I’ve entered negotiations.
There is tension in the air, the other person in the room stands back and looks on with a mixture of interest and intrigue, perhaps even admiration for the participant taking on the establishment.
I didn’t enter negotiations by choice of course, I am REALLY bad at negotiating. In past career discussions I have uttered the words, “I’m happy to go with what you want” when talking about pay for a promotion. I am a major people pleaser. I am well out of my depth in these situations but yet I’m currently facing them on a daily, no make that hourly basis.
Today we are on number three and it’s a biggy. We’re talking Peppa Pig plastic shoes (bought after a previous failed negotiation attempt in B&M bargains) or the normal ‘can actually walk in’ shoes.
And the real issue, the stand out problem with all these negotiations is what I would like to describe as “unwillingness to even come to the table”. This is not always the case, sometimes we’re just dealing with unreasonable behaviour but today I am literally negotiating with myself.
“H, come and pop these ones on so that we can take W to pre school”
I attempt in my cheeriest Mary Poppins style voice. See how I used the word ‘pop’ there – keeping it light, keeping it fun. Asking for what I need in the calmest way possible.
“If we don’t go now then W will be late and the gates will be shut”
I add in a semblance of reasoning which clearly has no effect. Let’s be honest she has no idea what this even means at the age of 2 and even if she did I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t give a sh*t.
“How about we put these on then you can eat some raisins in the pram”
Ahhh bribery, I’m not sure where exactly this falls within the rule book of good negotiations, I wouldn’t know of course not having read it. Despite trying hard not to resort to this technique I’m feeling pretty confident all will now be resolved and we can get back to not being late.
The older sibling sniggers in the background. Curses, I am being completely undermined, right must go in strong with a final offer. I mean there are other options of course but I’m pretty sure they might be frowned upon nowadays. It’s all about listening within these things right? Understanding the other persons point of view. I dig deep.
“Right, H why don’t you wear the Peppa ones until we get in the pram then we’ll swap over”
Win win surely, she gets to wear them now then on the way home when the inevitable shouting starts about wanting to walk we will get home at least before we need to turn round and go back again.
“Me wear these”
“Yes, that’s what I said”
I swear to God I see the older one raise an eyebrow.
We head to school and make it just in time.
It takes us a long time to get back.
Final rule on good negotiations – there is always tomorrow.