4 Negotiation Takeaways From Harry & Meghan’s Split From the Royal Family

Interview Carol Barkes

Carol Barkes is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results.

Talking Points From Carol Barkes On
4 Negotiation Takeaways From
Harry & Meghan’s Split From the Royal Family:


  1. Other people’s people can often make the problem worse than the original issue. We love our friends, family, and advocates for their undying support. That said, these same people can make our conflicts worse by only seeing our side and creating “evil plot twists” that make us look better at the expense of the person with whom we are having the conflict with. This tends to make matters more complicated and can skew the original points of contention. Instead, ask your supporters to stand down and leave this matter to the parties involved. Try not to triangulate the matter by talking to other people who are not involved with the situations. Stick to having conversations with the parties you are in conflict with and only seek to brainstorm with others about how to resolve them.

  1. Remember to explore, understand and address all the goals of each party. In any negotiation, there are goals each party holds as valuable to their position. The four goals are known as substantive (things like money, kids, titles, etc.), relationship (who we are to each other), process (how things will be done), and face goals (ego, pride, self-esteem, etc.). With regards to the Royal Family, all four goals were at stake, and each need to be considered on their own right. Without careful consideration to each goal, whether verbally expressed or implied (such as the impact of image on the Royal Family), a negotiated agreement can potentially implode. In this instance, much effort appears to be spent on addressing each of these goals and objectives to address them.


  1. Strong negotiators come up with a variety of options and remember to build in a “what if” clause or review, when necessary. Research has shown us average negotiators only come up with 2.6 options for their negotiations. This is only a little above the two choices of “you win” or “I win”—which is competitive negotiation. Competitive negotiators have the goal to win rather than shore up the relationship. This same research shows strong negotiators generate more than 5 options and are more creative. In the case of the Royal Family, there were a variety of unique options that created the air of compromise between the Royal Family and Harry and Meghan. In addition, the agreement included a provision to review the terms of the negotiated plan after a year. This is a fantastic way to test the waters and have the ability to make a new plan when the dust has settled and there is more time to review the impact of the decisions made.


  1. Effective negotiators focus on interests (needs) vs. positions (demands). When the news came out that Harry and Meghan were pulling back from the Royal Family, the conversation could have been very damaging to everyone involved if it had only focused on positions. For instance, it could have looked like, “We are pulling back” vs. “No, you are not, and if you do, you will be punished.” Instead, conversations surrounded the needs of all parties—for Harry and Meghan, privacy, freedom, autonomy, etc., for the Royal Family, pride, tradition, respect, honor, etc. As you can see, the decisions made, include each of these criteria.


Available for Interviews: Carol Barkes


Jo Allison
PR Managing Editor
Success In Media, Inc.

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