A panther takes its time stalking its prey. It patiently follows and watches the grazing herd staying downwind. He maintains this stealthy pursuit until one of the herd drifts away from the herd. Together, the herd would quickly overpower him and run his dinner plans. Alone the zebra becomes an easy mark.
Dispute resolution is not easy. It requires two opposing forces finding a way to work together. It does not lend itself to fast-track methodologies. There are few shortcuts when it comes to human relations.
Settling disputes and preserving the relationship requires a number of skills and talents among which perseverance probably ranks high. It takes perseverance to build and nurture healthy relationships as being in conflict is the natural state of two people. They each will have slightly different needs and wants. Learning how to work together is a key to a long and happy relationship.
While not a technical skill, perseverance is a personal trait that separates the excellent from the average negotiator. Being relentless in one’s pursuit of a goal can overcome seemingly impossible challenges where others have failed.
Perseverance or diligence tips when negotiating in a public venue:
-Never be afraid to follow up regularly and frequently to keep things moving.
-Set reasonable deadlines for action items and tell the other person that you will be calling periodically to keep things moving. Let them know what you expect, Get an agreement on when that specific action item or event should be completed. Follow up when it is due to be completed. By openly expecting performance by the other person you strengthen image as an informal leader of the group.
-Use follow up calls, emails and visits to maintain momentum.
-Befriend the assistants of the other parties to facilitate your follow up calls and requests. Often the assistants may tell you why the other person is not responding. This information may help you avoid the error of assuming the worst.
-Develop the interpersonal skills that enable you to illicit input from others. Ask questions, compliment their expertise, and search for a common ground on which you can build a relationship. This foundation can open doors and minds!
Resist the diligence of others when it does not serve you purpose. Often you want or need more time to react. Make sure you have a good reason for the delay when the other person calls. Do not do so merely to accommodate his or her needs. But do take his or her call.
Don’t be reluctant to take on challenges where others have failed. The timing, your approach or other unknown pressures may make your advances more effective. If the goal is worth the effort, give it your best shot. Follow up diligently and see if being persuasive doesn’t pay off.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the importance of being diligent to keep the other person focused on reaching settlement terms.