Introspection Before Negotiation


Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts by Daniel Shapiro
Viking, January 1, 2016

Explaining that negotiations are as emotional as they are pragmatic, Shapiro delves deeply into the psychology of conflicts and their negotiations. Beginning with the foundational nature of identity and the pitfalls that attend it, Shapiro offers cogent explanations for the emotional and spiritual forces at work in a conflict. He then provides practical structures for addressing and resolving them. He bases his approach on the intellectual work of Jung, Hegel, and other philosophers as well as on his own experience as a mediator in personal, corporate, and geopolitical conflicts. Shapiro advises negotiators to engage in intense introspection as part of their preparations so that they can understand their own underlying emotions and identity. This understanding will then allow them to relate better to the other side’s emotions and identity. This advice drives the thesis of the book: human connections allow any conflict to be resolved. While the figures and framework for introspection appear simplistic for such complicated issues, they do provide direction for preparing both hearts and minds for negotiations. Educators, who are often involved in emotionally difficult conflicts, will find this book useful as they seek to arrive at mutually satisfying, healthy, and enduring resolutions.

Submitted By: Shelby Hammer, River Oaks Baptist School, Houston, TX

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