#189: Be a Talker

Not a Fighter

Are you a talker or a fighter? To get things done through others, do you persuade or do you instruct? Do you compel or do you convince?

Here’s why it matters: More than two hundred years ago Edmund Burke said that ‘a nation is not conquered which is perpetually to be conquered.’ In other words, if you rely mainly on force and fear, on the authority vested in your position, then you will end up having to rely on it again and again.

And you won’t be very successful.

According to a study quoted in the Economist magazine a few years ago, military might has resolved fewer than 8% of conflicts over the past 15 years, whereas 92% of negotiations have succeeded.

The lesson for managers? Skillful negotiators are far more successful than bossy autocrats. So develop your personal power. Become a talker, not a fighter.

And then shoot (pun intended) for collaboration, not co-operation.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.