The Benefits of Losing

So we all lose from time to time, right? Don’t let your losses be a waste of time and effort. When a football team suffers a loss what do they do? They review what went wrong, what the other team did, and try to improve their performance in anticipation of the next game. Every negotiation, even those that are lost, can be of value if they serve to help you learn how to interact better with those around us.

When you lose a negotiation try to salvage something from the experience:

Make a friend. Even losers have the chance to build a relationship with the other person. This may help to mitigate future conflict with a friend or it may develop a valuable contact in the work environment. The people we interact with can either remain estranged or become friends and associates. Whenever possible, convert an adversary into a friend.

Learn from your experiences, even the losses. When you lose a good fight respect that the other person was better in some ways. Review what went wrong. Consider what might have been done to change the outcome. We do this routinely in sports. Why not apply the discipline to our human interactions?

Survival in any situation is making the most of the cards you are dealt. Win, lose, or draw there’s always something to be learned from any negotiation. It just makes sense to take the time to reflect on what happened and what could have changed the outcome.