If you want to be a great negotiator, build empathy within yourself first.

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Negotiators have been heroes in the hijackings or hostage drama movies. The world soon forgets about them, while they are the most omni-present entity.

Each one of us is a negotiator in personal sense and some of us are even in professional sense. Most of the times it is not evident but sub-consciously all we are doing throughout most of the day is negotiating some or other thing.

While each one of us is negotiating, only some of us are great negotiators. And the single reason which differentiates great negotiators with ‘average Joe’ is that, a great negotiator believes that life is a positive sum game.

Common belief ingrained in us from society since childhood is that life is a race and a zero sum game. Those who have not grown up and keep on believing in this, never rise to be a great negotiator.

Negotiations can end in a positive manner only when both sides win some or other thing. To see things from the other sides perspective is the key. And that calls for empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of other (source).

When everyone takes something off the table happily, the world is a better place.

However, empathy is increasingly becoming rare, as we are ruled by ‘echo chambers’ which come in the form of myriad apps we use daily. The algorithms show us and make us read, only the things which it perceives we like, never allowing us to even visit the ‘views’ from outside of our general beliefs and dogmas.

In an increasingly polarised world where it is most important to bury the past beliefs and dogmas, the ML and AI algorithms are polarising us more and more,and biggest casualty is our empathy. We will be the next.

The best way to be great negotiator is to build empathy and that calls for trying to see and feel the world from your own eyes and not through a screen. While empathy can make you a good negotiator, it can also make you a great human.

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