I went recently went back home to New Zealand to spend time with my family. As usual there were plenty of opportunities for in-depth conversations over numerous cups of coffee and home cooked meals. On one such occasion my father told me a story about his first job as a Postie, when he was in his mid-teens.
Dad confessed he slept in one morning, which resulted in being hours late for the job. He was fired on the spot and told to go home. Not exactly a happy story, but there’s a bit more to it.
Dad went on to explain, being young and immature at the time he simply accepted his boss’s instruction to go home. Having matured and with his wealth of life experience he wishes he could be transported back in time and have the opportunity to handle the discussion with his boss differently.
Dad pointed out that his boss would have had to deliver the post for the day seeing as he acted on impulse. Furthermore his boss would now need to spend several hours training a replacement.
What are the lessons for negotiators?
Now despite the folly of his youth, my father went on to bigger and greater things in his career. I guess it was a happy story after all.