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Negotiating: speak up and defend your position

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

"Speak up is one of the biggest sources of regrets" Daniel Pink

"Low Power double bind is when you do not have power to speak, but you should speak" Adam Galansky

Understand first, then expects to be understood

"Understand first, then expects to be understood: take a step back and try to understand the other side values and needs." Conducting Effective Negotiations

The first time I heard this sentence "understand first, then expects to be understood" was with Stephen R. Covey; I enjoyed the sentence because it was the first time I heard someone saying it directly, in a workshop. We have this tendency to to "me-centered", and even on negotiation, we tend to want to destroy the other party. Not sure who may have invented such negotiating style; Marshall Rosenberg likes to say that it appeared on our society, not being something inate. We learn a lot from each other, even without perceiving.

Share when you negotiate

Clip ✂️

I do love this one! Again, against the common sense. It seems to that we tend to listen to the wrong people. The guy that predicted the American economic crash once said, on the context of investing, that we tend to listen to close people compared to experts, someone already on the field of a long time.

We have this weird notion that we must hide everything. It is true that some will take advatange, but you are forgetting the people that will use this information properly; which is higher, I believe. We talked about High Conflict People, they are lower in terms of probability, thanks God!😂

I have this strange principle that stay away when possible from those people, that would take advantage when you share; I had those people in my life, and the results were not encouraging. As claims Joel Peterson , avoid cenarios where you just have one partner. Unfortunately, that is how our academic world works. You just have one advisor. It is my dream that young research should gain autonomy, you should be able to choose if you want an advisor. Force, for me, is like saying for sure they do not have the maturity, how are you so sure?

As I claim on our ebook : when possible, try to have several adivsors and partners. On my undergrad, I had two adivsors formally, and about six partners. When I had to decide about my monograph, I had choices, I have chosen amogst partners, chosen the one most suitable to my desires and plans. As claims Joel Peterson , you must have choices. I have leant this trick as janitor, about 16 years old. I used to say:

"I like to have several bosses, should I have problems with one, it is localized"

"Avoid situation when you have no choice" Joel Peterson

Again, our academic world goes against any possible negotiation on the correct term. When I wrote "I believe the review-based system is excellent for e-learning, but not the final story", that what I had in mind. Some universities in Brazil already assign you advisor before you start. How can you negotiate with someone you did not choose? Kind of hard!

In an experiment, they showed that even kids already have the sense of helping, it is inate to give. Marshal Rosenberg brougth that on several of this talks regarding sharing, being vunerable; it is the core idea of nonviolent communication. As he brings as example. An executive told him "they will eat me alive", but that did not happen. I believe this work similar to being defensive on a room, "one defensive person triggers a cascade of defensive people" said Jim Tamm

Experience exchange. recently I was facing issues with a student of mine. I follow him periodically. So, I shared with him why I was practicing the price I was practicing. We closed the deal without further argumentations, it was quite fast after a tense e-mail exchange.

My tips

Be honest

Totally that some people will take advantage, but they are SOME people, a small number of people. Remember, aim at the big picture.

Be kind

Always be kind! Research and research shows that if someone is relaxed, do not feel threatened, they will want to collaborate with you. It may mean getting what you want.

Do not go for the classic self-steem destruction strategy

Aiming self-esteem

It amazes me how many professors use this strategy, in special in Brazil. I believe academics are the worse negotiators ever, our main reference was at Stanford. They tend to use strategies such as destroying the adversary: I am also on this list, and try my best to use tecnique to override this tendencies I have picked during my academic times. Sometimes, I have this feeling that my years as janitor and precious stones sellers helped me during academic times. Professors in general suck in negotiator, they tend to overely on power asymmetry. They tend to use power, to impose. It may work, but as Stephen Covey likes to say, to which cots? killing the golden chicken? I consider the academic world one of the most violent environment I have been.


In a Facebook discussion, a person told me that she had a paper and she wanted to propose changes, but she did not. Aftermath, she was correct. For sure, this was a big source of regret.

Most of the time we try to scape from conflict, not considering that regret can be worse than facing the situation head to head. Reading a book called Courage to be Disliked Book by Fumitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi. The authors say that "when you have a tough situation, face it, inertia is the worse". Not speaking up is inertia!

On my case, as I wrote on “Os diferentes tipos de orientadores: alguns insights na nossa sondagem online”: I have decided to defend my position.

One time my supervisor called me and may have cursed me for minutes; at the time, I was studying how to deal with angry people, high conflict people : decided just to listen and breath. Not saying I was able to keep control, but I believe things could have been worse.

I do not believe we develop these abilities overnigth: it takes time, it takes practice. and it takes patience. You will fail from time to time, but win others. The worse thing you can do is thinking you can win all: no one can!



Conducting Effective Negotiations (full workshop)


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