David and Goliath has always been the traditional underdog story. The little shepherd boy slays the mighty warrior. The story has inspired many negotiators throughout the years to "have a go" but could there be another explanation as to how David won? Should we really be feeling sorry for Goliath? What are the real lessons for negotiators here? Watch this video clip then contemplate the lessons below.
Lessons to be learned by negotiators?
Studying the other side's strengths and weaknesses, as well as your own, is a vital part of preparation
- Many people and organisations do not spend enough time considering the power balance or they misread it
- Just because the other party looks bigger, stronger, more power doesn't mean they are in all circumstances and situations
- Sometimes the source of another party's apparent strength or power could also be their greatest weakness
- Assumptions of power and how things will pan out are just that, assumptions. They can be wrong
- Many people and organisations try to create the illusion of power, when they are in reality, much weaker
- You don't have to fight their kind of battle, their way, on their ground, when they want
- Consider the power balance creatively. Try to think "outside the square". What if we changed the timing? the issues? the people? the place? the strategy? the weaponry even? How might or can we use their strengths and weaknesses against them?
- Beware of assumptions of your own and the other party's power
- Just because someone is viewed as "junior" does not mean they haven't got a new approach, one that others haven't considered, or some experience in another setting which might be able to make all the difference
- Watch for the little guy with a new approach, tools or weapons
Post courtesty of Scotwork New Zealand.