William Ury has co-founded Harvard's program on negotiations and is a global expert on mediation. What can he teach us in just 3 minutes? Check out this video to understand why you have to search for the other side's underlying motivation and needs. Build a 'golden bridge' to make it easy for them to say yes!
What we're reading:
Guess what? We, as humans, are not actually very reasonable! It turns out that we experience genuine pleasure from thinking we're right - even when we're wrong, and we're quick to accept evidence that favors our views! This 'New Yorker' article gives you both the evolution and the science for 'Why Facts Don't Change Our Minds,' a fascinating read!
Quote we're inspired by:
"Often after arguing about differing opinions, I hear people say, 'let's agree to disagree.' I look forward to a time so open-minded I'll hear people say, 'I'm right and you can be, too.'"
Paula Heller Garland
In Roald Dahl's famous book and hit movie, child super-genius Matilda's father tells her
"I'm smart; you're dumb. I'm big; you're little. I'm right; you're wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it!" As it turns out, we all love to think this way. The research shows that we have an innate
'confirmation bias.' In other words, we as humans tend to cherry-pick facts that support our existing ideas and beliefs, remembering and properly processing the information that proves us right.
We're quick to find flaws in other people's arguments, but are blind to our own imperfections. This"I'm right; you're wrong" attitude has evolved within us; something we should be cognizant of and careful with!
Yet, with this mindset, how is rational conversation or negotiation even possible? Never fear! There is a whole academic field addressing this, serving up
advice to truly understand the interests of the other side and build bridges for easier collaboration. Don't just dig your heels in
-- truly listen to the other side's position.
Not sure you know how? It's not too late to join our one-day
Skills for Effective Negotiations course this Saturday! And if you aren't in Costa Rica or you already have plans for this weekend, the
online version begins September 24th. Whether you're buying a car, agreeing on a salary,
choosing Uber or a taxi, or just deciding what to have for dinner, we all need to negotiate. So come learn how!
See you in the next Three Thought Thursday!
The Centre's Team
UPEACE Centre for Executive Education
University for Peace, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations