Dealing with Bad Conditions

I think of life as a series of negotiations. Dealing with the weather falls into that category:

When much of the US got hit with a winter storm last week, our Texas home received a small amount of snow. Other parts of the country were hit worse, including Louisiana which dealt with the dreaded ice. I know about Louisiana’s icy conditions because I was there experiencing them firsthand.

I accompanied my husband, Gregg, on a business trip to Shreveport/Bossier City so I could hole up in the hotel room and write. (Ok the fresh seafood had something to do with the trip, too.)

We saw several accidents on the trip from Dallas and barely avoided a few collisions of our own. While the major roadways were treated, those areas not hit by the sun remain as slick as an ice skating rink.

Two days after the storm, my husband got within a few minutes of meeting a client where he encountered an unsurpassable icy hill. He tried for five minutes before deciding skidding into a ditch was not worth it.

❓How many times have you gotten really close to reaching your goal or an agreement just to realize it wasn’t going to happen no matter what you tried?
❓What do you tell or remind yourself when you have to walk away from a possibility because it isn’t the right time?
❓Have you ever walked away from a potential deal due to bad conditions and then watched it resurface?

Here’s a truth you may not find in a negotiation tactics book and an admission many negotiations experts fail to share. Sometimes a deal isn’t possible, even if you are close. At this particular time, the deal won’t work, no matter what you say, do, or try. Reasons vary from the right people aren’t present, the timing is off, more trust needs to be built and/or better information is required.

Like Gregg’s decision to take a break from the slick hill and delay his conversation, you may get another attempt to connect. At times, you won’t.

Whatever your situation, don’t discount the preparation you’ve done. Even if you have to ditch this attempt, there are other opportunities and deals to consider. Sometimes during the delay, you discover you avoided a bad deal or gained a better opportunity that wasn’t apparent or available.

In law, you are advised to avoid a slippery slope or an argument that could change the law in ways not anticipated. In negotiations, taking a pause to rethink or regroup can help you dodge a slippery situation or hazardous conditions.

Go Negotiate!