You know how when they have those high level negotiations on TV, be it unions or heads of state? The structure is pretty simple.
Both sides throw out what they want, and they sort through everything to find out areas where they overlap. In those cases where there’s no overlap whatsoever, negotiations usually stall out. If it goes on too long, there’s a strike.
This creates a situation, and if it goes on long enough, ending the strike becomes the biggest issue that both sides can agree on.
Within humans, the same process applies. There’s a powerful technique in NLP called “Integration of Parts.” It’s simple and very useful, and you can apply it whenever you feel conflicted.
It basically involves taking these different “parts” of you outside, and helping them to “negotiate” with them as if you were some kind of facilitator at one of those union meetings.
It requires a bit of creativity, a good dose of hallucination, and the ability to listen to and act upon your instincts.
Let’s say part of you wants to ask your boss for a raise, but part of you is afraid to.
So you sit down, and ask if each part would be willing to come out and have a discussion. They both say yes, and you address the part that wants a raise first.
First you find out why they want to ask for a raise. Let’s say they want more money. You ask why they want more money. They say so they can feel more secure. You ask why they want to feel more secure, and they say they don’t like to worry. Ok. Great. Thank them and tell them to hang out.
Next, you bring out the other part. Ask why they think it’s a good idea not to ask for a raise. They say the boss might get mad. You ask why it’s important that you make sure the boss doesn’t get mad. They say they don’t want to get in trouble at work. You ask why? They say because they want to feel safe. You ask why, and they say they worry then they don’t feel safe, and they don’t want to worry.
Just like in a union negotiation, you’ve got both parts ultimately wanting the same thing. A feeling of safety, without worry.
Even though they are starting in opposite directions, they both have the same goals. They just have different ideas of how to get there.
Then you take both parts, show them that they both really want the same thing, and see if they’d be willing to “join forces” to figure out a better way. If they say yes, then bring them together, breath them in, and let your intuition figure out what to do.
Chances are, it’ll be the right thing, (like asking for a raise while feeling safe at the same time) and everybody will be happy.