“This Is The Best Negotiation Lesson From The Coronavirus” – Negotiation Insight

“A virus needs a host to survive. To protect yourself, avoid environments where they thrive.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“This Is The Best Negotiation Lesson From The Coronavirus”

Every day, we learn lessons from which we seek to improve our life. We learn whom to trust, how much to trust them, and when to invoke disbelief. To that end, the worldwide outbreak and spread of the Coronavirus is fraught with negotiation lessons about trust, influence, and self-preservation.

The following are a few lessons to glean from how authorities and individuals are handling this situation, or do you think of it as a crisis? The mindset you possess will always dictate your actions.  Regardless, you’ll learn something from the following, which you can use to enhance your life and negotiation outcomes.


In any environment, people think of themselves first. They may not do so with the intent to put themselves ahead of others, but self-preservation is always a source of motivation. Thus, before blindly following the dictates of an authority figure, question why they’re expending the information and actions they’re seeking from you. The same is true in a negotiation. Always question the purpose behind the activity someone invokes. Yes, their efforts may be born out of altruism, but even if that’s true, the payoff for that person is the good feeling they receive from being generous. That’s not to say that you should not be accepting of their generosity. It’s to say, maintain a heightened sense of awareness per where their actions may be leading you. Like them, you also have self-preservation at your core for your wellbeing.

Risk Analysis:

Like most people, before you partake in an endeavor that bears a sense of risk, you evaluate the risk. The more pronounced the opportunity for harm, the more prominent your assessment should be.

With the Coronavirus, as is the case in a negotiation, when thinking of the precautions you should exercise (i.e., fly here, attend that conference, go to an entertainment event, etc.), be alert to the motives of those attempting to sway you in one direction versus another. Once again, ask what they’re trying to achieve based on them maintaining whatever power or prestige they may have in the environment that they’re putting forth to sway you. You might also consider whether you’re being used as a pawn to persuade others to join someone’s perspective. Again, as in negotiations, leverage is gathered when a majority or influences suggest that others engage in an action. While considering all of those factors, think about your wellbeing.

Therefore, if you don’t feel safe adopting a particular act, don’t accept it as becoming your reality. And don’t fear the degradation that may come from others to shame you into changing your perspective. Let your self-interest by the light that guides you on your path. After all, if harm does befall you, others may apologize and tell you how sorry they are, but if you pay a debilitation price for an encumbrance, that’ll be little solace to make you whole.


Another cause of faulty decision-making is haste. While time may be of the essence in some situations, never be in such a rush that you lose something important due to your haste.

With the Coronavirus, some people, through misinformation and being egocentric, considered themselves impervious to the virus. Thus, they did not act appropriately to protect themselves. They figured that they were immune because things like that happened ‘over there,’ not here. An attitude such as that can be your downfall in a negotiation, or any activity, in which risk should demand more consideration. Be judicious when making decisions that can impact your life. Because you only get one chance at life. And once it’s gone, so are your abilities to alter it.  

Taking Back Power:

Power ebbs and flows. That means someone is dominant to the degree that others allow that person to possess power over them. And once you withdraw your consent, that person becomes powerless.

Thus, the more the masses of power extend their power to someone else, that person’s authority is enhanced. That’s an important fact to note. Because some individuals get caught in a sea of movement – they’re rudderless, which means they’re in a flow due to their proximity to like-minded people.

Remember, in a mass outbreak that threatens your wellbeing, don’t go along simply because you’re in the sea of movement. You came in the world alone, even if you have a twin sibling, there was a duration of time between your entrances. 

So, if you want to maintain the power that’s yours, be mindful of when you relinquish it, and to whom you give it. Be ready to take it back if your analysis stipulates you should do so. And, while doing so, don’t exercise your actions out of haste, but don’t delay them by procrastinating. Strike a balance between the two. And be quick to make readjustments as you gather new insights and information about the plight that confronts you. As others are only as powerful as you allow them to be, you’re only as powerful as those to whom you give your power. Know when to take it back.


Very seldom will you have to make life or death decisions. And if you do, hopefully, you’ll engage in that decision with a lot of forethought as you seek to gain far-sightedness. In that quest, be introspective by examining the core of your being, who you are, and who you wish to become. Do that while also being retrospective, looking deep into your past decisions, how you made them, and their outcomes. That exercise should help you firm-up your decision-making process.

Be mindful that people see what they want to believe. Since it’s your decision, that will affect your life, be clear about the interpretation of your vision. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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