The Most Important Negotiation in Your Life

You negotiate all day, every day, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep. Life is a series of negotiations.

Contract terms and conditions. Defining deadlines, scope, and deliverables. You make offers, counteroffers, and agreements to settle. You say yes. You say no. You stall for time. When you go home, the negotiations continue. Over buying a new car, how much screen time the kids are allowed, how much to spend or save.

Actually, the most important negotiations we have are the ones we have with ourselves. Better results, stronger relationships, and more of life’s deeper rewards, all come from learning to negotiate with yourself.

As you go about the ordinary business of every day, there are inner commentators competing for your attention. At times they speak nicely. But often their voices debate each other like hostile adversaries on talk radio. These negotiating parties or “inner negotiators” can be identified as the Dreamer, the Thinker, the Lover and the Warrior.

The Dreamer is led by intuition, and fuels your ability to innovate. The Thinker is led by reason, and equips you to analyze and evaluate information. The Lover is led by emotion, and knows how to manage relationships. The Lover’s ability to get communication right is essential now to avoid a downward spiral in reactive global markets. The Warrior is led by willpower, and excels at taking action. The inner Warrior steps forward to tell the hard truth, to take a stand for your values, and to roll up your sleeves to get things done.

Summing-up: The most important negotiation in your life is “getting to yes” with yourself. When you learn how to do that, you’ll start winning at everything else.

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