The Ultimate Negotiation

by Christopher Lovejoy on February 26, 2020

Wait, the ultimate negotiation? What could this possibly mean?

In my first post in my series on negotiation, I proposed this working definition of negotiate: to navigate a field of resistance to get X to do Y with respect, without regret, in exchange for Z. By my fifth post, I had tweaked this definition to more accurately reflect my understanding:

Negotiate (verb): to navigate a field of emotional and mental resistance to agreement between two parties to bring this task to completion: to give X to Y, with respect, without regret, in exchange for Z

X = that which satisfies the exchange for Z

Y = the counterpart: partner, colleague, subordinate, superior, coworker, service worker, support worker, trader, buyer, seller, teacher, student, stranger, acquaintance, friend, relative, spouse, child

Z = what is being offered in exchange for X

Because my view of negotiation is collaborative, negotiating for me is more about giving than it is about getting ~ a subtle point to be sure, but it’s an important one. Most fundamentally, in any given negotiation, I give my attention to an exchange of value that brings mutual benefit. That is, I participate in an exchange of value with respect, and before I leave, I aim to leave without regrets.

So far so good, but how does a spiritual term like ultimate apply to something so practical like negotiation? My readers will attest that I’ve used the term ultimate on many occasions when speaking to the notion of approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment.

My resource page is full of references to the ultimate in personal fulfillment.

In a world increasingly preoccupied with success, a term like ultimate is usually reserved for such things as … the ultimate achievement, the ultimate goal in life, or the ultimate insult, and less so with such things as … the ultimate question or the ultimate in personal fulfillment.

I’ve defined ultimate fulfillment as the most fulfillment possible or as the most fulfillment conceivable, where anything is possible, but these definitions don’t quite fit with the ultimate negotiation. Here, I might do well to ask: which negotiation is the mother of all negotiations?

In cosmic terms, I might well ask …

1) what is the ultimate exchange?

2) who is the ultimate counterpart?

3) what are the ultimate benefits?

More to the point, and in light of these questions, what is the ultimate outcome of the ultimate negotiation? In the days ahead, it’ll be my pleasure to post daily responses to these questions.


A Most Curious Addendum

Over the next seven days, I’ll be conducting a small experiment in the art of negotiation. I’ve never done anything like this before ~ actually, I don’t know anyone who has (which is not to say that no one has) ~ and so I have no idea how this tiny experiment is going to play out.

In my experience, a big part of negotiating effectively (and efficiently) is having a brain that can juggle many facts and details while applying many tactics and techniques to an exchange of value that brings mutual benefit. The following facts and details will surely test this ability.

My site hosting is coming up for renewal on Wednesday, March 4th, in the amount of $32.85 USD. Between now and then, I’ve decided I’m going to rely on donations to make this payment. If the payment is missed, this site will go down and stay down for an indefinite period.

This is my response cost for not negotiating to the best of my ability with virtual strangers (I say “virtual” because on some level, no one is really a stranger ~ just an angel masquerading as a clown). For avid readers of this site, this is their response cost for not stepping up.

The web stats indicate that this site consistently receives thousands of unique visitors per month, but even so, I understand that many of us lead busy lives and don’t have time for trivial pursuits. Still, it feels worth my while to explore the nature of negotiation with my readers.

As of Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Current reality = $5.35 USD (this is how much is currently in my PayPal account)

Desired result = $32.85 USD (this is how much is required to make the payment)

Payment deadline: 03.04.2020 (after this date, this site may go down indefinitely)

Am I concerned about this site going down for a while? For myself, no; I will just keep doing what I love to do. I am concerned, however, about the experience of my readers. I feel I would be remiss if I did not give them a chance to donate and keep the site going past the deadline.

I’ll be posting, and keeping readers posted, day by day, until the desired result is met or until the payment deadline passes. In the meantime, if or when the amounts donated exceed the desired result, this will be announced, and the excess, if any, will be applied to the next payment.

Even if the current target of $32.85 USD for three months of hosting is not reached in time, any funds received will be received and used with appreciation to eventually make the current payment ~ so no worries at all that your funds will not be used for the intended purpose here.

If the content on this site compels you or tickles your fancy, consider blessing it with a modest donation of $1 USD, but no more than this, as I would like others to have the opportunity to donate. If you can’t resist giving more than $1, I will set it aside until the day of the deadline.

Again, any excess on this date will be applied with appreciation to future payments.

So if now seems like a good time to donate, would now be a bad time to donate?

You can be sure that every donation will be acknowledged personally. As always, feedback is welcome through my Contact Me page on this site. Much appreciation to those who care to {donate}.

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