Kwame Christian, ESQ. is an attorney, meditator, and the author of the best selling book, Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life. His book is an Amazon Best-Seller and has helped countless individuals overcome the fear, anxiety, and emotion often associated with difficult conversations through a branded framework called Compassionate Curiosity. Kwame walks us through how to leverage emotions to effectively bridge the gap between negotiation and conflict.
Kwame is also the host of the world’s most popular negotiation podcast, Negotiate Anything. Kwame’s TEDx talk, Finding Confidence in Conflict, was the most popular TEDx Talk on the topic of conflict in 2017, and has been viewed over 150,000 times.Kwame also serves as a negotiation and conflict resolution professor at The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. The Dispute Resolution Program at Moritz is the top ranked dispute resolution program in the country. He is also a professor in Otterbein University’s MBA program. Prior to practicing business law and founding ANI, Kwame worked at the Kirwan Institute doing civil rights work. While at Kirwan, Kwame focused on criminal justice and health equity.
[4:25] When you travel abroad to new and exotic locations, it can really test your negotiation abilities as you haggle for items you want at the market.
[8:45] Kwame’s book, Finding Confidence in Conflict, can be used in high-level stressful business negotiations as well as trying to communicate effectively with family.
[10:05] Whether we like it or not, we are not thinking machines. We are feeling machines that happen to think. Emotions play a big part in everything we do.
[11:25] Most times when people fail at negotiation, it’s because they didn’t address the underlying emotional issues.
[14:10] The “natural” human doesn’t want to engage in conflict.
[16:20] Conflicts break down because there’s a developed “me vs. you” narrative.
[20:55] When addressing conflict or a difference in opinion, it’s important to first recognize the emotions in ourselves as well as the emotions in others.
[25:35] Kwame shares his thoughts on diversity and inclusion and what we need to be doing better to bridge the gap.
[27:15] Everyone needs time to process their emotions to effectively communicate what they’re feeling. However, men often do feel comfortable saying words like ‘disappointed’ or ‘sad.’
[29:15] Sometimes you need an outside perspective to help you dig deep within yourself in a way that you can’t do by yourself. This can be a trusted friend, coach, or therapist.
[29:55] When it comes to the way women negotiate and the literature out there, Kwame recognizes we’re asking women to fend for themselves when we should all be advocating for them.
[36:45] You’re not going to be able to overcome your own biases unless you have a bit of self-awareness, and take the time to create solutions for them.
[43:25] Listener challenge: Use the Compassionate Curiosity Framework:
- Acknowledging and Validating Emotions.
- Getting Curious with Compassion.
- Engaging in Joint Problem Solving.
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