Everything is a Negotiation

Recently listening to the San Francisco outlet of National Public Radio I heard an interview with Ron Suskind discussing his new book The One Percent Doctrine. In this book Mr. Suskind takes his readers into his experiences conducting the interrogation of some of the most highly prized prisoners in the war on terrorism, Abu Zubaydah and the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Mr. Suskind is a fascinating person and a direct participant in events that are both historic and instructive on how best to conduct American foreign policy in this important but highly sensitive area.

I was particularly taken with Mr. Suskind’s response to the interviewer’s query as to the effectiveness of so called “enhanced” interrogation techniques or what some are referring to simply as torture. Mr. Suskind said that such disturbing techniques do not work and all you get is highly suspect intelligence. Quite logically Mr. Suskind said that under torture what you will receive is anything the suspect thinks you want to hear to make the torture stop. Instead of engaging in torture Mr. Suskind opined that to receive truly productive intelligence you must engage in negotiation.

Once again the maxim that “everything is a negotiation” is validated. Whenever one party wishes to obtain something of value from another party the key is negotiation, or mediation, and not coercive persuasion. This is true in a union negotiating with management, partners dissolving a partnership or a husband and wife deciding on child custody and visitation issues following the end of their marriage.

Where one side to a negotiation has an advantage, tactical, monetary or psychological, the reliance solely on that advantage to obtain a disproportionate result in settlement is almost always a strategic mistake. If the disadvantaged side is forced to a specific result they will not be vested into the process and will not support the settlement. The undeniable truth is just because you can obtain a certain result using draconian methods, it is almost always better to forgo using the hardball style and obtain the same, or close to the same, result using negotiation or a mediated approach.

Imposed results on a weaker party cause resentment and if an opportunity for sabotage presents, you can count on things going wrong. Mediation will usually create a conflict management plan that the participants recognize as an effective balancing of the interests and therefore the parties are more likely to adhere to and respect the plan.

Whether you are involved in a nasty divorce, spiteful partnership dispute, malicious property battle, malevolent probate contest, or any seemingly insurmountable fight with an apparently implacable foe, call Liaise Divorce Solutions and we will start you on the path to peace.