The Art of Negotiation: You Got Skills or What?

This past Sunday, I watched The Chris Matthews Show and Meet the Press on CNBC.  The primary topic of discussion on both shows was what is the best approach to significantly reduce the budget deficit?

Of course, the answer depends on what side of the debate you fall on.

Although the Democrats and Republicans were able to compromise to keep the Federal Government “open for business,” this heated debate has only just begun and will surely be a critical factor during the Presidential elections in 2012.

Where will the two roads intersect?

It really boils down to do we increase revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy and revising the tax codes, do we decrease spending by making changes to Entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, or do we do a combination of both.

One of the key items that President Obama doesn’t want touched is Social Security and Medicare and one of the key items that the Republicans doesn’t want touched is the reduced tax rates that Former President Bush put into effect while in office.

Will it take a mediator to get the job done?

Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, was on Meet the Press. Senator Mike Lee, a guest as well and a Republican from Utah, suggested that tax cuts for the wealthy were not a viable option because it would stifle innovation and job creation.

Sometimes, it takes a third party to see both sides of the equation. Although Alan Greenspan believes that tax rate reductions do not necessarily provide an adequate solution to this critical problem, he debunked the Senator’s argument by stating that all things should be on the table to mitigate the imminent crisis that lies ahead.

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Some people believe that President Obama has already “caved in” because the Republicans were able to get significant cuts in this year’s budget.

Regardless if we are negotiating what movie we should go see with our spouse, our compensation for a business deal, or the national debt crisis, the skillful art of negotiation necessitates a win/win solution.

In any situation, winning is really not about getting 100% of what we want.  That very rarely is the case. Winning at the art of negotiation is getting those things that are most important to us.  Just think about how you chose your significant other.

So, the art of being a consummate negotiator is understanding what is most important to us and not giving away those things and compromising on those things that are not so important.  It’s really that simple.

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