Negotiation is one of the most valuable tools in success.
Negotiation is part communication, part reading others.
But what negotiation is not is hard. Just ask my son.
At the age of two, barely able to string 4 words together in a sentence and the guy is a master negotiator.
Watching him in action is quite eye-opening and something we could all learn from.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – I’m just saying that because I’m his father and I’d do anything for him.
But the thing is I’m not just talking about my son, I’m talking about children in general.
They all learn quickly how to get what they want.
The late Jim Rohn, my mentor, put it best – he said, “Kid asks for an ice-cream, father says ‘No.’ Thirty minutes later the kid’s licking an ice-cream cone.”
Kids don’t accept no for an answer. They beg, cry, kick and scream – whatever works in hopes of getting what they want.
Yes, when it comes to negotiation, children have no equal.
This past X-Mas I learned firsthand just what a quick learner my son was.
We were going to spend the holidays with my mother in Thailand so early Dec. 22nd we headed to the airport.
To get there we had to take a taxi, a train and a bus in that order.
When we arrived at the airport I told my son, “Ok, we’ve got to go inside now.”
He spun his head around from looking out the window and shouted at me, “Daddy. No. Train,” with an angry look on his face.
Obviously he noticed the reaction in my face because before I could respond, he said, “Daddy…train” with soft, gentle eyes like a puppy.
He knew that his direct assault had failed and that I was about to retaliate but before I did he switched and tried the gentle approach.
And he’s lucky he did because I don’t respond well to threats.
Another thing he’s learned is how effective saying, “little bit” with his fingers in front on his face gesturing a small amount (like in the photo above) really is.
Now when he wants to watch TV, eat cookies or nearly anything he starts off by asking strongly.
At first it’s “Toy Story 3.” Then it becomes “Toy Story 3 please…” and if that doesn’t work he adds the final touch, “Little bit.”
Let me tell you, it’s pretty hard to turn down someone when they ask for just a little bit with a scrunched up face while looking adorable.
We’re still not sure if he actually understands what “little bit” means but what he does know is that it works.
So he’s milking it for all it’s worth.
At two he’s already learned
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal communication (body language)
- Good cop, bad cop
- Amplifiers (please, little bit)
So now I ask you, if a two-year-old is this good how come we aren’t.
They don’t settle for things they don’t want, why do we?