Robert Burns wrote “the best laid plans of mice and men” meaning that no matter how carefully a deal or negotiation is planned, something may still go wrong. In the above clip from the hilarious film “Defending your Life” what goes wrong for Albert Brooks is follow through. It’s not enough to set the boundary at home, you actually have to follow through on the boundary in the office. But how?
In our Negotiations Skills course as well as Personal Impact with Emotional Intelligence, we examine ways of knowing “thyself“. Understanding that when one is under pressure in a negotiation or any business dealing, we might not be making the best choices. Often times, the stress of a situation can limit our perception. We might not even realize we have choices to make. Like Brooks, we’re just treading water.
One possible way of sticking to one’s boundaries is being able to defend them to one’s self and potentially to the other side. If we understand and can prove why that boundary exists to ourselves then its easier to stick to. We can stand on firmer ground because we can negotiate from a place of logic and reason over emotion. Our self esteem doesn’t need to to be a silent third negotiator.
I applaud Brooks for practicing. An excellent way to start. But he can afford to do a little more Emotional Intelligence homework if he’s going to “Defend his Life”.