Negotiations Being in a relationship or partnership of any sort means we will have to negotiate, propose, and agree to a countless number of issues; that crop up from day to day for the life of the relationship.
Free and Fair If we want a free and fair negotiation, we will also have to agree to some rules of engagement. E.g., no spitting, biting, or scratching 🙂
Breaking the Rules A violation of these rules is considered an offense, resulting in a caution, penalty, or disqualification by a referee/or each other. Ultimately we are accountable. We are responsible if we break or bend these rules.
Rules Revised When Needed We can revise the rules when needed if we both agree to the changes. The better the rules, the better our negotiations, which leads to even better rules.
InContemptof Our Agreed Rules Failure to continue endorsing our agreed rules of engagement would result in contempt and would be grounds to end any agreements formed in the relationship or partnership. Basically, it would be time to say goodbye.
Let the negotiations and agreements for the first rules of engagement begin! I just happen to have a few that I have prepared earlier, I call them Object123 .
Is it possible that we were and are tamed by conversation? I suspect so. I also suspect some of us have been tamed more than others, which would explain why some adults are still almost feral with their poor behavior and ill-temper.
Never fear, however, as I have come up with a simple tool to help those of us that still need some taming training. I call it Object123.com, and it could quite possibly make up for any lack of conversation taming we should have received previously.
Once agreed to, this behavioral tool can help us bring each other into line quick smart, as we learn to object to any ill-tempered misbehavior we produce, especially during disagreements.
Once tamed enough, we can then enter into some extreme, productive, and exciting negotiations and proposals that I believe all good conversation is supposed to entail.
Imagine we are in a company design meeting. You are new to the company but speak up with your suggested solution for a long standing problem on the company’s website? John, a leading Tech Designer stands up shouts out; “Yecch! That won’t work!” What happens next could well decide the fate of you, your idea and possibly the fate of the company, depending how big the problem is.
This scenario, I believe would happen countless number of times, in millionions of organisations, all around the world with no real standard way to deal with such disagreements. So, if this was you being browbeaten by John how do you go about dealing with this now apparent disagreement?
If we were an organisation using Object123 we would have a simple process for you to apply. You could instantly Caution John on his tone and volume and use of absolute language. “I would like to Caution you John on your use of tone, volume and absolute language!” At this point John could simply retract his statement and acknowledge his misbehavior reiterating in a more acceptable way; “Okay. Can I more accurately say that, in my view, your idea will not work because of …..” And so the disagreement can start on an even footing and if you can counter his argument, (now, without having to deal with his emotional browbeating) then we can have a meaningful and fair discussion.
However if John did not receive your Caution well and made another gafuffel sound; “Hugh!” And refused to give an adequate explanation for his outburst, then you could escalate your Caution to an Objection; “I object!” And then you can expect a simple apology from John for his obvious use of tone, volume and absolute language. But, if still no contriteness from John other than continuing to disagree vehemently with your suggested idea, then…..
You could now escalate it one more time to a Stop in real-time, during the meeting and now, unless John gave a definitive explanation for his behavior or an acceptable apology to you the meeting would now be called to a pause or conclusion in order for you and John to deal with the alleged misbehavior. Where by you would both front up to a team of peers to adjudicate your behavioral dispute and their decision would be final.
Now you might think this John guy has some serious behavior and ego issues or you may even side with him, who knows? But either way this process will sort out the sheep from the goats. But somehow I doubt any such scenario will get to a Stop because the ramifications of such high standards of accountability will outshine any ego, in my view.
“I agree with the content of your point but I object to how it was delivered”
Why is this sentence so important? Because it then allows us to have a duel conversation. One on the merit of the contents of a conversation and two, on the merits of the behavior while delivering the content.
Now add a few basic rules of engagement and we end up with Object123.
My belief is that we confuse these two premises and mix behavior and content together, during a disagreement and end up with a mess or war.
Every dictionary on the planet contributes to this error by not separating out “disagree” vs “object”, going on to define the verb “object” as: “To disagree with something or someone…” How I can disagree with something is beyond me? I can only disagree with the maker or user of the thing, I believe. And making no differentiation between disagree and object is, to me, clearly not helpful.
I believe the proper definition of the verb to object is to disagree with one’s behavior, not someone or something, period.
Taking offense, whether it is at work or at home, is not an uncommon experience. So you would think that we would have a commonly agreed-upon solution to approach this problem, when it occurs.
But ask any two random people, in an office or at home, how they should behave when they have been offended or when they have offended another and you will find a different answer every time. Well that is my bet. No structure seems to exist. It’s either “suck it up buttercup” or be equally or more offensive in return.
I am amazed by this lack of preparation. Even in the most advanced organizations and behavioral thinking, this gap in how we should behave when we misbehave, seems to exist.
Here is where Object123 comes in. A simple, memorable tool to use, in real-time when we have taken offense.