This Is When You Walk Away

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels

In our daily interactions with people, we negotiate all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not. Chris Voss, former FBI hostage negotiator once said:

“The most dangerous negotiation is the one you don’t know you’re in.”

Whether we’re discussing a business proposal, asking for a good salary or navigating the demands of our relationships, there’s always an element of negotiation going on.

So, it’s important for everyone to have basic negotiation skills. This increases our chances of getting what we want out of life; instead of settling for what other people want us to have, which is not always in our best interest.

But negotiations don’t have to result in a deal. Sometimes, it ends in a stalemate and people walk away without any agreement. Unfortunately, some people don’t realise this; they think there has to be a deal. As a result, they become desperate to make something happen, and end up accepting a bad deal, which they later regret.

The same thing happens in relationships when people put up with all sort of treatment just to keep things going. This is not healthy for anyone; sometimes, you just need to walk away.

The power of walking away

Understanding that you might have to walk away from a negotiation can be incredibly empowering. This implies that you know what you want and what you don’t want.

You want to be paid what you’re worth and won’t settle for less. You want a fair deal for all parties and not one that’ll hurt your business. You want healthy relationships, and definitely won’t let anyone walk all over you.

Having this mindset helps you detach emotionally from preconceived outcomes, stay calm and remain objective in your dealings. This naturally makes you confident; which is crucial in any negotiation.

Interestingly, being prepared to walk away, usually puts the onus on the other party to make their best offer, because they’re aware that any messing around will result in no deal.

For example, have you noticed that the moment you start talking about switching energy providers, the current one suddenly seems to have a better deal, even though they wouldn’t budge a few minutes earlier? Going into a negotiation with options gives you leverage and makes it easier to walk away, compared to a situation where you have no choice.

Final thought

We’ve all agreed to deals we later regretted; whether in our career, business or personal lives. But knowing what we know now, if we ever return to the negotiation table, our approach will be different. For starters, we’ll refuse these deals and head straight for the door, if the other parties won’t improve their offer.

But walking away is not always easy. However, knowing the implication of no deal and having a mitigation plan will help considerably. This requires you to do your homework beforehand, by defining your baselines, identifying alternatives and being prepared for a life without a deal. When you’re genuinely ready for the worst case scenario, neediness is no longer an issue.

Don’t compromise your happiness by accepting a bad deal. It can make your life miserable. Instead, avoid it altogether by walking away.

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Segun Ojediran, MSc

Segun Ojediran, MSc

Entrepreneurship & Personal Growth | Helping you get closer to your personal and entrepreneurial goals; one story at a time.