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01/19/2013

Courage and Negotiation

The Constitution in PerilThe Constitution in Peril (Photo credit: Renegade98)

Negotiating with courage, civility, integrity requires the sincere desire to find common ground.  

Following are a couple of useful strategies as we discuss the controversial issues of the day. 

It is helpful to recognize that the other person's beliefs are valid....for instance many people believe the Second Amendment protects all firearms regardless of size and scope.  If that is your position,acknowledge it, and then acknowledge that after tragedies that kill it is not difficult to understand why some people - especially families of victims - would want to change the current status.

A helpful follow up suggestion would be that the mental health of the shooter might be more of a problem than his weapon - so a discussion of the scope of the problem would be in order.

or,

If you believe the national debt is a much larger threat than global warming, an effective negotiator would acknowledge that climate change is occurring.  A follow up suggestion might be that the pace of global warming pales in comparison to the pace of increase of the national debt - so a discussion of prioritizing problems and issues would better serve the group.

Remember, negotiation does not demand compromise (or being compromised) it is about seeking common ground.

When common ground can be found (no matter how small the territory) celebrate - and then act on it - together.

A helpful tactic is to take some notes of agreements and share them...this prevents going over the same ground during the next discussion - where everything has been said, but not everyone has said it.

Are there training sessions in Congress?  Does anyone listen?  Or are people just waiting their turn to talk?

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