[This is a re-post of a popular & timeless post on Biblically-based business negotiations.]
negotiate (v) to discuss something formally in order to make an agreement; to get over, though, or around (something) successfully
As businesspeople, we constantly negotiate. Beyond traditional big-time mergers or acquisitions, we negotiate building leases, vendor contracts, strategic plans, employee hiring and performance evaluations, and so much more.
Here are 5 key principles gleaned from 14 powerful verses that must set our standard for any business negotiation.
14 Bible Promises for Business Negotiation
Trust in the Lord
“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” Proverbs 16:20
“But they could not stand up agains his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.” Acts 6:10
I know this is a somewhat trite sounding principle, yet it needs repeating. His ways are always better than ours, his wisdom deeper, his steps better, his Spirit stronger.
Maintain Your Integrity
“If you argue your case with a neighbor, do not betray another man’s confidence. or he who hears it may shame you and you will never lose your bad reputation.” Proverbs 25:9-10
“Let you conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
”The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
Perhaps the greatest testimony during negotiations is to maintain your integrity.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
When you know that the Lord is directing your steps, it is good and right to stand firm and be bold. Non-Christians expect us to wimp out or cave in. After Pentecost, not one of the Lord’s apostles wimped out. Neither should we.
Grow a Partner – Not an Enemy
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live a peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Proverbs 17:14
“Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights, and honest ephah and an honest hin.” Leviticus 19:35-36
If a productive, professional partnership is not possible, it may be best to delay the agreement. Negotiated agreements designed in conflict can lead to nothing other than more conflict.
“The end of the matter is better than the beginning. and patience is better than pride.” Ecclesiastes 7:8
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29
Yeah, this one is tough on me, too. It goes against every traditional entrepreneurial tendency we have – to be a fast, agile, quick to decide, intuitive, Type “A” go getters! Yet Moses had to wait. Joseph had to wait. David had to wait – as did so many others. How many times has the Lord made me wait to simply avoid a pending disaster of my own making!
Your Negotiation Insights
Please share your thoughts, insights, and verses you embrace on how to approach business negotiations.