When the Outcome is not what was wanted or expected, Negotiators have only themselves to Blame.
When you are on the receiving end of a bad, unreasonable proposal or a deal that
does not address what you want, it is your fault. And what’s more, there is no
point complaining about it or blaming the other side. It’s what you have done or
not done, said or not said, that is the problem. You are responsible for the part
you control and influence. If the other side fails to understand, take note or realise
what is possible do not blame them for your failure. It is one of the most
significant lessons to be learnt. A lesson we learn the hard way, especially in this
day and age when taking full responsibility for one’s own actions is becoming increasingly rare.
The fashion would seem to be blame anyone but yourself. Trying to “get away with it” and not be “found out” is all too common. When things start to wrong – run. No – admit the mistake and learn. Failure to learn the lesson means that you keep repeating the mistake, the bad habit and try to get away with it.
Why does this happen? Because you allow it to. You do not put in the hard graft
to prepare, research, listen, question, understand. It is your fault. You have failed
to be diligent and use the processes with appropriate knowledge or discipline.
You have not taken responsibility.
In Preparation: did you define objectives with the clarity that left you (or anyone
else) in no doubt what you wanted? If not why not? Did you ask yourself if you
should communicate what you wanted? Oh no, because you like to gamble. Oh
no, because you did not know what you wanted! Oh no, because you thought
you’d wait until you found out where the other side was coming from (and they
In Dialogue: did you prepare the right questions to find out what they wanted and
how badly? Did you pick up the signals from what was said? Did you plan how to
When planning what to tell the other side did you know what information to give
and what to keep to yourself? Did you have the courage to go first and tell them
what you wanted and what they had to do if they wanted a deal? Worse – did you
fail to make a proposal and so cede the initiative to them?
Negotiating is a life skill. In life you get what you deserve. In negotiating you get
the deal that you deserve.
Remember it is always your fault.