The Negotiation

Background: I’m leaving work trying to get to a meeting in a hurry. As I try to pull out of the parking lot, there’s an 18 wheeler parked in the middle of the street. Agitated, I get out of my car and ask “is this your truck, I need to get out”! The trucker shrugs his shoulders and says he has nowhere to move the truck. “Well I need to get out”! The trucker exchanges some words with me, I glare at him, and he finally moves the truck. I drive off mad from our little confrontation.

But why am I mad? I got what I wanted. As I let this mild confrontation replay in my mind, I became angry that I was mad. The words that the trucker said to me were, “you’re just thinking about your problem, not mine”. You’re darn skippy I’m only thinking of my problem, I can’t move your truck! But as I thought about his cutting words, I realized I could have moved his truck. Instead of putting on my mean face and threatening the man, I could have negotiated and walked away happier and possibly have made a friend instead of a foe.

So how could I have moved the truck? Instead of demanding action from someone who didn’t have a solution, I could have offered one and convinced them to try it. I could have asked the trucker to back up enough to let me go by. It didn’t go down like this because I was on a mission and time was of the essence (in other words, I was running late). I was already under pressure and the monstrous truck on this little road removed the lid from my pressure cooker.

She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
We all know the P31 was a businesswoman. I’m quite sure she didn’t strongarm all of her clients into doing business with her. In the instance of her buying the field, it says she inspected it. This means she looked it over, maybe even found some deficiencies that didn’t meet her satisfaction. I’m sure she negotiated a decent price, maybe one the seller didn’t agree with but needed the sale. In the end, she planted a vineyard and made a profit off of her fruit.

She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
Here the P31 is on the other end of stick, not the purchaser but the supplier. She can’t force the merchants to buy her product, she must first have a product that can sell itself and then be a cunning salesperson to finalize the sale. She doesn’t corner them in the alley and threaten them to buy her sashes. A case has to be made for her sashes and why they are better than someone elses.

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
Now here’s the kicker. My words were not wise and neither were they instructional. In order to negotiate, you have to come to the table with a solution not a mean face and degrading words. Somewhere else in Proverbs it says that kind words turn away wrath.

It’s ok to have a confrontation, but instead of bringing anger to the table, bring a solution to the problem and be a good negotiator and not an angry bird like me. Take time to assess your situation and think of a solution instead of a plan of attack.

References: Proverbs 31:16, 24, 26

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