The topic of negotiation is a thorny one for everyone, perhaps especially for many Christians. We rightly feel the weight of the royal law which bids us to love our neighbor as ourselves (James 2:8). Against the grain of our natural selfishness, we must strive to see that others have interests, just like we do. We must appropriately regard their legitimacy, and seek to create solutions that bless others, even as we invariably pursue our own interests (Phil. 2:3-4).
Boundless just published a short article I wrote on this subject. Here’s the opening:
It killed me to finally sell our condominium for about $10,000-$15,000 less than I was hoping for.
For eight months I had tried selling it by owner, then we used a half-way discount broker, and finally we had a full-time realtor known for selling similar properties in the area. I spent about seven months trying methods one and two — and never found a legitimate buyer. The last method took only one month, though the price I had to swallow was painful.
Negotiation. For some of us, the word itself sends chills down our spines. We want to run the other way. Just accept whatever they offer; avoid conflict at all cost. For others, it evokes an excessive glee: time to push someone around. I’m going to win; you’re going to lose.
In preparation of this article, I really appreciated Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury, which was recommended to me by none other than the aforementioned Matt Perman. That said, all weaknesses in the essay are entirely mine!