22 – Negotiate

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Ten suggestions for Conducting Nonviolent Negotiations


1. I will investigate my opponent’s position carefully, trying to understand exactly what my opponent is saying or doing and why my opponent is saying or doing it;


2. I will ask my opponent for an opportunity to present my case in a private, off-the-record meeting hoping to use that occasion to negotiate our differences and be reconciled.


3. I will confront my opponent’s words and/or actions that lead to suffering on the basis of truth alone (without resorting to half-truth, hyperbole, or lies of my own.)


4. I will confront my opponent’s words and/or actions politely without seeking to embarrass or coerce and without resorting to physical, spiritual, or psychological violence.


5. I will confront my opponent’s words/actions relentlessly, refusing to give up or to compromise my truth (or any portion of it) unless my opponent proves me wrong. In that case, I will admit my error gratefully, seek my opponent’s forgiveness, and when all is resolved, end the confrontation in peace.


6. I will work to earn my opponent’s trust and friendship throughout our negotiations.


7. I will refuse to break off our negotiations until we have reached a third position that is acceptable to us both.


8. I will question the ideas that lead to suffering. I will not question the motive or the integrity of the person who holds those ideas.


9. If my opponent and I cannot reach an acceptable third position, I will ask my opponent to choose with me a neutral, third party, respected by us both to arbitrate our differences.


10. If my opponent breaks off negotiations, refuses to arbitrate, or maintains negotiations to stall or end our confrontation, I will have no other option but to take direct action against my opponent’s untruth.


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