Summary of Leveling the Playing Field #2 Resilient Negotiation—Decoding the Shadow Game

February 19, 2024, 12:00-1:15 pm Pacific

Julian’s Presentation Notes and Essential Points 

Today’s webinar will focus on some of the elements of Resilient Negotiation, how I and you can decipher and decode the Shadow Game, and what you can do about it. My colleague, Odette Wilkens, will then provide a ringside seat on how she is dealing with these forces in her negotiations in NYC and in meeting the challenges a Wireless Blitzkrieg of 60+ bills currently before the Congress. 

Please ask yourself: What is my current SYSTEM of Negotiation to build my Resilience to withstand and transcend the challenges of the Shadow Game? Today I want to give you the basics of a system, to build your resilience, identify some of the key “moves” of the Shadow Game, and how to neutralize and transcend them. Some of this may be familiar to you as it encodes what many of us already do successfully but just haven’t named these moves and organized them into a wisdom expert system.


  • SunTzu–Art of War–”Know yourself, know the enemy, you will not lose in 100 battles. Know yourself, but fail to know the opponent, you will win 50% of the time, and lose in the other. Fail to know yourself, fail to know your adversary, you will lose all your battles.”
  • Wang Yang Ming: “Knowledge without action is not knowledge at all.”
  • Values–integrity, integral resilience, wisdom, balance, synergy, collaboration as Evolutionary Values that will enable us to adapt and survive. Discuss contemporary society’s clash of values between an integrity-evolutionary model and The Shadow Game based on the guiding principle of Might Makes Right. (See Socrates’ refutation in Plato’s dialogue,  Gorgias.)
  • Integrity–In the Chinese and Japanese languages, “integrity” (in Chinese “Te”; Japanese “toku”) combines the character for “hand” of action in dynamic balance with the “eye” of discovery and the “heart” of compassion. The “Te” is a line connecting us to the universe (TAO). It is a learnable skill.
  • Negotiation–defined as an ongoing process, as in negotiating the mountains or a river. (Getting to Yes, at least as my friend Roger Fisher, originally conceived it places a negotiator at a distinctive disadvantage if he or see assumes that negotiations end with an agreement. In The Shadow Game this often when the “real” negotiations begin!

The 5 Rings

Ongoing effective decision making process:

  • Establish what you really want and your path to accomplishing it–your mission
  • Few Needs–relax, loose (like a snake!)
  • Develop a Resilient Negotiators Budget (Time (1) x Effort (2) x $$$ (3) x Creativity (4). Effective Resilient Negotiators pay careful attention to spending Budget wisely.
  • Key is to identify key decision makers
  • Focus on their pain and Agenda of key decision makers who can deliver what you want.
  • Time your presentation, don’t spill too early
  • Embrace the “No” is your point of leverage and power; No can become your  friend; If you get a no, return to their pain. It’s your safe harbor.
  • Resilient Behaviors–100% control>>Few Needs, Identify and Explore Assumptions and Expectations,  Stay present, each moment is your gate
  • Understand the landscape–scouts, blockers, and agents

The Shadow Game (5 Moves) and Its Antidotes 

  •  Set up false assumptions and expectations (even the notion that a government agency is supposed to protect the public)--Antidote: Develop the behavior of 3+ to test and verify all your important assumptions
  • Hide the decision makers so you negotiate with the wrong people and burn your Budget–Antidote: make sure you uncover the real decision makers by effective Reconnaissance.
  • Hide the pain points, keep us in limbo (by not issuing a definitive “no”) Antidote: encourage a ‘no’ and return to pain, i.e. a safe harbor especially if we have a solution to their pain.
  • Waste Your Budget (time, energy, $$$, creativity)>>Drive Need so we become desperate and burnout. With wireless, addicting the consumer is key; the product itself is a weapon!; our desperation and loss of consciousness serves the puppeteers; Antidote: Conserve your Budget and that of your allies.
  • Penetrate our side with scouts (witting and unwitting; they don’t even realize in many instances they’re scouts); shield the decision makers with agents and blockers; Antidote: neutralize the scouts; circumvent or turn them into our agents and blockers.
  • Use the law (i.e. legal and political power) as a weapon to cripple resistance, especially at the local level; manipulate the public  by invading privacy, controlling information, and embedding false assumptions and illusory expectations. Antidote: Build effective teams and cohorts with experienced counsel and lobbyists, and scientific/technical experts and draft superior protective ordinances.


Today is a short introduction; it merely scratches the surface. This series is part of a warmup for those who seriously want to acquire these essential skills and build cohorts. Beginning in April 1, we will be offering a 12 week online/live program of skill based capacity building supported by effective coaching. Please subscribe to our Newsletter for a Ringside Seat and Breaking News. You can go more deeply by reading my online book designed with flow paper, Piloting Through Chaos–The Explorers Mind and also my autobiography, How the Leopard Changed Its Spots–Evolutionary Values for an Age in Crisis, which describes how I discover all of this. available at: 

I want to ask a favor. We will be sending a brief questionnaire to ask 2 questions  which will help to focus course and coaching on the areas of Resilient Negotiation where you could use some help in building your integral resilience and coping with The Shadow Game.I close with a visual image from an ancient Chinese poem: Each branch of coral holds up the moon: Every chance moment is a gate to discover something unique and glorious. Each move in a resilient negotiation is one such gate. Every small moment holds up the moo. We become increasingly lucid and appreciate our singularly beautiful life. We have an extraordinary opportunity in our struggle with the Shadow forces to learn,to take action, and to evolve together. We are each in his or her own special way coral holding up the moon.

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