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Live and prosper through ethical behaviour

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)

43 Ethics

Ethics in practice can be boiled down to the gospel injunction, known as The Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Or, as Rabbi Hillel says in Ethics of the Fathers, “Don’t do unto others as you would not like them to do unto you. The rest of the laws are only common sense. Go and study them.” A litmus test of ethical action is to ask yourself if you would want someone to do it to you. If the answer is no, it probably isn’t ethical.

Your ethical value system is a product of your family upbringing, your social and educational environment, your religious background (if any), and your life experience. It is learned and internalised over time. It can become better or worse depending on the life choices you make, the kind of mentors you find or choose, and the character you develop in life.

For some people, their belief in the law of karma, of cause and effect – “As you have done unto others, so shall it be done unto you”- keeps them on the straight and narrow, and committed to living an ethical life. But others live by the maxims of “it’s only a crime if you are caught,” and “the ends justify the means”.

Ethics are the foundation of character, self-esteem, personal authority, and confident decision-making. So, great negotiators are ethical people, both on principle, and because it’s simply the best way to do business with others. People want to do business with ethical people. And people with a reputation for ethical behaviour in any field are highly regarded and often recommended.

To become known for your unethical behaviour and actions is to become an “untouchable” in business terms.

No one who is aware of your reputation will want to do business with you, let alone negotiate or even talk to you. Your ethics, or standard of conduct, are the spine of your reputation. Keep it straight, true, and strong, and your business and reputation will prosper.


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