Will Hate Driven Negotiation Work as a Strategy?

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Will a hate driven style of negotiation work as a strategy to produce win-win results?

911 – no one will ever forget that day in history. This week is the anniversary of that terrible day. Since that time (and before) many military members including myself have voluntarily served the U.S. (and others have served their countries) to help fight the war on terror. Terrorism is driven by hate. Unfortunately that level of hate cannot be reasoned with.

I recently saw a poll on Facebook asking what is one thing you would like to remove from the world. My answer would be hate. Hate is defined in the dictionary as an intense or passionate dislike. That definition is too mild for what hate really is; an intense burning rage from within. Hate drives people to do horrible things, which is why we have terrorism.

The last tip in my Think Like A Negotiator book is “you can’t negotiate with crazy.” Hate is a form of crazy. There is no reasoning or negotiation with someone who is in an intense burning rage or state of mind that drives crazy behavior.  It’s why our policy in the U.S. in the past has been not to negotiate with terrorists. There is no reasonable negotiation that could occur, certainly not a win-win possibility in that kind of a negotiation.

You should have your own policy about not negotiating with certain kinds of persistent behavior.  We all have our moments where we go a little nutty about something.  As long as it’s a one off thing and an apology or acknowledgement comes with the behavior, that’s ok.  We are all only human and bound to make mistakes.  I know I have. However, it’s the persistent unexplainable, unreasonable behavior that you need to stay away from because you will make yourself crazy attempting to make sense out of it. The best thing to do for all concerned is simply walk away.

The example in my book about not being able to negotiate with crazy is about someone I was in business with for a short time. Some of the ideas she came up with in her head and her reactions to things could not be dealt with on a rational level. She hurled accusations and insults at me based on things she perceived that made no sense and had no basis for logical rational discussion. I stayed in it for a short time thinking I could negotiate my way through it and embrace the positive points. She was very intelligent, even brilliant and had great ideas and passion. She was driven and had dreams.  However, the other behavior eliminated any positives that were there.

In the end, the crazy behavior put me in the hospital with a severe anxiety attack. I was in the hospital for 2 days getting tested for every heart condition possible. After being poked, prodded and tested they told me there was nothing they could do for me and that is was anxiety. I knew that going in but guess they had to rule everything else out. At least I found out my heart was in great shape! This taught me a valuable lesson about dealing with certain behavior and one of the main reasons I put it in my book.

Soon after that the business arrangement came to an end. I had to do a lot of work to release resentment and anger. I believe those are the first levels of hate (an intense or passionate dislike). If you don’t work on it when it starts out at that level, it will turn to poison and destroy you. Releasing the resentment and forgiving the person does not mean you have to bring them back into your life.  She contacted me on a couple of occasions and my concern for my health and well being based on past results has kept me at a safe distance.  I did communicate that I held no ill will against her and wished her the best, but for my own peace of mind and health I cannot reengage that relationship.

The bottom line is hate driven or crazy negotiation will not work. There’s no negotiating with someone in a crazy or hateful state. Jealousy and envy are also hard to “negotiate” with. What would I like to irradiate from the world? Hate, Anger, Abuse, Jealousy, Fear, the list goes on. If we can eradicate these from life, the world would be a much better place. Where do we start? Look in the mirror and realize it starts with you.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez

Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at www.EldonnaLewisFernandez.com

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