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The proof that adversarial negotiation sucks: Trump example

Beginners who start approaching negotiation often are in awe of the powerful man who figuratively -or sometimes literally- bangs his fists on the negotiation table.

That man is powerful!
Obviously so.
You can see that. And hear it.

And, as usual, don't get me wrong, life is nuanced and varied and there are many situations when a major power and dominance display can serve you great.

But as a long term strategy?
Not as a long term strategy.

And not when the negotiation parties are roughly matched, when you also need something and/or when you will meet them again in future negotiations.

Research as well backs the idea that a "strong man" approach to negotiation is an ineffective one.

And a social-psychology look at history and life does the same.

  • A despot with an adversarial approach to power will need to build castles to defend and live in constant fear
  • A man with an adversarial approach to relationships' power dynamics ends up with a combative relationship
  • People with an adversarial approach to social relationships end up with few friends and lots of enemies

An example?

Donald Trump!

Just check CNN homepage today:

For all his (self)vaunted business acumen, Trump is a one trick pony and mostly stuck with the old-school power mover approach (ie: an adversarial negotiation style).
And yes, sometimes that works and there is much to learn from him. And I absolutely loved his book "The Art of The Deal".

But there is also much to learn and what not do like Trump.
Because the adversarial negotiation style should not be your go-to style and Trump is proving that. Trump is creating a mess in all the negotiations tables he has been sitting on.

Sure, CNN might be biased, but there is little arguing that Trump's adversarial negotiation approach is bringing woes and world troubles that could have all been avoided (you can check my analysis of CNN global warming article to see that I'm super-parters when it comes to news agencies).

Donald Trump:

  • Made all democrats sworn enemies
  • Made many congressmen of his own party enemies

And both of the above make it impossible for him to push through reforms.
But there is more.

Donald Trump also:

  • Pushed Iran back into uranium enrichment
  • Power-moved Kim Jong Un when he cut the meeting short and pushed him into Russian's hands (and back into the nuclear program)
  • Divided the whole US (and partly the Western world) and brought them into adversarial relationships

No matter where you stand, and as you can see from this website I hate political correctness as much as a Trump supporter, there little denying that Trump's presidency is being a huge failure.

In big part, it's because of his adversarial approach to negotiations.
The alternative?

Read here the best books on negotiations.
Read here on manipulative negotiation:

And here is a video example on (adversarial) abuse of power:

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