negotiation | April 14, 2013

Why One Person's Loss Isn't Your Gain: Misha Glouberman On Negotiation

"You want to remember what really matters to you," negotiation speaker Misha Glouberman says of interacting with others in a keynote speech, "and not fixate on one way of getting there." In his popular class on negotiation and communication, How To Talk To People About Things, he teaches participants how to interact with people more effectively and secure more positive and productive outcomes. One of the pieces of advice he gives in his class (and in the keynote above) is that it's crucial to avoid getting into a 'battle' mentality with another person. It is key to not see someone else as your enemy, nor allow yourself to believe that their loss correlates into your own personal gain.

This is what's known as a zero-sum game. While Glouberman says that these are actually incredibly rare in real life, taking an 'enemy-battle' mindset can cause you to view many interactions as zero-sum games, when a mutually beneficial outcome is actually possible. And, this kind of thinking is actually extremely costly to your personal interests. You must be aware of this mentality and the negative implications that come with it, he stresses in the keynote. If you get wrapped up in this kind of thinking, you will often miss solutions that were not inherently obvious—and possibly more productive than the obvious—and could lose sight of what is ultimately most important.

Glouberman is the author of The Chairs Are Where the People Go (named as one of the best books of 2011 by The New Yorker) and host of the standing-room only non-expert lecture series Trampoline Hall. His classes—a new series of which is beginning at the end of the this month in Toronto—teaches people the invaluable skill of dealing with others in various situations. In all of his presentations on negotiation he pinpoints the most effective ways to navigate our interactions—in times of peace and conflict—to ensure we see the results we want to achieve.

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education | April 11, 2013