Yours truly speaking at Essence Digital. Photo by Jackie Harshman.
I love watching TV because it allows me to see various, sometimes outrageous negotiation situations play out, all from the comforts of my couch.
I began to watch TV shows with a deeper appreciation for this after a conversation with Julie and Casey of Vital Voice Training. (Go check them out!)
They told me how, in every scene, characters with opposing viewpoints engage in dialogue, each vying to achieve their own goals. Often that dialogue is a negotiation (and you know how I love a good negotiation).
Recently, my life partner Charlie has been re-watching cult-favorite science fiction show Battlestar Galactica on Hulu. Last week I joined him on the couch for episode 7, titled “You Can’t Go Home Again.”
Near the end of this episode, there is a pivotal scene in which one of the heroes, President Roslin, speaks truth to power and negotiates with difficult people to affect positive change. I really enjoyed this and wanted to share the nugget of negotiation wisdom in this scene with you.
First, let me set the scene.
How could you do this to me?
I slammed the door shut.
NO! I’m not coming out of this room!
I was sixteen years old, holding myself hostage in the bedroom, wailing and crying.
Mom brought her boyfriend home, unannounced, late at night, when I wasn’t ready to accept any of that.
It was a tough year. My parents separated. Mom, sisters and I moved to a new place. I had no friends, no money, no car. I felt powerless, trapped and hurt.
The wounds were still too raw.
So I resorted to stonewalling, barricading myself behind a locked door, wailing loud enough for my outrage to be heard.
Space to breathe, by the talented Melissa Maples.
As the year draws to a close, things are getting more hectic. Deadlines loom. The pressure grows. Shopping lists and to-do lists grow, the days shorter.
Earlier this evening, I walked behind a petite woman holding four shopping bags, clomping down on NYC street as she talked on the phone. She said, “yeah, so now I just need to go pick up another gift, go home, shower, change, write a few emails, then head out again.”
It was at the tail end of another long, hard day in the office that I received an unexpected call from head office in South Korea.
I picked up the phone and heard an angry male voice speaking in Korean.
“I’m fed up with your sloppy work. Why can’t you get your act together! You should be ashamed of yourself!”