Thursday, September 17, 2015

How not to negotiate

I had a really weird conversation the other day. Really weird. I'm still reeling from it some days on. I wish I had a tape recording of it so I could listen to it again and see how it all happened.

Anyway, without in any way suggesting this as a negotiating gambit, and given that my vision for saving the Church of England is already a matter of record, I asked a 'What if' question of someone, based on someone else I had met having an interesting idea.

The speech in response extrapolated from my question all the things I was then going to do with which the person disagreed (which, not being a strategist, I hadn't thought of so I'm grateful for the hints) and then, as it continued, negotiated with me, without inviting me to join in and eventually gave me almost 90% of the things I hadn't yet realised I wanted and so hadn't asked for. They also told me what I should have done although, had I been able to finish my little suggestion, it was something I was going to do anyway

They then listed all the ways they were not a pushover like another person I hadn't had a battle with and all the spiritual credentials they shared with me (although I don't have them).

I think I had lit the blue touch-paper and then had to listen while an imaginary version of me was sent flying into space. When I suggested that the response was quite upsetting I was accused of using emotional blackmail.

This is absolutely marvellous, although quite distressing to be in at the time for it feels like you are making an enemy.

Most of the people I have met who said they were prophets almost certainly weren't. The still small voices in the corner usually have more insight. And I'm certainly not claiming that I am, but I have a strange sense of being in the middle of enacting a parable right now. When someone, in your presence, has a conversation with a version of you you don't recognise without you needing to contribute it is stretching, painful and strangely exciting. Like watching the Assyrians do God's will. Best just to let it happen.

Oh and this. As taught me by the wonderful Richard quite a few years ago. When someone names the price the only thing to do is wince.

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