For some, negotiation is part of their job. For a lot of us, it’s not, but it happens in our day-to-day life more than we recognise. Whether it’s haggling at a market, buying a car, or dealing with standoffish children, we have to know how to work with others to meet their needs, while fulfilling the task we set out to complete. It’s important to remember three Biblical truths when dealing with others to achieve a positive outcome. 1) Consider the other person’s feelings. Matthew 7:12 reminds us to ‘do to others what you would have them do to you’ (NIV). Nobody likes being taken for granted or pressured. We have to put ourselves into their shoes. However you have to negotiate the situation, do it with love. 2) Consider the cost to the other person. ‘When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honour to others than to yourselves’ (Philippians 2:3 NCV). If you can be generous with your payment, your time, or your patience, then do. Don’t push for more than is necessary. 3) Watch your timing. Circumstances matter. The Message paraphrases Ecclesiastes 3:6 like this: ‘A right time to search and another to count your losses, a right time to hold on and another to let go’ (MSG). Sometimes, there’s no choice but to push through. Sometimes, you should try again later. Sometimes, you have to let it go entirely. So, whether you’re trying to close a business deal, or trying to get a little one to go to eat their breakfast, remember that we have to value God and others above the outcome. Always act with care, love, and fairness. Be resolute when the situation calls for it. But when softness is needed, be ready to let it all go for the greater good.
Try to find a fair way to let someone else ‘win’ in some sort of negotiation today.
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