Influencing Others by Influencing Ourselves

I have been reflecting on the awesome work of William Ury,  co-author of the classic bestseller on negotiation ‘ Getting to Yes ’ and author of ‘ Getting past No ‘.

William notes that the Three “ahas” or discoveries that have been life changing:

1. The power of a guiding question:  a guiding question that remains with you for your whole life, inspiring you every day.  The question that taps into your deepest curiosity  helps you develop your talents  and enhances what you offer to the larger community.  This is the question that makes you want to get up in the morning and embark on a new adventure.

2. The power of cooperation highlights the need for  a cooperation resolution.  We tap into the power in  beginning  negotiation by asking “Why” to identify the interests behind negotiating positions. Positions are the things people say they want. Interests are what people really want — the underlying motivations behind their positions — the needs, desires, fears, concerns, and aspirations. We find the possibilities in a little more listening, a little less rigidity and a little more creativity.  Everyone wins together.

3. The power of the balcony;  definitely the greatest powers in the power not to react but rather to go to the balcony and keep your eyes on the prize.

Given our natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests, Ury observes that the greatest obstacle to satisfying relationships and successful agreements is ourselves!    If as a first step we learn to understand and influence ourselves , we lay the groundwork for understanding and influencing others.  We achieve the inner satisfaction to make our relationships healthier, our work more productive and our communities more peaceful.

Reading  Ury’s latest offering, ‘ Getting To Yes with Yourself’ ‘ has been absolutely brilliant.  Simple, pragmatic and life changing the principles and practices are worth experimenting with.   And guess what, the questions, strategies and techniques work!


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