Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting from "no" to "yes" in negotiation with storytelling

William Ury can teach you a lot about negotiating--and storytelling, two things speakers need in all sorts of situations.  In this video, the co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In uses the language of speaking and storytelling to share how to behave effectively in negotiations.

He notes that "Human beings are reaction machines." and reminds us to "go to the balcony" -- that is, walk away from the temptation to grab the microphone to rant -- rather than react. Why? "When you're angry you'll give the best speech you'll ever regret,"  Ury says. Instead of taking one of two sides, he suggests you look for the "third side," the place where all parties can come together.

To go to that "third side," he suggests a tactic speakers should know: Figuring out a story to tell to which all the parties can relate. He describes one such story that has helped advance person-to-person peaceful relationships and understanding in the Middle East.  What's a story you can use to bring warring parties together--even in the office?

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