Unconditional vs. Negotiable vs. Non-Negotiable

Some things in life are unconditional. Some are negotiable. And some are non-negotiable. Knowing which is which and honoring each one is guaranteed to make you a lot more effective, especially when dealing with conflict.

Unconditional things – THE WHO

There’s only one. Human worthiness. People are worthy, regardless. Their behaviors may be terrible, but they are OK as human beings. You may be thinking, “What about Hitler, or that serial killer, or those really evil people. They aren’t worthy!” Even in extreme cases like these, it’s possible to respond clearly to their behavior while leaving a person’s worthiness intact. In most daily cases, however, seeing people as human beings, worthy of dignity and respect, despite their behavior, will serve you and them much better.

Negotiable things – THE HOW

How we get where we are going is negotiable. How we close the gap between what we want and what we are experiencing can take many forms. There are many different ways to solve problems, a lot of options for getting from point A to point B. People are different in how they perceive the world and what’s important to them, yet they all seem to make it through their day. Don’t fall on your sword around the HOW. It will get you alienated and you’ll feel frustrated a lot. Many negotiations and conflict-resolution efforts fall apart because people treat the HOW as if is was a non-negotiable.

Non-Negotiable things – THE WHY

Why are you here on this earth? Why do you get up every day? What is so important in your life that if you didn’t honor it, you’d lose your soul? What are the core principles and values that give you purpose?

Non-negotiables aren’t about what other people should or shouldn’t do. They are about how you will chose to live your life.

The minute you expect others to live according to your non-negotiables, you encroach on the other two categories listed above.

Are you passionate about spreading your values? Do you think the world would be a better place if more people adhered to your non-negotiables? Nothing wrong with that. Just know that unless you honor the WHO and the HOW principles along the way, it’s going to be very rough travels and could get violent.

Put it all together and the compassionate accountability mantra leading yourself and others out of drama sounds like this.

I’m OK, You’re OK. There may be multiple ways to solve this problem and I’m open to exploring them with you. Here’s what’s important to me. What’s important to you?

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2016

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