Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Negotiation and Problem Solving

A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons.
When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will.

The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third). The youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the 17 camels.
As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other. So, the three sons decided to go to a wise man.
The wise man listened patiently about the Will.
The wise man, after giving this thought, brought one camel of his own and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.
Now, he started reading the deceased father’s will.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels.
Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took back.
Have a nice day!

Moral :The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel i.e. the common ground. Once a person is able to find the 18th ground the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won’t be able to reach any!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Our reaction to the Problems

Really nice story- Cockroach theory!! 

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on
a lady. She started screaming out of fear. With a panic stricken
face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands
desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach.

Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but ...it landed
on another lady in the group.

Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue.
In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of
the cockroach on his shirt.
When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and
threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind
picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach
responsible for their histrionic behavior?
If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?
He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle
the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or
my wife that disturbs me, but it's my inability to handle the
disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It's not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my
inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that
disturbs me.

More than the problem, it's my reaction to the problem that creates
chaos in my life.

Lessons learnt from the story:
I understood, I should not react in life.
I should always respond.
The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well
thought of, just and right to save a situation from going out of
hands, to avoid cracks in relationship, to avoid taking decisions in
anger, anxiety, stress or hurry.

Have a nice day.