Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Being innovative in negotiation

A father left 17 camels as asset for his 3 sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will which stated that the eldest son should get 1/2, the middle son to get 1/3 and the youngest son to get 1/9. The sons started to fight with each other since it was not possible to divide 17 by 2, 3 or 9.

So, they decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened carefully. After giving this a thought, he brought 1 of his own camel and added the same to the 17 which increased the total to 18 camels. With that, he gave 9 camels to the eldest son, 6 camels to the middle son and 2 camels to the youngest son. Now, add this up: 9+6+2=17. This leaves 1 camel, which the wise man took back. All the 3 sons were happy and the wise man also got back his camel.

 The moral of the story: The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel, ie the common ground. Once a person is able to find the common ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won't be able to reach any solution.

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