News & Insights | News | 14 February 2018

Tamara Hodgson considers the philosophy of opinions and their place in negotiation, and looks at what can happen if one party seeks to impose their opinions on the other. 

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, our truth, that may or may not be the truth of others. Marcus Aurelius, 2nd Century AD

Whilst the quote is old, the meaning it conveys is timeless, since it speaks to a truth about human beings. People naturally form opinions on a whole variety of things, and following on from that often feel the need to share their opinions with others. Moreover, there is an intrinsic human drive to convince others of our opinion, to get them to see things from our perspective.

Where this creates a problem in negotiation is not the sharing of an opinion per se, but rather when one party seeks to impose their opinions on others without considering the outcome required from such an imposition - or indeed, what the opinion is of the other party is in the first place... 

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