Too many leaders, especially when they are young have not learned that negotiation is a key to their leadership. Negotiation is the art of taking into account the various perspectives and concerns of a number of parties and coming up with a solution that can be supported by all.

Needing to have our way and not being open to other perspectives or willing to compromise with others is a sign of pride, stubbornness and often gets black and white leaders into trouble. People rightly start to perceive them as unreasonable and hard to work with.

This does not mean we cannot have strong opinions. It is a mark of a leader but why is my strong opinion superior to another's strong opinion? Because it is mine? Because I need to be right? Because my ego and person hood is so wrapped up in getting my way? When one looks at it that way it looks, well, arrogant and ugly!

Healthy leaders state their positions but also invite robust dialogue on issues, believing that better answers come from a number of competent people grappling with an issue than just them. They also have an attitude that it is about the mission, not about them and so don't take it personally when they don't get all that they want. 

All of life is a negotiation at some level. My marriage is. My leadership is. Even the relationship with my kids was. Sure there are  convictions that we won't compromise on but all too often what we won't compromise on is not conviction but preference. The best leaders invite opposing views and bring their group to a healthy consensus. They know how to negotiate and compromise.

  • May 18, 2013
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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