The Negotiator Magazine

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It is clear that nobody behaves in only one way. Although, we surely have a dominant behavioral style, in different situations and at different times we can behave as any of those types. Where are ethics and morals here? They are not here.

We are tempted to say: red is unethical and blue is ethical. I am not so sure about that!

We have spoken earlier about interests and I implied that in critical situations we follow our interests by not even thinking about ethics and morals. What is happening in those moments that make us so determined? The answer is that our feelings become so powerful that they control us. We are so frightened, so scared, so anxious or so happy, that nothing else matters. The thing is: our interests are powered by our feelings. The type and the intensity of our feelings determine our behavior.

There are two basic motivations for someone to act in the red style:

  1. the other party is blue and the person wants to exploit them
  2. the other party is red and the person wants to protect themselves (sometimes by counterattack)

There are also two basic motivations for someone to act in the blue style:

  1. the other party is blue and the person wants to cooperate
  2. the other party's type is unknown and the person takes the risk of being blue to create cooperation, but risking to meet a red style

Let's analyze the feelings behind those motivations.

For red:

  1. exploitation means greed
  2. protection means fear

For blue:

  1. cooperation means trust
  2. risk means courage

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September 2005