I had a most fascinating discussion the other morning with a negotiation Professor from a prominent London University. After I told her what Getting More said, she looked very concerned, almost horrified. She remarked that Getting More’s message challenges the entire worldwide field of negotiation, a field dominated by powerful universities, companies, and individuals. “They’ll kill you” she said (clearly exaggerating). But she did assert that these powerful institutions have invested millions of dollars in ideas like BATNA, win-win and leverage, and they make billions of dollars in revenues from this every year. They have all these “plug and play” courses that are easy to teach, she said.
And now I have come along and said it’s all wrong.
Using BATNA or leveraging power destroys relationships – and ultimately leads to retaliation. As such, goals are not met. Win-win is insufficient. It’s a rational tool in an irrational world. If I’m upset – which people often are in important negotiations – they don’t want to hear logical arguments. They want empathy and other considerations that make them feel better. And, when someone says to you, “Let’s do win-win,” doesn’t it feel like they’re saying, “What are you gonna do for me?” A senior investment banking executive told me, “Yeah, we all say win-win, but no one really does it.”
While this other negotiation professor was, by her own admission, fascinated by these counterintuitive ideas, she kept repeating that professors are not going to take kindly to throwing out their entire courses and starting over again. For some, she’s right. And that’s too bad. Because the tools in Getting More are more effective, focusing as they do on finding, valuing and then gradually changing the perceptions of others; making the human connection; overcoming unfairness with the calm use of standards and third parties.
So what I’m looking for is early adopters: people who see a new and better way of doing things and embrace change. Change as we’ve seen it in the past: the world is round, computers are the wave of the future, preventive medicine is a better idea, and hard work builds self reliance.
The 30,000 people I’ve taught in 45 countries have already embraced the new ideas contained in the pages of Getting More. In return for being early adopters, they have gained financial success in the billions of dollars and immeasurable personal and emotional success in the form of stronger relationships, better treatment in restaurants, hotels, and airplanes, calmer interactions, and happier kids.
So, will you join us? Will you dare to look the powers-that-be in the eye and say, I’ve found something better, something that helps me meet my goals more often, every day, in every area of my life? Something that rejects threats, force and “take-it-or-leave it.” It is time for a new model of human interaction. Will you be an early adopter of Getting More?