We’re Not That Far Apart

We’re Not That Far Apart 150 150 Marty Wolff

Recently I was on a sales trip with Scott Good, my partner in one of my businesses. We had a lot of windshield time so as good friends and business partners often do, we got into a few terrific discussions. Since we are in business together, of course we talked about business. And yes, the touchy subjects of politics and religion were also covered. After several hours in the car together, Scott says to me “you know we really aren’t that far apart.” Now Scott is a really, smart guy (would I have a dumb guy as a partner?), but this was really, profound.

I continued to think about that statement over the next few days.

When we are applying for and negotiating for a new job at a new company, what does the company want? The company wants to utilize all your talents, so the company can thrive. Don’t you want the same thing? Don’t you want to apply all your skills and experience, so you AND the company thrive?  So, assuming you are the right fit, what’s keeping you from agreeing to the opportunity? A few bucks in the salary? Another day of vacation? If you and the employer truly communicate, you’ll find “you know we really aren’t that far apart” and you’ll make a deal that makes everyone happy.

When you are negotiating with a potential buyer for your product or service, don’t you generally set down some parameters of what the buyer can expect in terms of performance of the product or service? Of course, you do. Then you get to the final negotiations and both parties find ONE thing they want to take a position on and everyone forgets all the work that went into the discussion up to that point. Let’s all calm down and review each other’s position. Let’s talk honestly and openly of what we each want from the transaction. You will often be saying after that discussion, “you know we really aren’t that far apart”.

Some discussions are traditionally adversarial. Union / company relationships, political discussions, religious discussions, generational divides. How and why did we become so entrenched in our positions that we don’t listen to the other side of the issue? It does not have to be this way. Calm down, be open to learn something new, try to understand the other viewpoint. If we all just take 30 seconds to breath and think, we can most likely smooth out some of our differences, enough to say, “you know we really aren’t that far apart”.