Friday, August 10, 2012

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit--William Ury--Getting to Yes: Negotiating Conflict

Waiting for a talk about negotiating conflict at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit to help with Operation Christmas Child leadership.--

Q and A--

How did you get started in conflict resolution?
--as an anthropologic I looked at history of war and the questions is how do we learn to live with each other?

Why do you think this topic is relevant for everybody?
--I see this as the basis of relationship.  Wherever you go in life you spend much time engaged with others in negotiating.  How many decisions can you make unilaterally?  Negotiation is the preeminent process for making decisions.

In your experience, what is the greatest obstacle to success in negotiation?
--It's not the difficult person, it's ourselves.  We are the biggest barrier because it's a natural human tendency to react without thinking.  "When angry you will make the best speech you'll ever regret."  The key foundation is the ability of 'going to the balcony'--someplace where you can get a larger perspective--a place of clarity.

One of the greatest powers in negotiation is the power not to react.

What are the skills we need to negotiate?
--focusing on the people and their underlying needs--we get soft on the people and get soft on the problem or we get hard on the problem and hard on the person;  successful negotiators keep them separate and go soft on the people while remaining hard on the problem.  Important to put yourself in the shoes of the other side and know where their minds are.  Most important to give basic human respect.  Trying to change the game from face-to-face to side-by-side.
--focusing on interests and not positions--address the underlying needs and probe behind the positions; Always ask "why do you want that?";
--developing multiple options--develop creative possibilities that meet the needs of both sides
--fairness--insist that the result be based on some objective standard--The ego comes in and the process begins to drag on so you want to use standards that are outside of their will;  use fairness as a guide;

BATNA--Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement -- what will you do if you cannot negotiate a solution?  Deciding this beforehand allows you to negotiate with more confidence.  You want to measure if the agreement is better than the alternative.

Do you have much hope for the Middle East?--Some conflicts are so difficult they can only be healed by a story.  For me, that's the story of Abraham.  My dream is that we revive the ancient way of making peace by walking in the footsteps of Abraham.  Abraham had the trait of hospitality and they are making paths in the Middle East for people to walk together.  (  --motto is "less talk, more walk"

Do you have any final words to help us resolve our conflicts well?-- Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War was feeling very heavy about how to bind the wounds of the nation.  He was speaking sympathetically about the south and a patriot asked him how he could speak well of his enemy.  He said, "Do I not destroy my enemy when I turn him into my friend?"

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