The thing that’s on offer—the thing that’s being negotiated—is rarely the thing that we are fighting over.
Our conflicts rarely get close to the core truth of the issues needing to be resolved, which is why management of a recurring conflict situation is a better posture toward conflict than one of trying to persist in getting to a resolution.
The thing that we are fighting over—the thing that should be on offer—must be sold, managed, persuaded, and packaged for other people’s consumption in the way that they want it to be addressed.
Not the way you want it to be addressed.
This core truth is what unites marketing and conflict management. Human beings like being persuaded, marketed to, and talked to, in very specific ways, and if you violate conventions in the pursuit of getting to a deeper truth, you run several risks, but the biggest ones are as follows:
Human beings like being persuaded, marketed to, and talked to, in very specific ways. And if you violate stated (and unstated) social, moral, ethical, and philosophical conventions in the pursuit of getting to a deeper truth, you run several risks, but the biggest ones are as follows:
Being unfairly (or fairly) maligned.
Being marginalized when another more persuasive party comes along.
The answer to the question of “What’s on offer?” is the equally compelling question “What’s the truth of what we are fighting over?”