If most negotiations are about whose version of reality will win, who decides what reality is?
If many negotiations result in win-lose outcomes, are the “losers” as committed to the ultimate agreement as the “winners” are?
If some negotiations happen because either party doesn’t ask the “right” questions, then what are the “right” questions, what are the “wrong” questions, and who gets to tell the difference?
If negotiations are a form of communication, then why are there so many miscommunications in negotiations?
There are a ton of “what ifs” about the nature of negotiation. Many of the process “what ifs” have been answered for at least the last thirty years. So why is it so hard to get the result we want for ourselves (and the other party) so often in a negotiation?
Conversations are the beginning of a negotiation.
Most everything can be negotiated.
Except when most everything can’t be negotiated.
Which, if you answer the “what ifs” with some clarity, candor and courage, become the linchpins around which negotiations can truly begin as a communication process.