Category Archives: Negotiation

Seven Skills For Influencing Negotiations

Ask questions – of yourself too. Asking questions (that you really want to know the answer to) engages the neo-cortex in the brain, which keeps unhelpful emotions out and the thinking brain engaged. What’s the story behind the story?  Look for the underlying emotions – what is really being said. Or partner with someone who has this talent for empathy. How close are you? How close are your common interests? Focus on the commonalities, not the differences. Get creative with solutions (together) – If you brainstorm together, you not only build the capacity for some innovative ideas, but you build good will together. Focus on underlying needs – yours and theirs. Let go of entrenched positions. Clear out your unhelpful emotions – anger, worry, fear, etc. And name theirs (to yourself first, and if it’s helpful, address with them) Walk a mile in their shoes – what are their joys, highs and lows, pain points? Learn more: The Negotiation Quest - Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.

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Quix Tip: What Flour Did You Bake With While Negotiating Today?

We negotiate all the time, all day long, (even with ourselves), often without realizing it. Think about the different small negotiations you had with your spouse, kids, co-worker or self today and yesterday. What was your style in these negotiations? There is a Danish folk saying that asserts, “You must bake with the flour you have.” In fact, you probably can’t bake at all with flour you don’t have. How effective were you with your “flour”? What parts of your style would you like to use more? What would you like to use less? How would you like to refine your particular technique? What’s your style when you’re under stress? When you’re relaxed? What small successes with your preferred style would you like to celebrate? Focusing on your preferred style in small negotiations helps you play to your strengths, play your game instead of someone else’s, and negotiate at your best. Learn more: The Negotiation Quest - Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.

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Top Quix Picks Movies & Shows from 2016 (Part Two)

Here are more of my favorite movies and shows I’ve watched this past year. Some are old, some are new, all are absolutely wonderful. Enjoy! Slow West                  There are few movie experiences more satisfying and hard to come by than a great modern Western. Folks, we have a winner! Michael Fassbender and Kody Smit-McPhee star in this 2015 debut from Scottish director John Maclean. So many enjoyable Western tropes are happily present, the scenery is gorgeous and the pace is perfect (reflected in the first word in the title). But what makes this a cut above of the rest? The quality of the writing, the inventiveness of the story, the deliciously slow-burning tension, the interesting villain, the chemistry between Fassbender and Smit-McPhee for starters. This film surprises in the best of ways and generously delivers much more than we usually expect of a movie. Narcos                  This 10-episode series (on Netflix) plays like a 10-hour movie and gets so much right about balancing a great story with the truth of what happened. Set in 80s Colombia and cocaine crazy Miami, it traces the upwards and downwards trajectory of Pablo Escobar and other “narcos” in his cartel through the eyes of a DEA agent tasked with bringing him down. Filmed entirely in Colombia, the setting lends an air of authenticity that I wish existed in shows that just film on Disney’s ranch (i.e. Justified). And the seamless blend of archival footage reinforces the reality that the craziness that ensues really happened. This kind of generosity of focus, caring and talent is inspiring – it didn’t need to be this good to be successful, but it is. Paddington                  A movie about this bear from the Peruvian jungle with a passion for marmalade could easily have been a tone-deaf disaster. Instead we get treated to a remarkably faithful adaptation of Paddington’s essential qualities – gentleness, loneliness, good-heartedness, prone to misadventures. It’s goosed up a little for modern day kiddies, but a warm heart beats at its core. If you were wary of how bad/boring/garish/only-for-kids this might be and passed on this initially, you’re in luck – enjoy! Let’s hope for the same tender sense of wonder combined with slapstick physical comedy in next year’s Paddington 2. Captain America: Civil War                 This is an extremely edited version of a compelling, sprawling movie review written by Theo Michelfeld. I highly recommend you enjoy the full review in all of its glory here. Saw “Captain America: Civil War.” Loved it dearly—the heroes grappling with the moral consequences of their adventures, the bridging of divides amidst the plate-tectonic shoving matches. Any Captain America movie is a guaranteed hit at this point, but throw in Robert Downey Jr. and Spider-Man and you’ve struck a trifecta. It doesn’t even have to be good. Thankfully, it’s great. I think the viewer will be hard-pressed to “pick a side” in this movie. Both heroes are stubborn, both believe wholeheartedly in their actions, and both back up their well-spoken ideology with resolute action. My friends, in this season of absolute certainty, may you re-discover, via “Captain America: Civil War,” the adventure of equivocation. Hotel Rwanda                  Don Cheadle does a great job in this true story about Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during a Rwandan genocide largely ignored by global media that left over a million people dead in just three months. Literally negotiating with a gun to his head, Rusesabagina’s story is recommended for people interested in negotiation, influence and the power of building relationships. Venus                  Even though Peter O’Toole wore his lucky green socks to the Academy Awards he still didn’t win for his work in this 2006 movie. And that’s a shame because his performance of a person fully passionate even in old age was funny, moving and masterful.

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Bobby Broom and Abraham Lincoln on The Most Important Thing To Do

“An aspiring jazz musician on any instrument should listen to records. The answer to how to improvise is on the recordings. After listening for a year or so, you should begin to be able to sing what these guys are playing – with the records, and eventually on your own.” – jazz guitarist Bobby Broom If you want to communicate anything of worth, the first step is to listen. If you want to connect, to influence, to negotiate effectively, the first step is to listen. If you want to have quality relationships with your spouse, your kids, your pets, yourself, the first step is to listen. Listening. It’s the most important thing to do. And it’s where you’ll find your answers. “When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.” -Abraham Lincoln   Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: True Communication – Explore clear, concise, and powerful techniques that work in all situations. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.

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The ‘Real But Not True’ Four Steps from Tsoknyi Rinpoche

As I mentioned last post, I’ve been reading the book Open Heart, Open Mind by Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In it he explains a simple four-word phrase that he repeats to himself: real but not true. Here’s Tsoknyi Rinpoche’s four-step method of working with those four helpful words real but not true. Take a nice, deep breath, observing your inhalation and exhalation. Then take a moment to greet your feelings as guests. Say “Hello,” and start a conversation. You can begin by saying something like “Yes, I know that you’re real.” Then ask, “Are you true? Are you based on present conditions, or are you based on past experiences?” Ask yourself again and again if what you’re experiencing is real or true, until mentally and emotionally you can accept your feelings as real but the conditions on which they’re based as possibly not true. Such momentary pauses can transform your understanding of who you are and what you’re capable of – and in the same instant encourage others. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:  Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts. The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them. Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.

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Real But Not True

When trying to influence or negotiate with ourselves and others for a better life, we encounter resistance. Resistance, according to Howard Gardner, is the big brake pedal that stops a mind from changing. The root of resistance is almost always fear that comes up and triggers the amygdala, the guard dog in the brain. I’ve been reading the book Open Heart, Open Mind by Tsoknyi Rinpoche. In it he explains a simple four-word phrase that he repeats to himself: real but not true. This means that the fear or anxiety that we’re feeling in this moment (or that others are feeling) is real. We’re definitely feeling these feelings now. But they’re usually not true. Fear tells us that because something is happening or not happening now, it’s going to always be like this. Or that what we want will never happen. Or what happened in our past will always be repeated. In short, it predicts an incessantly dire future based on the past or this moment’s sadness or discomfort. This is not true. The essence of life is change and we may never meet again what is here now. The future (and indeed the present) is a fluid unknown. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? How to Lead Change – Learn how to be an effective change leader and lead positive change that lasts. The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them. Emotional Intelligence Works – EQ is twice as important in contributing to excellence as IQ and expertise combined. Learn how to effectively manage your emotions and those around you for sustained success.

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Are we running out of stories?

“I think our big problem is that we’re running out of stories. Cinema is barely over 100 years old. Storytelling tradition basically goes back several thousand years. In the hundred years of cinema we’ve basically used up the entire repertoire of storytelling. We’ve told all the biblical stories, all the great religious stories, all the great novels. Those that could be filmed have been filmed. We remake television shows from the ‘70s and ‘80s. We remake movies that were made in the ‘80s and earlier. We’ve told every comic book. We’ve basically run out of stories.” -Mad Max director George Miller Have you noticed the gray sameness that permeates so many TV shows, movies, newspaper articles, news shows? They’ve run out of stories. It’s interesting to note how remakes and reboots now happen without question. But I’ve noticed three places there aren’t remakes. One is in the documentary film field. Another is in daily life. And since documentaries chronicle real life, we can call that just one ‘place’. The last is the life of the unconscious, most steadily revealed to us in our dreams. George Miller got his best ideas in a lucid state on long plane rides, letting the unconscious up into the day. Stories are so important. Telling stories is one of the two main points of importance I stress in Influence and Negotiation team training workshops. Hollywood and mass media? They have more or less run out of stories. You? You will never run out of stories, as long as you are alive. But what will you allow your passion to do with them?

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What Do We All Have in Common?

“You go to any citadel in any part of the world and look at the history. They never knew each other and yet they have the same structure and architecture. I find that really interesting. On the one hand, I think that’s who we are in many ways. Repeating the same patterns. Then again, I’m worried that at this time when there’s so much information and data and so much light being shown on everything, that there is still underneath a kind of worry that things are getting worse.” -Mad Max director George Miller Miller counts Joseph Campbell as a hero. Campbell codified the universal hero story from mythology. In my negotiation, conflict team training workshops and collaborative team building activities we’re all encouraged to look beyond ‘us vs. them’ and see ourselves instead as part of the whole. This movement towards a common unified purpose is a strong antidote to Miller’s second point – the underlying worry that things are getting worse. Worry no longer, they are. But we can go from ‘scared and lonely’ to ‘we’re in this together’. Because we are. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them. Team Collaboration Quest – How can we communicate effectively with each other? How can we trust each other and take risks? What are the stages of team development? What do we do best? How do we look at the big picture and see how our individual contributions create success for all of us?

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Why Not Do It For Real?

I love the first 2/3 of most action movies. Then the ‘show-stopping’ final act comes and everything goes inside to some studio lot with green screens and glossy computer-generated silliness makes me lose interest. Not Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s real. Real stunts done outside in the light of day. Here are some interview quotes with Mad Max director George Miller: “We don’t defy the laws of physics. There are no flying humans. There’s no spacecraft. So it’s not a green screen, CG movie. It’s analog compared to digital. You go and crash a car, no matter what simulations you do, you are never going to get the detail of the fragments and the way the sand behaves. It will look fake. Why not do it for real when you can and you’ve got the people who can execute it? We had a really fantastic stunt crew, and a rigging crew, and special effects team. Why not do it for real?” “We couldn’t make it artificial, we decided to go old-school.” “It’s not a fantasy film. It doesn’t have dragons and spaceships. It’s a film very rooted to Earth. A kind of crazy demented quality to everyone’s behavior arises out of this extreme, elemental, post­apocalyptic world. We needed to make it feel as real as possible.” “Yeah, Mad Max is not a superhero. It’s basically a western on wheels. And I think if people see, I know when I see too much CG, that sort of takes me out of the experience. You want to have that sort of almost, I’m not going to say documentary experience, but you want to feel it like you’re really immersed, like it’s really happening. So we decided to literally do every car that’s smashed is smashed, every stunt is a real human being, even the actors do a lot of their own stunts, and so on.” Authenticity keeps us in an experience. Tricks and fakery remove us from an experience. If you want to negotiate and influence effectively keep it real. If you want to complete a project, do it for real. If you want to build a team, the actual experience of completing team building activities together is worth 100 times the same amount of time spent talking about it. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them. Influence: The Power of Persuasion – How can we consistently capture an audience, effectively make a point and carry everyone along toward a goal? How can we influence an outcome, even if we’re not in a position of authority? Team Building Activities – Our team building experience incorporates interactive adventure. By adjusting perspectives and offering new insights into the daily work life, Quixote Consulting helps teams and organizations discover exciting new ways to work together more productively.

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Does it really work (even if it doesn’t have to)?

 “George [Miller] — unfortunately — doesn’t like things that don’t work. I have in the past built him props that I thought were just supposed to be props, and then he goes, “Okay, plug it in now.” The first version of the guitar which — I think I put too much into the flame thrower, not enough into the reverb. And yes, the flame throwing guitar did have to operate, did have to play, the PA system did have to work and the drummers… Unfortunately, I did get practice in all positions and I’ve got to tell you, the drumming was very uncomfortable at 70 [kilometers] an hour, eating sand.” – Mad Max: Fury Road production designer Colin Gibson. Gibson is referring to the ‘little drummer boy’ that sent the ‘War Boys’ off to war…meaning an 18 wheeler with enormous Toko drums in the back and the world’s biggest Marshall amplifier cabinet stack in front of the driver with a crazed blind guitarist in a red onesie named Coma the Doof Warrior thrumming away on a flame-throwing guitar. It was all real, it all worked. It didn’t have to, but Miller wanted it to be authentic. Imagine how immersive it was as an actor to actually hear all that noise and either chasing or being chased in the movie. It probably pulled more authenticity out of the acting. I can work too hard on the ‘underneath’ parts of a project – a blog post (this series of posts for example), a newsletter, a proposal, learning a song. Too much preparation perhaps. I end up using a small fraction of what I’ve prepared. But all that preparation, all that ‘making it real’, brings something better out of me than just winging it. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: The Negotiation Quest – Get a mutual “yes” by sleuthing out both sides’ preferred approaches to negotiation. Explore universal needs that all negotiators have in common and find out how to address them.  

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