“He would make us take the time to take an inventory of our positive attributes and talents, as well as the areas of weakness where we needed to grow.”
When I was growing up, soccer was the most popular national sport. From kindergarten to collage, that was the activity of choice. There were many victories and celebrations as well as many losses and humiliations. Of all my coaches, Zia always stood out as someone with an unusual ritual. Pep talks before each game were common, but Zia’s after-game talks and teachings were unlike any of the other coaches’. He called it “taking inventory time.”
Zia was always positive regardless of our wins or losses. I remember his famous saying: “Some times you win, some times you learn.” He would make us take the time to take an inventory of our positive attributes and talents, as well as the areas of weakness where we needed to grow.
Ever since, that ritual of taking inventory has become a very valuable practice in many areas of my life where I need to improve my expertise, including in my negotiation skills. In Enlightened Negotiation®, it’s a critical piece of the process.
After you’ve reached the completion of a negotiation, as an enlightened negotiator you need to reflect on how the process unfolded and what progress has been made. Are the parties closer to their ultimate goals, or are they further away? No professional athlete ever goes to the next game without analyzing the performance of the previous game; like them, we must consciously capitalize on our areas of strength and give extra attention to our weakest areas. Like them, we must study and learn from our counterparts.
A negotiation diary can be a useful ally in our quest toward perfecting our skills. At the end of each significant negotiation, perhaps even at the end of each day, we can take inventory of positive accomplishments and setbacks, measure our progress in tuning our communications with others, and make note of areas in which we need to make more effort.
Want more tips on how to become a better negotiator who takes all parties’ needs and consideration in a way that is beneficial to all? Visit my website at EnlightenedNegotiation.com to find out more and how you can register for my May 18th Enlightened Negotiation Training here.