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Who prepares wins!

Alan Smith
© cherezoff |

I am a big fan of the Channel 4 programme, which started a new season on Sunday this week called Who Dares Wins.

In it, civilians are invited to take part in the rigorous selection process used by the British elite special operations division the SAS. The programme has ex-special forces members barking viciously at the individuals who have elected to take part, and constantly harangue the participants as they take part in arduous physical and mental challenges whilst asking if they have had enough and want to hand in their arm band, which signals dismissal from the show.

It has made TV stars of Ant Middleton and Jason (Foxy) Fox, who frankly you wouldn’t want to meet on a dark night (unless they were on your side).

One of the things that always surprises me about these sort of reality shows is the fact that some of the participants seem surprised about what they are being asked to do! Now don’t get me wrong, if it was a new show, they would have an excuse, but it isn’t. This is at least the 4th season. A bit like when the contestants on I’m a celebrity, claim to be scared of creepy crawlers. Where have they been?

These participants are soon weeded out, or not in the case of I’m a celebrity as the general public seem intent on keeping the really scared in and making them suffer.

Preparation, as anyone knows, is probably the most important thing we can do, be that for a TV show, an exam, a marathon or indeed commercially a negotiation.

If you want to be in a strong negotiating position, taking time to prepare is absolutely critical. If you have not done your homework chances are that the other party may very well gain the upper hand in the negotiation, particularly if they have done theirs!

I do appreciate that the world we inhabit moves at an alarming pace, and we are surrounded by pressures and commitments.  More is better, but some is better than none at all.

During negotiation preparation, you should spend time on your objectives (and theirs), think about power, think about variables and value creation, in short, spend time figuring out what you want and how you are going to get it.

Abraham Lincoln is one of the many who have been attributed the phrase, “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”. Being thoroughly prepared may not guarantee a win, but it will certainly help.

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