The quality of a man’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment
to excellence regardless of his chosen field of endeavor
– Vince Lombardi
I love this quote because it applies to everything we do, whether in business or life. It’s a mindset that is not hopeful, wishful or wanting but rather it’s a mindset of absolute determination. Commitment is a decision you make; a choice that leaves no convenient excuses to do anything but what you must do. It’s committing to become who you need to be, in order to do the things you need to do, in order to have the things you want to have.
In terms of negotiating, commitment to excellence includes spending the necessary time and energy preparing in advance for the negotiation, even when you don’t feel like it, i.e. re-reading details; role-playing; rehearsing your arguments out loud, etc. Commitment also applies to committing to know precisely what you want out of the negotiation. You must have clarity in order to commit and stick to your guns. This is not to say that you are not prepared to compromise in a negotiation. After all, most negotiations often involve compromise but you must be clear, ahead of time, on what compromises you are willing to make and which ones you are not.
With clarity, you can then stay the course despite potential emotional forces that can surface during negotiations, (e.g. you may really want that job offer; or the car you’re trying to buy; or to resolve that dispute with your neighbor). If you are unable to commit to your position beforehand you will be tempted to concede issues when emotions get in the way. If that occurs, you will likely walk away from the negotiation somewhat disappointed. Moreover, you will wonder if you could have gotten what you really wanted had you held strong to your position. And that’s never a good feeling.