To achieve greatness in business conflicts, are you doing this?

Sometimes, it would be so much easier to just give in.

When our adversary (or “negotiation partner”) withholds something or acts to harm us, we don’t want to start a fight. And if we are already fighting, we fear escalating it.

Conflict can be costly, time consuming, stressful, and involve many, many risks we want to avoid. I always advise my clients when I believe a fight isn’t worth it, where the costs and risks are too high to make victory hollow.

That is part of a lawyer’s job, to provide a voice of reason (based on experience) to warn you from walking emotionally into something against your best interests.

But before you resign from a negotiation, think for a moment — indeed several moments — before you let your fear of conflict keep you from reaching for something important to you. For most people, the fears in our minds are poor reflection of reality. Our ancestors have passed on to us a brain that tends to exaggerate our fears and discount our opportunities.

So be careful. When you face a conflict, try not to rely solely on your “gut feeling.” For most of us, conflict will inflict a tightness in our bodies that at first is going to make us hurt.

Those who achieve greatness do so despite that bad feeling. Unlike most of us, they will not succumb to the fear. Nor will they respond erratically or irrationally.

Rather, with warm values and cold determination, they will step back and consider their options.

And they will get the right advisers to help them do it.

After that, they will resolve to take the right action—and do it.

Finally, when their opponents make another move, the great ones will act again and again—wisely and confidently—till the conflict ends.

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