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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

22 Compassion

While it may be immediately profitable, it is inadvisable to take extreme advantage of another’s weakness in a negotiation. There are ethical/moral principles higher than the bottom line in business. If there weren’t, piracy would be a legitimate business enterprise. The application of such principles serves our best interests in business and in life. Compassion is one such principle.

For example, if, in a negotiation, you realise the other party is disadvantaged by illness, or a state of duress, it is better and wiser to respond like a fellow human being rather than as a shark during a feeding frenzy. At such times compassion, or understanding sympathy, is worth its weight in gold. (Why do you think it’s called the Golden Rule?)

Compassion, perhaps the noblest human response to suffering, invokes the highest human emotions of admiration and gratitude in those to whom it is directed. This is true in all situations, including negotiations.

Obviously, compassion should not prevent you from dynamic negotiating in order to achieve your financial objectives. Compassion is simply a healthy counterbalance to a predatory, “go-for-the-jugular” business approach that seeks immediate profits at the cost of long-term benefits and harmonious business relationships.

If what goes around really comes around, then compassion is simply smart business. In the ever-shifting world of negotiations, sometimes you have the “power” and sometimes they do. The principles you apply consistently in business and life work for you whether you’re aware of it or not. You accrue a kind of spiritual credit that pays dividends, at times unexpectedly, and in surprising ways.

By practicing compassion in your business dealings, you become the kind of person others like, trust, and want to do business with. And don’t be surprised if your business relationships evolve into personal friendships.



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