This is an excerpt from my new book “X: The Ten Commandments of Negotiation”. You can get the whole book in all 3 formats (paperback, e-book, and audio book) plus bonuses at http://xnegotiation.com

“Let us move from the era of confrontation to the era of negotiation.”

—Richard M. Nixon

There are two types of people in this world: those who are good negotiators and everyone else who gets taken advantage. Ever since the dawn of man, humans have been taking advantage of their weaker counterparts. A strong caveman would physically beat up a weaker caveman and rob him of his food, shelter, and women. Today there are laws against the physically strong harming the physically weak, but there is very little protection for the average person when it comes to negotiation. Instead of a big burly caveman knocking on your door to physically beat you up and take your food, we may have an unscrupulous insurance salesman knocking on our door to sell us an overpriced life insurance policy instead.

We no longer have bands of raiders circling our towns looking to kill the men, rape the women, and throw the children into slavery. Instead we have predatory bankers who sell mortgages to people that cannot qualify. Instead of raiding your house for everything you own, a predatory banker can foreclose on your home by giving you a badly negotiated loan you can’t afford with poor terms and then throw you on the street.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. In the medieval days where you would need to know how to fight a band of raiders who seeks to plunder your farm, today you need to know how to negotiate to protect your position in life and business.

In my life I have had two parts (1) Life before studying negotiation in which I had a very hard time making my way in the world and (2) Life after studying negotiation in which I began to see success in my life and in business.

What stops the average man from becoming a good negotiator to protect his interests?

(1.) Cultural Constraints—If you are reading this book, chances are you come from a culture that is conditioned to avoid confrontation and negotiation at all costs. Where Canadians and Americans are conditioned to pay the full sticker price for everything, Mexican and Chinese negotiators are conditioned to assert their interests and get what they want. Negotiation is either acceptable in your culture or frowned upon.

(2.) Low Self-Esteem or Low Aspirations—Along with cultural constraints that prevent many people from negotiating, is the result of further conditioning for most people to have a low self-esteem and set low aspirations for themselves. Studies have shown that most people, no matter how great or poorly they perform in a negotiation, always believe they did the best that they could have. The average man will set his aspiration level low provided there is no outside force telling him to raise his aspiration level.This is why many successful athletes, and entrepreneurs have coaches—to raise their aspiration level.

(3.) Fear of Hurting Other’s Feelings—Most human beings have a need to be liked and care deeply about what others think of them. Negotiation, when you must assert your position on someone else, could make you or the other side very uncomfortable. We are raised and trained to be “nice” people in the Western world, and even professional real estate agents who derive their entire living from negotiating are hesitant to write low offers on properties for fear of hurting other’s feelings and consequently, their own reputations.

(4.) Unawareness of the Process of Negotiation—Many people who know they must negotiate may be oblivious to the process and systematic study of negotiation. These people are improvising, and any success they have is pure talent or luck. To study a proven system and follow the process is the only path to sustained success. Luck and talent always fall short of discipline and systematic study and application.

(5.) Unawareness of the Subject of Negotiation—Many negotiators do not even know that negotiation is a skill to be studied, learned, and measured. If you do not even know that the subject exists, how can you study it? How can you improve? How can you master it?

(6.) No Experience in the Field—Shockingly, we live in a culture in the Western world where people can go through life from the cradle to the grave with very little practical experience as a negotiator. When they buy a car, they pay full price. When they buy a house, they pay within 3 percent of the asking price. Should they need to negotiate for something, they have very little experience to rely on, if any at all.

(7.) Failure Belief—Many men and women who succumb to social conditioning from the Western school system believe that failure is fatal, and they terrified of failure. Furthermore, they may believe that anything new they try they will fail at, and this failure belief is major inhibitor to success in negotiating.

(8.) Lack of Discipline—Nothing can be mastered without discipline and a steadfast commitment to doing things that are uncomfortable. Negotiation is a skill and process that is frequently uncomfortable and dedicated discipline to the subject is the only way for anyone to become adept or a master negotiator.

(9.) Fears—The best version of ourselves is on the other side of our fears. There are six major fears that hold us back from everything we want and they are:

Six Ghosts of Fear

1.) Fear of Death—The mother of all fears and the ultimate unknown in life.

2.) Fear of Failure—Will keep a negotiator from taking new risks.

3.) Fear of Poverty—The fear of losing money or being left in a worse financial position a er negotiating.

4.) Feat of Ill Health—This fear runs in parallel with fear of poverty, which leads to ill health.

5.) Fear of Loss of Love—Fear of losing your mate due to bad decisions.

6.) Fear of Criticism—Fear of being criticized for asserting your position in life.

(10.) Weaknesses—Our weaknesses rob us of our energy and focus to be successful in any pursuit including negotiation. Although this is not a book on religion, all religions of the world agree that sin is a waste of energy. All human weaknesses can be categorized by the seven deadly sins:

Seven Deadly Sins

1.) Pride— The mother of all sins and the thinking that you are better or that your situation is different.

2.) Greed—The human emotion of wanting “more.” Every human being has a magic number and that number is “more.” The most important question you have in a negotiation is, When is enough enough? and stick to it.

3.) Lust—The undisciplined emotion of sex in a negotiation is a pitfall that can ruin many otherwise competent negotiators. Very often men will be sent to negotiate with women, and women will be sent to negotiate with men. Sex can take the other side’s focus off of the real issues at hand.

4.) Envy—The desire to count the other side’s money instead of your own will prevent you from winning the negotiation. What you want and what they want are two separate things. Do not count the other side’s money—it doesn’t matter.

5.)Wrath—When emotions go up, intelligence goes down. Sometimes negotiations can get heated, and wrath takes over. When anger takes over, your chances of winning a negotiation.

This is an excerpt from my new book “X: The Ten Commandments of Negotiation”. You can get the whole book in all 3 formats (paperback, e-book, and audio book) plus bonuses at http://xnegotiation.com