Don Trump, You’re Fired!
I’m still glad he defeated Hillary Clinton. Don’t misunderstand. I believe that our government is in critical condition and that corruption is spreading like cancer. Worse yet, the American people have accepted the spread of corruption and go as far as to defend it when their lesser of two evil candidates is exposed. My message at election time was simple: every time we choose the lesser of two evils, we lower the standard. We’ve lowered that standard so many times we found ourselves facing the appalling choice of a corrupt dynastic incompetent and a megalomaniacal misogynist. I did not vote but am glad that the Clinton machine was sent to the scrap yard.
Which brings us to our Deal Maker in Chief. Certainly, I am not at his level of power or influence but what I have to say makes that even more important. If I can see what a lousy negotiator Trump is, why can’t those around him see it? Dazzled by the light? Blinded by ideology?
Please note: This post isn’t about politics. It’s all about negotiation skills.
This health care fiasco was a supreme blunder. Yes, to be fair, I opposed the bill. But this is about negotiation, not politics. I teach negotiation and I’ve worked with some pretty big hitters. I understand negotiation. Trump completely blundered this process.
Let me be clear.
In negotiation, the very first step is to fully understand the issue. You must understand the issue before starting the negotiation process which means before a proposal is put on the table. Trump was stupid enough to make a statement about his epiphany that health care is a complex issue. He made that statement after promising “a great plan”. That’s dumb or dishonest to make promises before you understand an issue. In Trump’s case, I say he is both.
The next step in negotiation is to understand all the benefits that can be presented to the opposing side. You enter already knowing what you want but you must understand what the other sire wants. If you don’t understand that, you are flying blind. And it’s dumb to think you can talk the other side out of things that are important to them.
Next, you must be wise in your choice of words. If we sit down to work out a deal and I call my proposal “My Plan to Take Away Everything You Want”, that would be dumb. Very dumb. So why “Repeal and Replace”? Why not a slogan that says “Let’s Fix What’s Wrong”? Dumb.
And this guy who is supposedly the master of the art of the deal? His mastery was one-sided. There was no reach across the aisle. There should have been a joint committee on health care reform. I blame the Democrats for not offering a counter plan. Both sides are more interested in their power than what is best for the country. Both sides failed.
And then, after gaining the understanding needed and finding benefits for the other side, the negotiation begins. Trump’s “negotiation” strategy was to threaten. Threaten the public with collapse of the system. Threaten lawmakers with his power to run opposing candidates and unseat fellow Republicans. And finally, threaten to take all the marbles away and end the game if things don’t go his way.
Trump displayed an immature and incompetent style of negotiation over this past month. He is the loser in this process. We keep our health care, he is exposed as someone who cannot negotiate unless he has an overwhelming advantage.
This is all okay so far. The people are waking up. We must not turn backward and yearn for Hillary or any of the prominent governing celebrities. We need to start choosing the best instead of the lesser. We need to let go of ideology and choose good people. Frankly, we desperately need a third party.
But this is about negotiation. That’s what I can teach YOU. You can be a great negotiator. And you can conclude each and every negotiation with respect rather than with victory or defeat. No, you can’t win every time. But you can certainly do better than Trump conducted himself this month.
I hope you will take the time to analyze this process. It’s very important to your business. Doesn’t it make sense to go about negotiation in more mature and intelligent way than we saw from our leaders? Yes.
Chris Reich, TeachU
PS—I don’t like to get politics into my business but I do want us all to think about the very important subject of negotiation.