In Part 1 Lenny had just agreed to start thinking clearly and critically about the Context from which he was orienting his approach to an important negotiation. Once he got on board, I was able to continue our discussion in a way that could lead both he and Gina to a more productive Context.
What’s a more productive Context that we can hold to make this negotiation work for you? How can we use that to achieve your Purpose and get the Results you want? By speaking in these terms, and guiding my client to a place that allowed him to actually hear and understand them at a fundamental level was huge. We were all now on the same page, and attitudes went from gloomy and pessimistic to hopeful and productive. “Let’s figure out what your Purpose is first,” I suggested.
Unlike the way that CDE builds upon itself from a place of Clarity, CPR can be approached with any pillar as the first priority. In my experience, the most effective starting point is establishing our Purpose. Purpose is our “why” and it’s deeper than just the Results we want.; “why?” is a profound question about our motives and values. Our Purpose is more immovable, more inherent and essential. In starting with establishing a clear Purpose, we can shape our Context around what we need to do to achieve it and to be who we need to be to achieve it. It can rarely, if ever, work the other way around. If approached this way, the Results—I want x dollars, etc.—will inevitably follow.
So, we began the work of clarifying Gina and Lenny’s Purpose. By asking the right questions, like is your purpose to pay as little as possible to leave this agreement? Are you trying to leave now because you know you can afford the financial penalty? After an in-depth discussion, we discovered that money was not really a motivating factor for Gina and Lenny.
Sure, financial considerations mattered, but ultimately, Gina and Lenny just wanted out. And they wanted to take their clients with them.
If I’d come to the negotiating table with that phrasing, “I just want out,” as our grounding principle, we wouldn’t be much better off than we would have been if I’d let an angry Lenny run roughshod over the talks. “I just want out,” is reactionary, and almost petulant, so we kept digging into this Purpose, their “why.”
With the help of Clarity, we were able to determine that what they really wanted was to “get their freedom back.” Simple and empowering. Something so basic and innate that Lenny and Gina could always return to this idea of regaining their freedom as the guiding principle of their negotiation, always reminding of them of what was really at stake. And that was it. Their capital-p-Purpose was freedom. To Gina and Lenny, that also meant the freedom to continue working with their clients, and the freedom to move on from a toxic business relationship. Now, we were ready to start redefining their Context around a clearly defined Purpose.
There’s a reason the word “work” comes up a lot when I talk about Authentic Negotiating. It’s because the inner-work and personal development should be ongoing, always. I’m still finding new ways to hone my CDE skills and different approaches to apply it to my CPR framework. If you’re ready to start the work of becoming and Authentic Negotiator, take my Authentic Negotiating Success Quiz to see what lies ahead.