This is a quite specific take on the concept of negotiation, with much emphasis upon humans as total persons. The explicit aim: a better world.
The stakes may be high or low. You can negotiate with your daughter about the hour she returns at night, or at the highest level between nations to prevent war.
There are (at least) two standpoints involved and a reconciliation as the preferred aim.
Well, not exactly.
There may be two standpoints and a striving towards making them into one from the inside out. This starts with a different, more dynamic view of standpoints.
From the start, standpoints may be seen as instruments to meet each other and find common ground as much as possible. A standpoint is then just a higher point in this landscape, from which the view is nicer and, most probably, also more efficient.
The precondition is that each party can agree with this new meaning of negotiation. This should be clarified beforehand. A mediator may also be helpful. [see: “AURELIS Transformative Mediation“]
Negotiation as the search for broad optimization
In space, time (short term, long term), resources, happiness, meaningfulness, durability, ethics, humaneness… This is a multidimensional happening. It goes way beyond the win-win aim of standard negotiation, with parties being content when each can boast about the win he gets from the deal.
Transformative negotiation is about searching. Therefore, it’s not about winning (also not in win-win) but full-hearted striving. [see: “Not the Winning, but the Striving“]
Within this striving, the parties can help each other to reach a mutual goal. Of course, one party may be (much) stronger than the other. Lending perspective to this is part of the search.
Eventually, the goal can be much more far-reaching.
It can be driven by Compassion, operating on a collective spiritual plane.
If you think this is a utopia, then you don’t know the human being to the core. With proper support, people reach out for this. It may be more straightforward if you call it ‘happiness.’
People need happiness. There is no neediness in this, thus no win-win negotiation to relieve any neediness on both sides.
Cultures are unique, but everyone wants happiness.
Negotiation then becomes the search for how people can desire happiness for broader groups. This is a mainly transformative aim.
It’s also logical. Attaining this, negotiation is no longer about getting the best deal out of it for one versus the other, but one AND the other. The search is on for the latter in the most serious-minded manner.
No naiveté intended. With high stakes, such negotiation is hard work and requires profound negotiators who should be specifically trained for this. So much can be done in this regard!
Transformative negotiation requires full engagement.
It also requires stillness, patience, and openness to deal with one’s filters and triggers, not immediately judging the other party (or oneself). It requires not being afraid to say and hear ‘no.’ It requires the coexistence of humility and assertiveness. It requires relating to persons, not stereotypes.
Not only are cultures unique, but also individuals within those cultures. Otherwise said, each individual is a culture, even as far apart as a father and his daughter.
In transformative negotiation, there is no reconciliation of standpoints.
There is human growth. This is a transformation from the inside ― no change from the outside. [see: “Resistance to Change“]
This sounds a lot like bilateral coaching. That’s because, indeed, it is. An AURELIS take on this starts with specific values. [see: “AURELIS Values in Diplomacy“] On top of this, there are many tools and resources ready for use.
Hopefully, Lisa will soon be one of these. [see: “Lisa video“]