Perceptive readers recall my series of posts about President Trump’s negotiation skills. (Here’s a link to Part 5, which includes links to the whole collection.)
This part provides an overview of Mr. Trump’s negotiation failures whereas the prior parts focused on particular negotiations. It summarizes a Washington Post column by liberal columnist Paul Waldman. I think that most of us DR experts would completely agree with this analysis regardless of our political beliefs.
Mr. Waldman lists some major deals that Mr. Trump promised to deliver and then failed to make accomplish, including:
- A trade deal with China
- A new nuclear deal with Iran
- A deal to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons
- A deal to end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan
- A peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians
- A deal to make Mexico pay for a border wall
- A deal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with “something terrific”
- A deal on new gun safety measures
This list does not include the most recent negotiation debacle — the negotiation with Turkey betraying our Kurdish allies, which prompted virtually universal condemnation.
Mr. Waldman identifies reasons for these failures, aka Negotiation 101:
- Trump can’t be bothered to understand his negotiating partners.
- Trump thinks negotiation is just about personality.
- Trump thinks everything is zero-sum.
- Trump can’t build trust.
- Trump doesn’t follow through.
Other than that, he negotiates perfectly.
Perhaps some negotiation experts who support Mr. Trump might argue about some of these assessments of his negotiation behavior. Indeed, supporters of the president may be especially disappointed by his failure to negotiate promised agreements. Although they might publicly disagree with this analysis, they generally know that this analysis is all too accurate.
In any case, it’s a good primer of negotiation behaviors to avoid.