A friend recommended I read Getting To YES by Roger Fisher and William Ury. I don’t remember the reason he gave for suggesting it, but I know now that I needed to read it.
For most of my adult life I approached disagreements as contests; I wanted to win. It’s actually worse than that, I wanted the other person to know that I had won – and they had lost. I can say I was competitive, but I think the real reason was ego. My ego has caused a lot of problems, but that’s for another post.
I really appreciated the authors examples and suggestions on how to reach a solution that is fair and respectful to all parties. And the authors emphasized that I, too, needed respect in the process and solution. I must not make a bad agreement just to appease the other side. It was this continual theme of respect for all parties that impressed me. Although the authors made no references or claims, I feel the book’s principles coincide well with Jesus life and teachings.
I recommend this book to those of you who find yourself negotiating on a regular basis, whether that be at work, organization, religious group, or home. With practice, I think it will add a breath of Shalom to what once held dread and resulted in injured relationships.
My notes on this book can be downloaded in MS Word format from the blue “FILES box” in the left side-bar of this blog. Look for “Getting To YES” as you scroll through the box.