Negotiation Skills

An Exercise in Remembering The Bigger Picture

Nothing sharpens your decision making skills like the reminder “Don’t forget, you’re going to die”.

At least, that has been my experience over the last 18 months that I have been using WeCroak, an App based on a Bhutanese folk saying that to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.

It is a fact that each of us has an expiry date and yet, when I first undertook this experiment on myself, I was surprised at just how disconnected I was from my own inevitable demise. How attached I was to the fantasy of permanence. I was so focused on “the future” of my business, my family, and my life, that I was placing greater importance on what might be rather than what was.

My five daily reminders on WeCroak work to change my mindset so that I may see any given moment or conflict as impermanent. And with that shift be better equipped to disconnect from the ego where it perceives threat at the negotiation table and beyond. In practical terms, this has translated into better micro decisions based on my core values rather than “defending” myself. Response vs reaction.

The end goal as I perceive it, is to take my job seriously but not myself. And in my opinion, this experiment has truly exceeded its 99c investment.

Happy Negotiating!


Emily Barnes

Emily is a highly experienced and well-regarded mediator with over 1000 mediations conducted over the past 7 years. She has sat at every seat of the negotiation table (lawyer, client and mediator), and brings unparalleled expertise to difficult conversations, and people.

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