It’s news to no one that negotiation can be a stressful activity, to the point that it’s easy to forget some things are not up for negotiation.
Of course, there are the big points, starting with your interests/needs (not your position/wants). Interests typically include:
- Your bottom line
- Facts from legitimate sources
- Laws, regulations, legislation
- Real deadlines
Below is a broader list of non-negotiables pertaining more to professional qualities and personal attributes. These aren’t up for discussion, and you shouldn’t give airtime to hear their opinions or value judgements.
What’s Not Up For Negotiation
- Experiences, both professional and personal
- Past agreements
- Professional behaviour
- Reputation (yours or the organisation’s)
- Values (yours or organisation’s)
It’s also worth noting another non-negotiable: people no longer employed at your organisation.
On one hand, it’s fair to listen to past issues to understand the context and effect, but on the other, the issue is moot. It’s also not a good look to bag someone who isn’t there to defend their character or actions. Oftentimes the best response is to genuinely apologise when necessary, but for the action itself, not the person. Remember too that an apology is the most valuable but cheapest thing you can give away.
For anyone managing negotiation, I highly recommend this book: Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury. The link goes to the Amazon Australia website, but you should be re-directed to the proper website for your country.
Any other issues or topics which you believe not up for negotiation? Please comment below.