It’s dawned on me that toddlers know far more about negotiation than I do. What is it with the Little People? I don’t know what it’s like in your house, but Princess is able to get her own way almost all of the time. I hear you, I know I am weak. But come on, I know this happens to you too.
So what’s going on here? These Little Folk can negotiate just about anything it seems. We could learn a thing or two from them when it comes to that salary increase we are after or getting that cheaper car deal. How have they got this one sewn up exactly? I think I’ve got a few things sussed now that I’ve fallen foul of my negotiating toddler on more than one occasion.
The Win Win
Firstly, Princess completely understands what I want and what she wants. I want to watch my favourite tv show and she want treats. Asking for treats before the tv show starts is the best opportunity she has of creating that win win that is so effective in the art of negotiation. She knows I’ll give her anything for half an hour’s peace in front of the telly after a long day at work, sorting the laundry and putting the dinner on. Mummy is allowed some down time too, right?
I Want Cake!
Now imagine this. It’s dinner time, and the only thing left for Princess to eat is her broccoli. Princess knows full well there is cake for pudding. ‘Right, I want cake! Stuff this broccoli lark’, she thinks and so the negotiations begin…
‘Please can you eat your broccoli, Princess’ I ask as I notice she is starting to play with her food.
She ignores me, the food play continues.
‘If you eat your broccoli, you can have some cake’. I’m convinced this will work knowing how much she loves cake. FOOL!
At this point Princess defiantly shakes her head. My frustration rises, emotion starts to get the better of me. ‘If you eat some of your broccoli, you can have some cake.’ At this point a fistful of broccoli hits the floor. My frustration sores.
‘If you stop throwing broccoli, you can have cake’. Immediately broccoli throwing ceases, cake is received (as parents never break their promises do they!) and Princess is smug in her cake eating achievements. ‘I like cake!’ she beams.
So how has Princess got the fine art of getting what she wants down to such a tee. She knows exactly who she is dealing with. She has been scoping me out since her arrival into the world. She maybe cute, but she is ruthless and has no sense of guilt or shame. She will throw broccoli or any vegetable for that matter, cutlery and even herself in pursuit of cake or anything else her little heart desires.
If you’re about to negotiate that pay rise, broker that deal for a car, take a leaf out of Princess’s book and I can guarantee you, you’ll get exactly what you want. Throwing yourself on the floor kicking and screaming may however be a little counter productive 😉