Sometimes people seem to prefer feeling powerless and believing that there is nothing they can do to affect a situation. That belief helps them avoid feeling responsible or guilty about inaction. It also avoids the cost of trying to change the situation—making an effort and risking failure, which might cause the person embarrassment. But while this feeling is understandable, it does not affect the reality of what the person might accomplish by effective negotiation. It is a self-defeating and self-fulfilling attitude.
-Getting to Yes, Second Edition, pp178-179.
[Imported comment* originally authored by renice.] What about when the person justifiably fears taking action because of more than mere embarrassement -- say, rational fears of being sacked, denigrated, or in some other way imprisoned unfairly? Who will negotiate after the risk has injured? Who will defend the risk-taker who has fallen?
[Imported comment* originally authored by Travis.] Certainly one must weigh the risk of negotiating with the risk of not negotiating. I want to believe that there is usually a way to enter into a conversation about mutual interests without exposing yourself to too much risk, while always keeping your BATNA in mind. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BATNA
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