We all negotiate on a daily basis. We negotiate with kids, co-workers, spouses, siblings, and parents. Some of us do it professionally. But the one person that I negotiate with the most is myself. And here's the crazy thing... I often don't win. How can that even happen?
Here's an example of the negotiating that is going on in my head. "Ok Cath, if you get your workout in then you can have a marguerita with your friends after work". The day goes on and I don't get to the gym before work or at lunch, so I didn't do what I negotiated. In theory, the skilled negotiator in my head will then say "Well, looks like you you won't be having a marguerita with your friends tonight. Just have club soda and enjoy their company". And that works. Until I get to the restaurant or bar. So we are all sitting there talking and Sally orders a Cosmo and Mindy orders a Prosecco and I'm feeling pretty bummed by the time it gets to me. And the Negotiator in my head (who is pleased with herself to this point) knows that I am all ready to order a club soda. That was the agreement. But guess what pops out of my mouth when the bartender gets to me?? "I'll have a marguerita with Patron please!". "WHAT??" the Negotiator shrieks...it wasn't supposed to go like that. Where did that come from? The little voice in my head sucker punched the Negotiator! She can be such a sneaky B.
What I'm starting to figure out is that the Negotiator needs to be armed with a strategy to prevail. I need to give the Negotiator as many advantages/tools as possible since I KNOW in advance that the little voice can show up at any moment and put a kaibosh on the planned negotiated result.
In the case of the drink after work, I have several options... A) I can do what I agreed to do-workout- to get what I ultimately want-a marguerita. B) I can, just prior to the after work get-together, have an honest discussion with myself about what has happened and at THAT time reiterate what I am going to do. If I review the event closer to the time (bar time) then it seems like a more recent negotiation and not something I can blow off as easily. C) I can tell a friend of the situation and ask her to order for me. A real friend will have my back on this and help the Negotiator prevail! D) Enjoy the marguerita and friends and wake up in the morning and start over.
I wish I could say that I don't pick D, but sometimes, I do. There are some days that the little voice knows what she wants and the Negotiator just doesn't win. But, trying to implement these other strategies has worked and made the Negotiators chance of winning a little greater.
If you have any great strategies that you use, please comment. Adding new ideas to the Negotiator's bag of tricks is always a good thing.