Washington, D.C., remains in a state of confusion over the government shutdown. Reports continue about who won and who lost, and whether or not it was all worth it. In truth the media probably cared more than anybody and it won't likely mean much by November. But that doesn't mean there aren't valuable lessons to be learned.

However you feel about the issues, it's never good when two sides can't compromise and failure ensues. In business, there is often more opportunity working together rather than opposed. But this requires negotiation, a skill many lack. Successful negotiation requires good faith, an ability to think outside the box, and a willingness to behave like an adult.

Here is some wisdom from negotiation experts of the past 100 years:

1. "First, all deals that close are win-win deals. The two sides would not agree to a proposal unless they thought agreement was better for them than no deal." -- G. Richard Shell

2. "The art of negotiation is perhaps what most deeply distinguishes man from the animals, and it is this art and this will to negotiate that has brought man forward, elevated him beyond the animals." -- Harry Martinson

3. "Your first objective in the negotiation, instead of making your argument, is to hear the other side out. That's the only way you can quiet the voice in the other guy's mind. But most people don't do that." -- Christopher Voss

4. "Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree." -- Dean Acheson

5. "The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts." -- Howard Baker

6. "During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively." -- Brian Koslow

7. "He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat." -- Robert Estabrook

8. "Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing."
-- Carrie Fisher

9. "Successful negotiation is not about getting to 'yes'; it's about mastering 'no' and understanding what the path to an agreement is." -- Christopher Voss

10. "The best move you can make in negotiation is to think of an incentive the other person hasn't even thought of -- and then meet it." -- Eli Broad

11. "For me, relationship is very important. I can lose money, but I cannot lose a relationship. The test is, at the end of a conversation or a negotiation, both must smile."
-- Sunil Mittal

12. "If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing." -- Harri Holkeri

13. "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate." -- John F. Kennedy

14. "Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way." -- Sir David Frost

15. "Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction." -- Mark McCormack

16. "Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously." -- Lance Morrow

17. "Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person."
-- Harvey Robbins

Published on: Jan 25, 2018
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