Similar Negotiation Skills Needed in Business and Family Disputes

Whether you are participating in a business transaction or dispute resolution. If you plan on having a continued relationship with the person on the other side, it is imperative that you understand the principles of negotiation. I deal with small business owners looking to grow their business, or needing to resolve an issue with a current or former customer. I also work with husbands and wives interested in resolving family disputes through mediation. A common thread runs through these situations when the parties intend to have ongoing relationships after the negotiation is completed. Sometimes an ongoing relationship is not desired, but the situation requires long-term contact and communication.

This common thread is avoiding greed. In a situation where a small business owner wishes to grow his business by connecting with potential new clients, earning their trust, and gaining their business. It is essential to not come off as greedy, or in it only for your own benefit. Appreciation for their business, and an understanding that the relationship is mutual and not one sided helps to build loyalty and create a long-term relationship. The same goes for business and family disputes. If a dispute arises and you look to negotiate with the other party to resolve the issue, the other party must be able to see a benefit to working with you. There must be a reason why the solution you desire appeals to them or else negotiation efforts will break down. No one wants to feel taken advantage of, or duped into a solution they will not be happy with.

Check out Chris Myers’ article titled, 3 Overlooked Negotiation Skills Entrepreneurs Need To Master, published on, March 27, 2017. He has a great story of how he learned negotiation skills while becoming an entrepreneur.

Favorite Quote: Every Business is a Family Business

One of my favorite quotes from the book E-Myth by Michael Gerber is: Every Business is a Family Business. Whether a business officially employs individuals from the family or not, the business is a family business. At some point the family members, even the individuals outside the business or not directly influencing day-to-day operations, may depend on the family as a financial resource.

When disputes arise in family businesses things can get complicated. Personal opinions can cloud business decisions and business elements can impact personal feelings and emotions. Solving legal issues in a family business without going to court can save time and money as well as family relationships.


A great source for information about mediation can be found on
Check out a link to an article about family business mediation:
Family Business Mediation: Solving Legal Issues Without Going to Court by Stephen McDonough. January 2017.



Being More Flexible and Adaptable in 2017!

We are in the midst of 2017 resolutions for the new year. Everyone things for the old go-to resolutions of losing weight or eating better.  Why not resolve to live a more flexible, less-stressful life?

Have you ever made a plan and had things go terribly off track? Things just don’t go your way, or you don’t accomplish the goal you had set for yourself? Okay, so those are ridiculous questions. Everyone, at some time or another have had thing not go their way. Research shows that being more flexible and adaptable makes for a calmer, more enjoyable life. After all, we each only have one life to live.

Our lives are filled with things we can argue about or fight over. We can be angry at the cable repair man for not showing up on time, or the doctor’s office for not having an appointment slot for three months. However, what is the purpose? Being angry is not going to make him show up any earlier. or have the doctor’s schedule simply open up for your choice of convenient appointments.

Look at daily life and think of ways that you can be more flexible. Flexibility leads to more relaxation, less stress, and a more empowering existence.

According to an article by Megan Coatley, Behavior Expert, 6 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Flexibility, being inflexible is a behavior learned over a long period of time. You may look at being inflexible as standing your ground or a tactic for winning.  In the business arena, inflexibility may be a negotiating strategy. Unfortunately, not all situations can be won or work well in the face of inflexibility.

Practice flexibility by looking for areas in your life to compromise. Many things will be okay even if you do not win or get your way. Ultimately, other people are interested in working with and being around people they enjoy! A life with more flexibility and adaptability to changing events leads to a more- fulfilled, less-stressed life. Remember, you only get to do it once, you might as well enjoy it!


Negotiation: Getting To Yes

One of the best books I’ve read on the subject of negotiation is Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. They have gone on to write additional books and coordinated lectures on the topic, but for a quick read ( I think 150 pages or so) this book is the go to for negotiation.

Negotiation is not just for the business setting. We are constantly negotiating with our coworkers, spouse, and children. Getting To Yes offers a variety of interesting tactics for optimizing your negotiation skills.
Image result for getting to yes book

Please note: This is not a paid advertisement. The book is a Bestseller, quick read, and highly educational!