Too often we get caught up in what we want without taking into consideration what the party that we are negotiating with considers a win.

This year with fear creeping in on all fronts, from our health to the political unrest to the state of the economy we have found ourselves in an “I gotta get mine” mentality. We don’t need to be right, we just need to win is a spot that I find myself in often.

We have to think about our request and then what the other parties’ responses to our request may be. All of the potential responses.

We owe it to each other to go down each road as if we were on the other side and see where it leads. Are we being fair to all sides? Are we working towards a solid middle with terms that are palatable to all of the people who will be eating this deal for dinner? If we are fighting we will likely lose. If we are one-sided we will likely lose. The fear response is very real right now. Our amygdalas are on overdrive trying to keep us safe. The only metabolic way to get from the fight or flight response is to breathe, the recommendation is 5 deep breaths.

We all have time for 5 deep breaths.

We all have time to see all sides before we go back in with a fair and reasonable solution. As soon as we have lost our temper we have opened ourselves to both weakness and our biological inability to decision-make from our prefrontal cortex. Just breathe.