Is your negotiation ladder on the right wall?


Negotiation is like climbing a ladder. We set the stage by setting up our ladder, we roll up our sleeves, and get to work negotiating. Step-by-step we get closer to the top, where we had set our mind. Sometimes we get there and it feels like a bad dream. All our hard work, our time and energy for this? The ladder was on a wrong wall!

We are all familiar with the terms buyer’s remorse and seller’s remorse. The dream house seems so much smaller after the sale is closed. The asking price that seemed so ambitious could have been set much higher.

There’s also winner’s remorse. It’s not unusual for even the most successful win-win negotiation to leave both parties with a sense of dissatisfaction. Perhaps we’ve known someone who, after being offered a job they’ve worked very hard to get, suddenly realizes it’s not the right job for them after all.

An empty success happens when we do not have a clear knowledge of our Self. Most people move through their lives at a level of consciousness that is clouded, colored, and distorted by countless distractions. We may think we know what we want, purely and simply, but in reality we’re subject to subtle forces of envy, misguided ambition, myopic vision, haunting experiences from our past, momentary impulses, or temporary emotional imbalances. It is this disconnect with our true essence that is the root cause of dissatisfaction.

Before we enter any negotiation we must take the time to reach deep within and discover what it is that we need, where the need is coming from, and what are the practical issues at stake in satisfying those needs. For example, if one is looking for a job, what’s at stake for us? Salary, vacation time, and benefit packages, of course, but what about alignment of the company’s philosophy with one’s own, the potential for upward mobility, the workplace environment, and location? In other words, this new role will provide a positive formative experience, not be time spent in purgatory, a learning experience in what can go wrong. Once we take the time to go deep within, we are now drawing from a place of strength and knowledge.

The Law of Strength, one of 8 Laws of Enlightened Negotiation® is about the strength of knowledge. To learn more about this visit: