Abraham Negotiates with God
Negotiation is the process of combining different positions into а single unanimous joint decision. It is the process of making а decision when there are no rules about how decisions are made or when the only rule that exists is that the decision must be unanimous.
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One of the interesting questions about negotiation is whether it can be taught and learned or whether people are born with а sense of negotiation. I can think of no better way of answering this question than by going back to the first recorded case of negotiations. Practitioners of diplomacy will certainly remember the events. Abraham was talking to the Lord and was trying to find а way of saving the city of Sodom. Не had known the Lord for а while and the Lord knew him, having chosen him for important things, and they
looked at each other, each trying to find arguments that fit and to show his way of thinking. And Abraham said to the Lord, "Lord, if we could only find some righteous men in this city, you as the epitome of righteousness would not destroy righteous men simply because the city is а horror of unrighteousness." That seemed like а good argument to the Lord, who was susceptible tо that kind of reasoning. Не admitted that he would not and Abraham threw in а number like 50, and the Lord allowed that that might work. And then Abraham said that actually the numbers were not so important. More important is seeing how righteous you are and how you have this reputation of righteousness tо keep righteous men alive. And the Lord allowed that that, too, was а reasonable proposition. And they kept on going until they got down tо 10. At that point Abraham might have been running out of round numbers. The agreement was struck that if there were 10 righteous men in Sodom, the city would be spared. Well, you know what happened. They could not find 10 righteous men in Sodom and the city was destroyed.
Abraham was а pretty daring and skillful negotiator. What he did was lock in on а principle out of which he thought he could make а deal. And, in fact, the principle was agreed tо. It was а principle that was congruent with both the nature of the problem and the nature of his adversary.
Abraham found а formula for getting an agreement on the problem that he wanted to solve and then applied that formula to а series of successive details. That gave him а concise agreement within the general principles that had been established.
B. Increase your vocabulary.
Work with the synonyms and the words with a close meaning:
In this section you should use your dictionary. Match the words in the given list (1-16) with their equivalents in the bubbles (a - t). Find out as many words as you can.
1. daring, 2. to combine, 3. an argument, 4. to fit, 5. fitting,
6. to destroy; 7. to throw in; 8. a proposition;
П. Substitute the words in italics for the most suitable ones from the list of the equivalents mentioned above.
1. Negotiation is the process of combining different positions into а joint decision.
2. They were trying to find arguments that fit them.
3. They were trying to find fitting arguments.
4. That seemed like а good argument.
5. That was а reasonable proposition.
6. The city was destroyed.
7. Abraham was а pretty daring and skillful negotiator.
8. When Abraham threw in а number like 50, the Lord allowed that that might work and he would not destroy the city.
Ш. Work with the problems given below trying to use as many equivalents as you can.
Identify the notion “negotiation”.
2. Speculate on the problem whether negotiation can be taught and learned or whether people are born with а sense of negotiation.
3. Retell the way Abraham negotiated with the Lord.
4. Give your explanation for Abraham tactic in the process of negotiation or agree with the author.
EXERCISE 2.Polish up your comprehension.
Complete the sentences of the text using the words in the box .