Why am I reading Deepak Malhotra's and Max H. Bazerman's Negotiation Genius in my comfy funky beach shack ON THE SAND on the windward side of Oahu at 8:45 a.m. (local time) listening to the waves gently slap the shore and occasionally looking up to see if the fisherman at water's edge has caught anything besides happiness this morning?
Am I insane? No, it's because:
- no one taught me to negotiate in law school and despite being an B+ to A+ litigator for twenty-five years, until I met Peter Robinson at the Straus Institute, I was a C- negotiator. So learning these skills reminds me learning how to read in kindergarten (yes I do remember, running home at full speed, bursting through the front door and chortling to my mother, "I can spell 'red' Mommy, RED! It's R-E-D red!")
- Bazerman and Malhotra have been my "distance learning" zen negotiation masters through the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge Newsletter for the past year and I would read with high expectation and rapt attention anything they scribbled on a napkin in a bar after a couple of drinks.
- who could resist any negotiation book with chapters entitled: Negotiating from a Position of Weakness and Confronting Lies and Deception, both of which I avidly and happily consumed this morning after watching the sun rise over the Pacific around about 6 a.m.
That's it. I will be providing the executive summaries of these and other dynamite chapters for you attorneys who are billing 2000-2300 hours/year and any business manager or executive who drops by. Most of my mediator friends will be consuming it whole.
Right now, I'm putting Bazerman and Malhotra aside to follow Mr. Thrifty to the beach, clutching the new (and fabulous) new biography of Einstein in hand -- a man whose childlike wonder at the mysterious workings of the universe never faded.
This post brought to you by the letter "A" for awe.