H

Honesty Humor



HONESTY

It is interesting that the most advanced of the species on this planet is the only species known to lie.

Honesty or integrity is an essential personal characteristic for anyone negotiating or mediating as a profession. Your word and your reputation will precede you into each session. When you need to be convincing, you will need to draw upon your reputation while pledging your word to the other person.

Never do so lightly. Make sure you mean what you say and that you are able to back it up with your actions or those of your company.

There are times you may be directed by superiors to reverse your word or go back on a contract. If you do have to do this, do your best to salvage the situation by presenting the reasons why you have changed your position, apologize profusely, and empathize with the other person's angst. Do not blame your boss or company. Even if that is the cause, it is your word that has being broken. Taking the heat personally demonstrates your sincerity and should save a good portion of your reputation. If such vacillation is habitual in your company, consider seeking another job where you can provide proper representation.

Similarly, integrity in your actions in a family setting is equally important. Your children will learn by what you do and by your consistency more than what you say. They will test and retest you and your spouse to see if you will deviate or change your position. When handling a family dispute never make a commitment you can't keep. Similarly, don't issue an unduly harsh punishment for bad behavior only to commute the sentence when you cool off. A pattern of commutations will train your children to expect hollow punishments and encourage the bad behavior.

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HUMOR

Even wonder what a hyena is laughing at? While hyena's have 11 distinct calling patterns, the high, cackling laugh is typically emitted by a hyena being chased and expressing intense fear or excitement. The call of the "laughing hyena.".

Humor is an invaluable negotiating tactic to change the mood or ease a tense situation. Not to be overused, humor is effective in decompressing an antagonistic or troubled relationship.

Don't be afraid to interject casual topics or light humor into a negotiation to separate periods of intense negotiations. This transitional mode enables you to reaffirm a strong personal relationship with the other person and rebuild that relationship before moving on to another topic. Mediators use this casual style when moving between groups during breakout sessions. This allows the mediator a chance to be accepted by each group as he moves between them trying to gain movement by both toward a common ground.

Be careful if you plan to use humor as it can also be cutting and/or humiliating if taken wrong. Get to know the other person well before risking applying humor to a situation. You don't want to aggravate a personal situation unknowingly.

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