practicing it. You might not be good at it today, but if you really start leaning into it and have those “difficult conversations,” it’ll enhance your leadership potential in the future.

Focus on Understanding Where Your Counterpart Is Coming From Instead Of What You Are Going To Say Next

When in conflict, Andy imagines a chess board where he is on one side, and the counterpart is on the other. Now he may be an amateur player, but Andy has enough experience to know that to win at chess, you must understand your opponent’s planned sequence of moves before you can counter them.

The quickest way to lose is to instinctively play your moves as a reaction to your opponent’s. Similarly in conflict, the best way to proceed is to understand where your counterpart is coming from, what they believe, and why they hold those beliefs.

We have all found ourselves in conversations where we pay more attention to formulating a response than really listening to what the other party is saying. That way, we only get a partial picture of their beliefs and views, colored by our own assumptions. This is not the ideal approach to resolving or navigating conflict.

Andy suggests spending time to understand where somebody’s coming from and then help them see a better way or help them see why their way is wrong.

Andy, 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.

Transcript

Nolan Martin : Hey everyone, thanks for joining us on the NEGOTAITEx podcast. We are continuing our conversation with Andy Allan. If you haven't already checked out part A of the show, be sure to do that first. Let's jump into the conversation with Andy.

I'd love to dig in a little bit more here cuz I mean understanding, listening, withholding judgment, it's all very difficult to practice. I mean, as you already alluded to, so especially when you feel really passionate about something, I mean, it just makes it increasingly more difficult. So, I was hoping that you could kind of give us any examples of times when you're able to explore the truth. Well, or, or maybe some, sometimes when you weren't able to explore the truth well.

Andy’s Failure To Examine His Own Beliefs [1:52]

Andy Allan : Yeah, I'll share a failure. For about two months of my life, I went to a Gold's Gym with a buddy who was obsessed with working out and I'm casual, dude, I'm 5 '10”. I've got, you know, I'm in Christmas cookie shape, you know, just can't resist . We went to Gold's Gym and the juice bar with smoothies and shakes was run by like this Hulk Hogan-type jacked six something. Dude, his huge long flowing blonde hair. This guy was the type of guy who's got a baby oil up and it would be a good thing. , you know, I baby oil up, nobody's like checking it out. But this guy……..

Aram Donigian : Hold on, hold on Andy, just, just let me interject here. Hold on. Remember it's not a dad bod, it's a father figure.

AA : Ooh, ooh. I like that….

AD : Alright, go ahead. Tell us about the baby oil guy.

AA : So he's behind the juice bar and we're getting shakes, post workout. We've done this a couple weeks and we start getting into a spiritual conversation and he has some very different views from me. And the more we talk, he kind of gets entrenched in his viewpoint. And at one point he says, well you know, nobody's ever told me I'm wrong. And I just looked at him and I kind of yelled at him. I was like, you're wrong.

And the moment my buddy turned to me and I could tell he was like, sliding away slowly, what's this guy gonna do? Is he gonna punch me ? And we're getting into a fight. And I realized later it's like, that's not the way to talk to this guy. But I was so, I was so intent on making sure he knew that I thought he was wrong. I'm just poor. I think that was the time that our conversation really stalled out. Up until that point I think we were having good conversations, but when I just put it out there, I pushed too hard cuz I cared too much about getting to the end.

Some races are marathons and no matter what you can't do a shortcut , they will disqualify you. And so in that time I took a shortcut.

AD : Well it reminds me, well just prompt your thinking. You wrote the article that you wrote on Holmes as you're talking about this, one thing that really stuck out to me was a quote you were talking about, the trap of comfortable narratives, which I think sometimes it's just, you know, hey, you're wrong. What I believe is true, right?

And, and what you wrote there, Andy, I'll probably paraphrase this a little bit, was that comfortability and ease, rarely, if never something, produce much wisdom. And I love that. Then you talk about the courage it takes to examine beliefs and seek untainted evidence and hold our conclusions with humility. And I really think that that's, I mean, as we seek truth with another person, we have to demonstrate that, practice that.

AA : Yeah, that's so true. And it can be so hard to say, you know what, I'm going to revisit this. So, I'm a Christian, I follow Jesus and I'm convinced that I'm correct. Like my views are true, but what is the value of that conviction? It's gotta be in contrast to what other people have said in other evidence against. If I never evaluate my views against something else and in a real way, not just give it lip service, but if I really consider it true, I would say that's how I know that it's valuable, that it's true. And so if I'm unwilling to go there, what is the value? How strong are my convictions? It's like a building's foundation that's never been tested, right. A material that's never been tested. But in order to do that, you're right. It takes courage. But I think what we have to show, we have to realize and really internalize, is that we risk a lot when we are unwilling to examine our own beliefs.

AA : For example, in the workplace, I'm sure you've heard of the Jahari window. And the Jahari window is this concept that basically says you have a very limited understanding of yourself. That only by asking other people and inviting feedback can you learn about yourself. If you never do that, you'll never know. But that's scary to ask someone, how did you experience me? So you have a conflict with a coworker. What if you came back a day later and said, how did you experience me in that moment? That is courageous. That is hard. But if you're willing to do that, you will gain so much. So are we valuing growth and knowledge and are, are we willing to risk? That's what we risk. We risk being wrong, we risk having to go back to the drawing board and build from the ground up. But if Christianity is wrong, for example, I wanna know, I really do.

AA : I want to be a truth seeker and so I need to press this against other things and I need to seriously consider them. And when I'm afraid I need to push through or maybe just say it. Hey, I'm scared here. You've told me something I've never heard before. I never thought before. But ultimately we want to be aligned to the truth. We want to know ourselves and we want to grow. The only way to grow is by testing and rubbing against people who disagree with us. I mean, echo chamber is a phrase that now is just in our zeitgeist and has been what, maybe four, six years ago. And yet we know the phrase but we do it all the time cuz it doesn't feel good to talk about things with people with whom we disagree. But we see that unless we do that, then the value of our thoughts and beliefs is suspect at best.

AD : Yeah. Part of that risk, expanding on it, you know, and part of navigating these kind of waters of conflict, I mean, it's often choppy. We don't always get it right. We gotta be open to the possibility you don't have it, right? If we're gonna, if we're really gonna learn and seek truth. And so sometimes whether it's intentionally or, or maybe inadvertently we offend or insult someone, you know, you've spent a lot of time thinking about the nature of apologies in these situations. Why are apologies so important to what we're talking about and, and then what makes for a good one versus a, let's call it a less than effective one.

Aram’s Dispute With Nolan And Andy’s Take On Adding Value In A Relationship [7:56]

AA : Well I think we've all been on the receiving end of a bad apology, haven't we? The apology that makes it sound like it's really your fault. The old, I'm sorry if I'm sorry if you felt that way.

AD : So, so hold on. So like a few weeks ago, Nolan and I were talking about a client situation. He had this idea, which was insane. And I said to Nolan, I said, I said, we don't have time to discuss that right now. It's outside about what I said was it's dumb and we need to move on, okay. I could tell he was upset. And I said to him, and I like Nolan. So, I said to him, if that made you feel badly, right, I'm sorry that it does, it didn't seem to land. Was that not an effective apology, Andy?

AA : Well what do you think Nolan? How did that feel?

NM : No, it definitely was not an acceptable apology, especially cuz I still feel very strongly about what I think first, what Aram thinks about this particular client scenario that we're going through right now. So no, it was not effective. I think that he could have done a better job of being more effective at delivering an apology to me.

AD : Well I'm so help me, Andy, help me out. So, yeah….

AA : Yeah. I'd love to. What do you think, why did it hurt Nolan's feelings? What was it about what you said?

AD : Well, I think that I challenged, you were talking about value earlier, right? So I discounted. One, I was dismissive of an idea that could have at least been entertained. And then two, I think I discounted kind of his value to who we are as a team, as a partnership.

AA : Here. Yeah. Would you agree Nolan?

NM : Yeah, I think that's, that's definitely a good way to sum it up for sure.

AA : Yeah. When we have conflict, I think at the heart of it, when it's serious, it has to do with value. It's not really the facts or the realities, but it's the way we say them, the abruptness, the tone, the dismissiveness, like you mentioned Aram, that creates a deficit of value.

We break something, we breach a relationship. And so if we're going to apologize, we need to restore relationship, we need to move forward and we need to add value. So if we taken away value, we add value. And I would argue that adding value is not in just saying words, but adding value first is giving someone the opportunity to speak about how they were upset and how they were wounded. Because honestly we don't really know and that's what we do. I'm sorry if you were hurt, I'm sorry if that offends you. How about we ask, did that offend you?

AA : Because, I'm sorry if it is, we don't even know. I don't know, did Nolan care, did he not? A few days ago I was with my daughter, she's four and another kid had bumped into her and I responded by over parenting this other kid, I wanted him to apologize to my daughter. I chased him around a room in order to get him to apologize to my daughter for bumping her.

I realized later, oh my gosh, I totally like, I was kind of ridiculous chasing this four year old toddler around, I wonder what his dad thought about that. And so I had two choices. I could let it go and hope that he wasn't offended. And then the next time I saw him I would kind of maybe gauge, you know how you do that check in? You kind of look at them, you try and do small talk.

AA : Are they offended? Are they not offended? We tend to do that where we ignore this, the thing that happened and we try to suss out are we okay relationally? Or what I chose to do in this case was I called 'em up and said, Hey I, I did this. How did you experience me? And I said, I didn't think it was appropriate. So I let him know I didn't think it was appropriate. How did you experience me? And I gave him a chance to talk about it.

And by doing that I add value to him by listening. Cuz when we're listened to and understood that gives us value. We want that. We deeply desire it. And so by listening, that's huge. So what you could do, Aram, is start by saying, Hey Nolan the other day, just so you can restate what happened, state now what you think about it. So, I was dismissive of your idea and looking back, I don't think that was very good to me. You could say it, you could reflect it to yourself. If somebody had done that to me, I would've been upset.

How did you experience me? Were you upset? And then give them the opportunity to talk.

AD : Oh man Andy. But how about ? But how about if he says I'm willing to try this, but how would, if Nolan, how would, if Nolan says some things that really now I don't feel comfortable with, I don't' cuz maybe they're true or right or maybe there's some things that I just don't want to, but I mean that's my fears. He's gonna say something that's really gonna strike me. And this may not be short and sweet, he may have to talk for a while. Cause I'm afraid that this may link to, this may link to other things that have been occurring.

AA : Mm-hmm. It's true. And I guess it comes down to do you wanna live a life of courage or fear? Do you wanna live a life of growth or do you want to just kind of stay where you are? And I would say kind of go down because in relationships, like Tommy boy's dad and Tommy Boy said, you know, business is either growing or dying. Ain't no third direction. Relationships are the same either growing or dying. And so unless we're willing to lean in, we're gonna watch that relationship die. So the question is A: do you value Nolan's relationship that you have together and do you want to grow as a person? Because if we're gonna grow as people, we need to hear the hard stuff. So it is hard, but you have to realize there's a risk either way. It feels more comfortable in the moment to resist, to stay away.

But we know the result of that is isolation, loneliness. And I would say in the business context, you max out your leadership potential. The point at which you are unwilling to engage in conflict is the point at which you will not be able to lead at a higher level. Because higher leadership is all about conflict. Getting to the best. You can't settle for good ideas, you need the best ideas. The higher up in leadership you go. And the only way you do that is through some sort of conflict. Now the high functioning teams are able to have those things because they know their value and they express their value to each other. So when you feel a value breach, that's when you step in and you allow the silence. And I would say, yeah, it takes courage to say, hey, this is when it is you, that act of asking and allowing Nolan to speak to you is an act of lowering your defenses. That is hard. It goes against evolution. Our evolution wants us to tighten up and close in, but we know that that's not helpful. So what you could do is do that and then well let's say that no one says, you know, actually for years you've been doing this, you've, you've dismissed so many of my ideas. I'm sick of it.

Well, at least now you know and you can now you realize, oh my gosh, you know, you like tried to fix a crack in your what in your drywall and you discover the whole thing's rotted out. Well at least then you can go, you can build forward from that place. I think that's a gift. And you've given Nolan a gift by giving him the opportunity to express how he really feels. And even though he gets it out, we all know that's cathartic isn't it? To be able to finally build tell somebody how they really feel and if Aram, you're able to absorb it and not just get mad and say like, well how about you? You never did this. Maybe absorb and say, you know, I'm really sorry, gosh, thank you for telling me.

Again, that doesn't mean you agree with it all, but you can express understanding and sadness and say, “Hey, you know, I'd like to talk with you more about this.” You could imagine the trajectory of your relationship no matter how that's gonna go. You can see it growing. Whereas before, you know, honestly, if Nolan's got all that stuff under the surface, you don't have a real friendship. You have a fake one, but he's not going to entrust himself to you or move towards you. So we have to realize that stuff, while hard is so good for us in our relationships, we didn't know we were gonna get so much benefit out of this. Huh, Nolan?

NM : That's great. Hire you as a therapist, Andy

Andy’ Experience With Stand-up Comedy And His Approach To Handling Conflict [16:34]

AA : Well you know, a few years ago I started doing stand up comedy with a friend of mine and doing comedy and being on stage with a buddy was really hard. And we got into a lot of conflict early on because we both had passionate ideas about what's funny, what's not funny, how are things gonna work? And even on stage sometimes we do something that frustrated each other, but we had this commitment to each other and we were doing it hard together.

So, we talked about it and I would say for the first couple months we were doing it, we had a lot of conflicts but we were committed to talking it through. And what happened was, a few times we had it, we talked it through and we talked it through, well we listened to each other, we processed through and we agreed and we realized we have the same values.

AA : And so our conflict started to taper off. Now our disagreements didn't, we still pushed back, but then we started to value each other. And so we started thinking, oh you think differently than I do and this is good, that's great, let's do that, let's do this. And so it starts out hard, just like anything like learning a new language, it's gonna be hard. And they say about learning languages, you have to learn it. You have to speak it poorly before you speak it well.

And we have to start speaking the language of conflict poorly so we can speak it well. But think about what it could be in five years if you start leaning into conversations now think about your leadership potential. If you're able to do the hard work now so that you can engage in these things in five years from now, what a great manager of conflict you will be.

So we can't be shot away from the adventure and the long road ahead because it is eventually worth it. We devote four years to an undergrad degree if you get a Master's 5. 6, 7, we can do that. But conflict, being able to navigate it well, I would say is a skill worthy of a Doctorate Diploma. If I have a doctorate in conflict resolution, I think I'm going places. And so let's commit to being a bad person and growing.

NM : For sure. Something you had kind of mentioned there was, you know, going through conflict with your friend to make your relationship stronger as our listeners, we're all going into a new year. Is there anything else, any other advice or tips that you would give for us to build stronger and meaningful connections, whether that's business connections or family connections or anything of the sort?

Tips To Build Stronger And Meaningful Connections [18:55]

AA : Yeah, that's a great question. I think it would be helpful to reflect on the year and think about are there any relationships in my life, be they personal or professional in which I sense that they are not in a healthy spot. Maybe there's some tension, maybe there's some conflict. Often we can maybe trace it back to one thing, a meeting that went awry or something we did. Or maybe it's just a general sense and it might be something for myself that I would pray about, engage with God and ask God, “Hey, can you bring something to mind? Maybe our relationship isn't as healthy as I, and I think and be willing to touch base, touch back with them and say, ``Hey, are we okay?” How did you experience me? Like are we good? I had a friend do that with me. We had like a conversation and then he called me a week later and he was like, “Hey, I was thinking about that and I think maybe I hurt your feelings”.

AA : Did I hurt your feelings? And he had it, I was great, but I felt so valued that he would ask that. That's a question which always gathers value. How do you experience me? Are we okay? Because what that does just adds value. So it would be, we be willing to do that? And I think what Aram you brought up is so important. We need to evaluate the places where we're afraid to jump in afraid of conflict. And I think to express them in some way, again, I would talk to Jesus about this cuz I wanna move forward courageously. And so I ask him, could you help me? Could you give me the power to do this? You could ask somebody else to help you if you're afraid, but we need to choose courage over fear. And I really, I'm afraid that in our culture we are losing the ability to discern truth.

AA : And it's because we have stopped talking to each other about things with which we disagree and we don't have healthy patterns to engage in debate. And I think our media on both sides exacerbate this. I was thinking about maybe my New Year's resolution being not listening to podcasts for example, unless they have multiple people talking, an opportunity to push back or disagree. Because often our podcasts are just like people telling me their thoughts. It's like, that's great. I'm getting one side of an opinion. It's not even an echo chamber. It's just like a monologue . And so what about discussions? What about disagreements?

And so I think if we're gonna commit to be truth seekers in 2023, let's commit to that and let's commit to talking courageously with people who disagree and trying to understand them. Because you can't win somebody over unless you understand where they're coming from. Let's do that. And then when conflict happens, let's say let's be conflict resolvers. If we can do those things, it is courageous and it's hard. And that will help us shape the culture into a new place where we're able to figure out what's true and what's right because we are able to value each other along the way.

AD : Boy, I love that. I love that challenge for us and, and certainly for those that are listening to the program, what a great way to lean in for the new year. One last question before Nolan kind of takes us into some wrap up stuff in our pre-call, Andy, you used this analogy about chess and that managing conflict can be a little like chess and I love analogies, I love examples like Sherlock Holmes and everything else you've kind of given us today. Could you expand on that for our listeners, why it might be a nice way of thinking around about and framing conflict as they get ready for the next year?

Andy Elaborates On His Chess Analogy: Managing Conflict Can Be A Little Like Chess [22:40]

AA : Yeah. How familiar are you guys with the game of chess? Do you, do you play, do you play with each other?

AD : I'm an amateur. I'm, I'm an amateur, no, Nolan schools me every time we play, he's a master chess.

NM : I am not experienced with chess

AD : Now my kids are getting better because they've been playing with their cousin and he, my nephew's about 12 years old and he's brilliant when it comes to chess. And so he'll set up, he'll set up three chess boards, okay. And they'll have one of my kids at each of the chess boards and he's playing all three of them simultaneously. That's how good this young man is at chess. Wow.

AA : Wow. That's incredible. And reminds me of The Simpsons where Bart goes to a park and he is playing all these chess games,  and he looks like a gen. People look at him and like, oh my gosh, this genius, he's playing five games of chess at once and then he loses consecutively each one , which is so part, this is great.

AA : But chess, I mean I'm also a novice. I have a neighbor that loves to play. I play games against him. He has like a garage or a driveway chess set where he has pieces that are like three feet high. We love it. We move him around. He gets his kids to move the bishop this way. I don't know that lingo yet. That's like the level I am like I need to look at the board. I don't know the letters and numbers like Bishop to B nine, that's the thing. I don't know how to do those things. And there's a whole world of chess out there. But here's what I've learned is that in order to defeat an opponent in chess, you need to understand what they are doing and then counteract it. Chess is like if you just move your pieces with no regard to what they are doing, you will lose and lose badly.

AA : And so when I think about discussions, disagreements and debates, I often, in my mind I imagine a chess board where I'm on one side and they're on the other and I imagine myself flipping it around so that I'm the other person and thinking what are they thinking? What is their plan? So, if I'm going to engage in a discussion and I want to convince somebody of my viewpoint, for example, in the spiritual realm, I first have to truly understand where they're coming from and why, what do they believe and why? And I have to really understand it. How many times have you found yourself in a debate or in a conversation and you've said something, somebody's responding back to you, but you're not thinking about it because you're thinking of what you're gonna say next and you're just kind of getting the highlights, you're like getting the cliffs notes of their thoughts, but in reality you're like, I'm gonna disagree with this and this and this and this, but what happens?

AA : We do that all the time and basically we're just talking past each other with our little talking points that we've really gotten the day before, maybe from somebody else, you know? Right? Like how much of our knowledge is outsourced from somebody who said this? Somebody said that. And this is, I think what our culture has done is people trade on that all the time. And I have to think about my own faith for example. What if my own faith is my authentic journey and what has just somebody said something once that now I take and I think this is true and how dare you? And so the way I get around that is try to really understand what somebody thinks and try to understand why that would make sense to them. Like if somebody's doing a chess strategy against me, they think it's going to be effective.

AA : They think that is the way to win. And so it's the same thing if somebody believes something in the spiritual world, for example, they believe it, they think it works for them. Nobody believes in something that they think is false. And so unless I really understand that and take the time, then I would argue I'm not going to convince anybody much of anything. I might make myself feel good and like score some points by throwing something out there that they can't respond to. I might go thinking well at myself, but I'm, if I'm really interested in the growth of sharing of knowledge, I have to understand where they're coming from. Even if you're just gonna think about it in a zero sum game, that's the way to win a conversation. That's the way to win a debate is to understand where somebody's coming from and then help them see a better way or help them see why their way is wrong.

AA : I think it was, Blaze Pascal had this great quote and I heard sometime, and I've been try, I've Google it and I can't find where he said it, but he said, nobody likes to be told they're wrong, but nobody minds being told that they haven't seen the whole picture. And I love that. So I don't need to tell somebody they're wrong. I can affirm their perspective but then say, have you considered this? Have you considered this aspect? Or have you considered this might be a different way? So sometimes we don't have to be head-to-head in a debate that's a false choice. Kinda like in chess you have the queen's gambit where somebody offers you this, but you can say, no, no, no, I'm gonna, let's go this way. And refuse to go head-to-head and say, let's share this journey together. So if we can do that, we can share a journey together instead of going head to head, then we're gonna do that. And I think you'll be a better chess player too

AD : Thanks, Andy.

AA : Although I guess in chess, wouldn't it be great if there was a game where you could just at the end, like you both win and you could just be happy? I like that a lot when I play. Honestly, when I play games, I'm like, I'm less concerned about winning than I am about playing well and learning how to play the game. I think for the rest of my life, chess, if I win or lose, it's like, well how did, what's my strategy and am I growing

NM : Andy? I'm only concerned about winning. So, it would be difficult for me to enjoy a game where we both win for sure.

AA : Yeah, I guess two winners mean two losers,

NM :

AA : Uh, but at least you could commiserate on that and high five each other.

AA : Absolutely. Absolutely. And as we get ready to wrap up this podcast, is there anything that we haven't asked you that you think is important for us to share for our audience?

AA : I did want to say I just want to thank you for your service in the military.

AD : You're welcome, thanks.

AA : I really appreciate that. And yeah, I wanna say thanks. I think that's one of the things that defines courage, being willing to stand up for others. And I feel that and I didn't get a chance to say that. So thank you for your service and thanks for the opportunity. Progress over perfection. Don't worry about being perfect. Let's take the next steps together and we'll get better and better and better. I haven't maxed out, I think Nolan and Aram, you would agree you haven't achieved yet, but we could be one step further on the journey.

Final Takeaways [28:58]

AD : That's a great challenge. Thank you for next year. So thank you. I'm gonna reflect, I'm gonna, here's what I'm taking away from Andy. Reflect on the year, this past year. Seek out where there's some unhealthy relationship dynamics that need addressing and being able to be a little more vulnerable, recognizing that conflict can help get us to a better place, not something to be fearful of. Want to engage right in that ability to discern, and help others do that as we move forward.

And really consider apologies whether they're with you, Nolan, or they're in other aspects of life. Really thinking about how a sincere apology needs to, needs to sound and needs to be. To kinda land with someone who's who the relationship with is, is important. So Andy, thanks so much for your time. You've given us so much to think about, so I just take away really appreciate you. Thanks.

AA : Thank you. It was a pleasure. A lot of fun.

NM : Thanks Andy, I appreciate it. And thank y'all for listening to the NEGOGIATEx podcast. If you haven't already, please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast. If you want some training for 2023 for you and your team, just reach out to team@negotiatex.com and we will look to schedule some training with you there. With that being said, we'll see you in the next episode. I think that there will be one more episode before the new year, but then other than that, have a great holiday, new year. We'll see you after then. Bye.

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