Discover more from The Weekly Walkaway
Your Weekly Walkaway - Seven Negotiation Lessons from ‘A Christmas Carol’
The Weekly Walkway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 15 (22nd December 2022)
What to expect?
Quotes of the Week - "I wear the chain I forged in life…"
Tactic of the Week - The Consequence
Thought of the Week - 7 Negotiation Lessons from Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’
Happy Christmas to all of you from all of us here at Kahvay.
Thank you for supporting us throughout 2022 and we look forward to serving you more in 2023.
(The Weekly Walkaway will return on Friday 13th January 2023)
Remember: You are a negotiator!
You are always managing some form of conflict, a difference of opinion or interest.
Click ❤️ to show your appreciation of our work, and please share. Thank you.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it."
Jacob Marley (Scrooge’s Business partner)
TACTIC OF THE WEEK
A threat or a warning is given. The tactic specifically points out the seriousness of the consequences of not complying or agreeing. Usually a level of preconditioning would have occurred to increase their credibility to set expectations with information (market, precedent, historical) to strengthen their position. There will be a suggestion of inevitability, “it's going to happen” and ‘higher authority’ will be involved and being communicated with, to lower your credibility and again, to strengthen their position. This would also accompany messages suggesting that they have alternatives, BATNA’s.
Climb to the top of your lighthouse. Look down on the situation from another point of view. Bring your team in and discuss the different perspectives. Challenge the threat’s credibility; has it been written? is there a time and date of action? have they done this before and what happened? who has stronger BATNA’s and are theirs credible? why now? etc.. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate”! JFK.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
7 Negotiation Lessons from Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’
"Bah humbug." Ebenezer Scrooge
For me, the most well remembered and impactful Christmas story, from my childhood, was Charles Dickens’ "A Christmas Carol". It is a classic that tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an angry, selfish and lonely old git of a man. Someone we, here at Kahvay, would describe as an Eastern Negotiator.
Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and then three other ghosts on Christmas Eve. These ghosts show Scrooge how his actions have had consequences.
Here are my seven negotiation lessons that I took away from "A Christmas Carol":
Climb to the top of your lighthouse: One of the main themes of "A Christmas Carol" is the importance of emotional intelligence and understanding the perspectives of others. At Kahvay we use the metaphor of ‘climbing to the top of your lighthouse’. When negotiating, it's important to understand the other party's issues, to be open to hearing different viewpoints, consider different options and to approach the negotiation with a willingness to find common ground and solutions. The Ghosts act as Scrooge’s lighthouse, he is able to look down from a different perspective and ‘finally’ see things in a different light.
Behaviour breeds behaviour: The Ghost’s lessons help to mold and change Scrooge's behaviour by changing his attitudes. He learns to let go of his anger and resentment and stop looking to the past but to look to the future. In negotiations, it's important to be aware of and manage our own emotions, as well as to recognise and address the emotions of others. In order to reach successful outcomes, we need to appreciate that our behaviour has an impact on the people around us. In "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge learns that he needs to make some changes in his own behaviour and attitudes in order to have a better relationship with those around him. In a negotiation, both parties need to be wary that by the law of reciprocity if you compete with your counterpart, they will compete back; if you can control your tone of voice, you can control theirs; if you become angry, they will become defensive; and if you smile, they might smile back.
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”
Satisfaction: Scrooge learns that it's not just about getting what he wants, but also treating others with respect. In a negotiation, it's important to ensure that the other party feels that they have achieved an appropriate outcome. That they feel they won something. That they are satisfied with the deal.
The long-term consequences of our actions matter: The Ghosts show Scrooge how his actions have had negative consequences for both himself and others, and how those consequences will continue to affect him in the future. In negotiations, it's important to consider not just the immediate outcome, but also the long-term implications of your agreements. We should always consider the true value of what we are negotiating for and to consider whether it will be sustainable and beneficial.
The Law of Change: It's never too late to change your approach. Even though Scrooge has behaved selfishly and inappropriately, he is given the chance to change. In negotiations never give up and remember that it's never too late to change your plan, repackage your proposals, change your behaviour and try a different approach. Be open to change, to new ideas, and to consider alternative approaches. Scrooge initially resists the lessons that the ghosts are trying to teach him, but ultimately he realises, ‘he’ needs to change.
The Law of Reciprocity: Scrooge learns that by giving to others he can have a positive impact on both his own life and the lives of those around him. In negotiation, demonstrating a willingness to give can help to build trust and enable successful outcomes. Make proposals, move, concede, you will employ the law of reciprocity, they will feel the need to move too. So we must plan to move. Scrooge ultimately learns that he doesn't have to hold on to everything. He realises that he can find joy in giving and in helping others (giving satisfaction). It's important to plan to move, to be flexible. If you don’t you will experience the negative side of reciprocity; they perceive you as the Scrooge; selfish, competitive, mean and stubborn and remember; behaviour breeds behaviour. You must plan concessions in order to reach an agreement.
Listen and consider: Scrooge was so focused on his own wealth and material possessions that he neglected the needs of others so at the beginning he resists the ghosts' attempts to show him these failings. Fear and ingrained behaviours prevented him from listening and considering, but eventually he learned to listen and consider their teaching. In negotiation we must be open to others' viewpoints, we must question and take the time to listen, we must hold our silence and allow them to talk. Only then can we gain a better understanding of their needs, wants and interests, which helps us find solutions.
“I don't know what to do! I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!'"
Thanks for reading The Weekly Walkaway! CLICK ❤️ and Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support our work.