Whether you are trying to pass the budget, to maintain the balance of power or get what you want, you are probably going to be put in the position of doing a deal with someone.

But, what seems convenient at the time of doing the deal can often come back to bite you when you discover your ally doesn’t share the same values, same ethics or the same opinions as you.

So what do you do? It’s easy; think long and hard before you do the deal in the first place.

Here are a few things you could consider when deciding to deal:

  1. find the common ground – find everything you agree on (ask why and look beyond the superficial)
  2. find the differences – find everything you don’t agree on (and why and look beyond the superficial)
  3. ask what lines would have to be crossed to dissolve the deal – identify the not negotiables so that if anything changes the decision on cancelling the deal has already been made

So when do you make a deal? When you have more common ground than differences, when the things you disagree on are not core beliefs or values, when you know under what circumstances the deal would be null and void.

There is no point waiting for the scorpion to reveal themselves after you have done the deal; work out exactly who they are before you deal, otherwise you could end up defending the indefensible.


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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.