The Art of Negotiation
When Moses threw down his staff at Pharaoh’s feet, it turned into a serpent. Then he picked it up and it returned to a staff again. Pharaoh called one o’ his magicians an’ he done the exact same thing. Well that was only the openin’ gambit that Moses an’ Aaron presented. Each plague became increasingly more horrendous, an’ pharaoh’s magicians could always equal them an he wouldn’t let the Jews out of bondage until the threat of the life o’ the first-born son o’ each family came up. That finally rattled Pharaoh’s bones an’ he relented reluctantly. The final blow came when Pharaoh changed his mind an’ his army chased Moses into the Red Sea an’ was swallowed up by it. So by divine intervention, Moses sorta’ won the negotiation.
The negotiation that got to me even more was one that took place in modern times in actual circumstances that we all know about. I picked up a book at the library that contained correspondence by that diminutive lion, Desmond Tutu to the Apartheid Government of South Africa of the day. You could identify the steps of negotiating he was using and even if his letters were addressed to you, you would recognize them an’ still like it. It was he who was more instrumental in dismantling that government than anybody else. And the exchanges were all executed with grace and dignity. Not only that, but after the fall of the government and the installation of Mandella, Tutu established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a most remarkable tribunal that changed the dynamic from US and THEM to all of US. That was probably the hardest part of the whole process, certainly the most gut wrenching. And it was painful, but in the end it was done and all were changed by it.
See, that’s what I was tryin’ to get at. For someone to absolutely win a negotiation, you need divine intervention, but for a successful negotiation, you need to get rid of the “Us and Them” and replace it with “We”. When you do that, both parties will benefit, or at least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.