“Don’t leave money on the table” is a caution. The phrase describes an opportunity we have to negotiate a good deal, yet ultimately walk away from the deal with less desirable results. Basically, something which was within our control wasn’t executed well enough to secure the best deal, be that more money or other resources.

This dilemma occurs to the negotiators’ disadvantage.

The same caution can be applied when evaluating how we negotiate ours or others’ human capital, human capital being the immeasurable and irrevocable value (capital) of every human.

How many times have we walked away, even run, from an opportunity to negotiate a better deal with another human, be it our children, coworkers, neighbors, church family or a stranger we encountered?

Essentially, we evaded an opportunity to walk away from a deal, extracting and investing the best of ours and others’ human capital for myriad reasons, and often we've done so to our own disadvantage. I know…we cannot know the specific number.

Can we agree, however, that we’ve likely left money (human value) on the table or altogether rejected its value for fear of being wrong or by neglecting the work required to get to the root of "why" we’re choosing to leave the table with less value?

I enjoy preparing customer service evaluations.

I think I always have or at least for as long as I’ve been a member of the workforce. It’s one of those “if money were no object” things I’d do for free and endlessly. Now, it’s partly my livelihood.

I also enjoy supporting businesses in their effort to create better internal strategies when it comes to investing in and engaging their first and most valuable customer, those they lead.

We can also look at this human capital perspective from a worldview. How much money or value are we leaving on the table with how we handle or mishandle each other in the world? Do we start our negotiations from where most of us can agree or do we begin from a place of distinction?

“I’m over here, therefore you must be extremely far from me…somewhere over yonder. You’re nothing like me because, well…I’m me. You cannot know my struggles or my heart because…well, you’re not me.”

I’ve felt those words and I walked away from the table with less ground gained.

As a whole, we’re not as unique as we perceive or would like others to believe. There's one thing I have observed which we all have in common:

We all want to feel safe...

however safety looks to us and by whatever measure, scroll or channel we latch onto which will get us access to our security blankets.

Sure, we have some unique and oftentimes counterintuitive ways of approaching our desire to feel safe, but we’re looking for the same thing, however its packaged.

Business owners want the same thing and customers need the exact same thing.

The value in choosing to “give-a-care-beyond-our-perspective” is revealed when we can agree and believe on just one thing:

We ALL want to feel safe. Feeling safe requires trust. Trust begins with being afforded the benefit of the doubt.

Allowing benefit of the doubt is a gift.

I think we can believe without doubt that we all want to feel safe.

Once we can agree on that one, essential thing, that safety is a basic human need, we can start to experience better negotiations and leave much less human value on the table. When value is left to blow in the wind, it can do no long-term good.

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