Discover more from The Weekly Walkaway
How Do Porcupines Have Sex?
The Weekly Walkaway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 36 (9th June 2023)
What to expect?
Quote of the Week - “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!”
Thought of the Week - How Do Porcupines Have Sex?
This one goes out to all you negotiators who are feeling resentment and/or dissatisfaction right now…
Checklist of The Week - Mastering The Negotiator's Dilemma
Remember: You are a negotiator!
You are always managing some form of conflict, a difference of opinion or interest.
Thanks for reading The Weekly Walkaway! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.
Click ❤️ to affect the Ai. Show your appreciation of our work, and please help to share the community by triggering the algorithm. Thank you. Go on smash that ❤️
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!
Anthony Weldon (1650) or was it Randall Terry (1959)
Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! Fool me three times, shame on both of us.”
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
How Do Porcupines Have Sex?
In Negotiation we Are Taught to "Not Look to The Past, But Look to The Future"
To be a skilled negotiator, it is crucial to rise above past grievances and concentrate on the present negotiation, leaving behind any lingering negative emotions.
This ability to let go of historical wrong-doings is essential BUT due to what is known as the "Negotiator's Dilemma," a concept closely related to Prisoner's Dilemma, game theory 1-0-1, often we FAIL to overcome this dilemma which leads to a breakdown in trust and a shift from cooperation to competition.
But we Are Also Taught That we Must Always Be-Aware and Beware, of The Past
"Once bitten twice shy"
"Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me"
Again, because of the negotiator's dilemma, dissatisfaction, mistrust or self preservation creates competitors out of co-operators, however irrational it may seem, whatever the consequences, to ensure you are not exploited, at the slightest hint of being fooled or bitten, untrained negotiators turn against each other.
Negotiation is a Game. A Delicate Dance Between not Dwelling on the Past And Being Wise to it
Negotiation is a game of contradictions and paradoxes! A game where we encourage you to embrace selective amnesia and yet at the same time remain as vigilant as a paranoid squirrel storing nuts for winter.
Let's dive down that squirrel hole together. Let's explore the paradox; The Negotiator's Dilemma.
The Negotiator's Dilemma is Based on The Science of Prisoner's Dilemma
Negotiator's dilemma is a classic ‘game theory’ scenario. It introduces an interesting perspective to the balancing act between focusing on the future and being mindful of the past.
In the Prisoner's Dilemma, two individuals face a decision to cooperate or betray each other, and the outcomes are influenced by trust, previous interactions, and expectations of the other party's behaviour.
In the Context of Negotiation, The Prisoner's Dilemma Impacts the Dynamic Between Trust and Mistrust
On one hand, you may want to cooperate and trust them, believing in the potential for greater value and a mutually beneficial outcome;
On the other hand, you also want to protect yourself from being exploited or taken advantage of. Based on past experiences, historic precedent or cautionary tales you may choose to compete instead.
And so might they. And here in lies the dilemma.
The Negotiators Dilemma Challenges the Notion of Complete Trust and Cooperation, as it Highlights the Risk of Betrayal
Negotiator's dilemma suggests that even if cooperation would lead to the best overall outcome, each party has an incentive to act in their own self-interest, potentially leading to a suboptimal result for both.
Dissatisfaction Plays a Critical Role in Eroding Trust and Cooperation
Within the Negotiator's Dilemma satisfaction is a key issue. When you feel;
dissatisfied with an outcome;
or unfairly treated;
or beaten, it can create a sense of resentment or disappointment.
Dissatisfaction breeds mistrust and leads you to become more self-focused, prioritising your own interests over collaborative efforts.
You want to get back at them!
If you feel that they have gained an unfair advantage or that they have not honoured their commitments, you will become sceptical of future cooperative endeavours.
This scepticism comes from the fear of being taken advantage of again, of being exploited again.
As a result, the negotiator's dilemma forces you to adopt a more competitive stance, attempting to win back your satisfaction.
Is it Pride? Is It Vanity? Is It Ego? - Yes, it is all of these, you’re only human.
The accumulation of grievances from past negotiations can make it difficult to rebuild trust and re-establish a cooperative atmosphere.
In Contrast, When You Feel Satisfied With an Outcome it Strengthens Trust and Promotes Future Cooperation.
A sense of satisfaction reinforces the belief that they can be trusted to act in good faith, making it easier to engage in collaborative problem-solving and seek mutually beneficial solutions.
Remember to Click ❤️ to trigger the algorithm and spread the word with one click. Thank you.
Imagine This. You're in a Negotiation With a Counterpart Who Deceived You
You are very well trained and experienced. You say to yourself;
“Be forgiving and forward-thinking, let's not dwell on the past! It's all water under the bridge. Let's focus on the bright, shiny future!"
But wait a minute, didn't your wise mentor warn you about being fooled twice?
Shame on you indeed if you fall for the same trick again.
Your counterpart might not share the same philosophy. They could be thinking;
"Ah, here’s comes that dear naïve negotiator again, I've deceived them once before, and now I shall do it again! Mwahaha!"
So, maybe you should be careful and consider the past, after all.
So now you're there, scratching your head, trying to be optimistic and future-focused while at the same time secretly preparing a raft of self interested, short term, countermeasures to protect yourself from their sneaky behaviour.
Ah, the conundrum!
Climb to The Top of Your Lighthouse.
Imagine yourself in your negotiation lighthouse.
Safe at the bottom from the storm raging around you. But you can’t see.
Stay at the bottom, self interest, and you won't be exploited but you won’t be able to see, you will miss those precious opportunities for value and cooperation.
Climb the lighthouse stairs;
Test those assumptions.
The more you question, the further you climb, the more exposed you are to the storm, but it is only from the top you will be able to look down on the situation from a different perspective.
Only from the top will you be able to shine a light, on them;
The cliff and the rock below is the past;
The shipwrecks upon those rocks are the past dissatisfactions and resentments;
The future is ahead. The opportunities to cooperate are the ships out at sea. Battling the same storm, directed by your light.
Always Beware of The Past, But Always be Aware, be Open, to Adapt to Opportunities
The past and its lessons must be etched in your memory, do not be fooled again.
You must effortlessly balance between the wisdom of that past, the current power dynamics and the opportunities you could create.
Oh, the beauty of it all! The delicate dance between trust and cynicism, between being open-minded and guarding your precious interests.
“How do porcupines have sex?”
Who needs trust when you can clutch your past experiences close to you like a shield of prickly spines of bitter cynicism. All you have to say is,
Or, you can call it out. Shine a light on it. Pre-condition them before you negotiate. Let them know, clearly and firmly, how dissatisfied you were, and warn them of the consequences and say,
“NO, But… if you… then we…!”
Make everything conditional and watch from the top of your lighthouse, prepared to adapt;
to compete or;
to cooperate as you listen to their response. The condition protects you…
Read on below for a comprehensive list of what you can do to manage this dilemma. How do Porcupines protect themselves from their dillema..?
CHECKLIST OF THE WEEK
Your Negotiators Check List for Mastering The Negotiator's Dilemma
PLAN. PLAN. PLAN: Evaluate the nature of the negotiation and the parties involved. Use P.L.A.N.T. Who has the power? Are there ongoing relationships at stake, or is it a one-time transaction? Who needs whom? This context influences the level of trust and caution required. Gather information about their track record, reputation, and previous negotiation outcomes. Understanding the history will help you assess their credibility and make informed decisions;
Identify patterns and red flags: Have they demonstrated reliability and integrity? Look for recurring behaviours or warning signs that may indicate a potential issue. Pay attention to past actions that could impact the current negotiation and be prepared to address them assertively and proactively;
Set clear objectives: Define your goals and desired outcomes for the negotiation. Assess their reliability and rebuild trust incrementally;
Establish a clear vision for the future;
Consider starting with small conditions, commitments, and gradually increase as cooperation and trust is re-established;
If the negotiation involves future interactions, emphasise the benefits of maintaining trust and cooperation beyond the immediate negotiation.
Always negotiate in good faith: Never lie. Continue to act with integrity and credibility, throughout the negotiation process. While it's crucial to be aware of past wrongdoings, approaching each negotiation with a willingness to create mutually beneficial but conditional solutions can help overcome lingering mistrust;
Communicate. Be assertive: Clearly articulate your expectations. Keep the opportunity open to build rapport, foster open discussion on a subject that is not sensitive. Actively listen to their perspective, and seek common ground. If none, then you have a clear message, beware!
Establish safeguards: Clearly communicate your expectations and establish objectives. Align interests and reduce the temptation for betrayal. But also incorporate safeguards, conditions, into the negotiation agreement to protect you from potential future issues. Include clear dispute resolution mechanisms or performance benchmarks to address concerns stemming from past experiences;
Continuously learn and adapt: Remain open to new ideas and strategies. Reflect on past negotiations to identify areas for improvement, refine your approach, and adapt your tactics for future negotiations.
We’d love to read your comments or thoughts.
Discuss or request more about this or other topics that interest you. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And please remember to Click ❤️ to trigger the algorithm and spread the word with one click. Thank you.