Positional Inertia

The Buddhist point of view in conflict is that in a conflict situation you need to be like water not a rock. Flow round and over the obstacles that is causing the conflict. Also a lot of conflict from a Buddhist perspective is caused by attachment. Attachment to your point of view attachment to your outcomes and lastly attachment to your sense of perfection of being right.

In negotiations I have see people negotiate and then suddenly every thing breaks down, there is no clear reason its as if suddenly there has been some kind of wall that has been reached. As any good negotiator will be able to tell you negotiating is about options and alternatives. Then suddenly in negotiations there is a breakdown. There is suddenly no more options and no more alternatives on the table.

So I coined the word positional Inertia. One of the parties have made demand and made demands, The other party has made small movements and over time those small movements has come very close to what the other party has been demanding, but now the other party has seen the changes happening without conceding anything. Suddenly they realize now they must make a concession. In that moment and in that realization lies their concern now. I sum it up as follows,

1. Fear of losing face

2. They must now participate in finding a solution

So Positional inertia kick’s  in. They cant do anything they are like the hare in the Lights of an incoming car. Their insistence on being right and having things their way and sticking to their position has now painted them in a corner. They cant concede anything now because if they do they will in their opinion lose power. Their position have become their grave.

So anything the other party can do and have done now comes to naught. Irrespective of what happens now the negotiations are gonna break down. They will insist that it was the other party. They will say its an non negotiable issue etc.

The bottom line is they cant move because irrespective of what decision they make to concede anything or change their position they will in their eyes have lost the negotiations. Meanwhile the other party sits perplexed believing that they have given all  to save the negotiations

Conflict is a generator for growth. It creates out of disputes options to change and improve things.

Let us be like water and not a rock in our negotiations.


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