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Power Shifts Happen – How to Negotiate When You’re On the Losing Side

by | Jun 19, 2018

“Hi! Happy to finally get to your beautiful boutique hotel. These twisting single-lane roads here in Scotland are a bit hard to navigate in the rain. We have a room reservation for one night.”

“Your name, please?”


“Hmmmm, I’m not seeing your room reservation on our records, and we are totally booked for tonight.”

My tired husband, shuffling through our travel documents, proudly produces the email hard copy of our reservation and replies, “Here it is – we have one room reserved.”

The guy behind the counter of this rustic, small and remote hotel looks at our documents and points to one line and says, “Your reservation is for August 10 and today is August 5.”

THIS is when you know you’re screwed.

You know you are RIGHT until … “pow” … you are proven WRONG.  

Think of a see-saw slide at your local playground. You were going up and now you’re going down. Way down. The fulcrum of balance has shifted. You have now lost all of your power.

Does this happen in your business? Yes. You are not always correct.

At this exact moment of revelation, as your see-saw whacks down, you will ask yourself just one pivotal question:

“Have I been nice during this conversation exchange?”

(Or perhaps you word this same question differently, “How rude have I been?” OR “What does damage control look like here?”)

In this case, as we stand at this hotel reservation counter, rain pelting down outside, sleep deprived due to jet lag, no other hotel available for miles around, we did the mental calculation of our NICE Index.

How nice were we up to this point of power shifting?

Fortunately our NICE Index was high. The owner came over and took pity on us and said, “Look, every place around here that I do business with is booked and I don’t want to send you to hotels I don’t know. Why don’t you be our guests tonight at our home up the lane?”

Stay nice – when you have the power and when you don’t have the power.  

We had a blast that evening and the next morning with our hotel owners.

Ps: Check out Monachyle Mhor Hotel

Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_pioneer111′>pioneer111 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.


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