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Paws for Thought

Ann McAleavy
Negotiation Cat Blog [Converted]
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At Scotwork, we teach people the importance of being creative and specific when they prepare to negotiate. Here’s a cat’s tale to remind us all.

I love cats – my husband will confirm that, as he takes third place in the domestic pecking order behind our two spoilt moggies.  When I saw on a social media post the story of a lonely and confused cat in a shelter in Glasgow I was, of course, captured.  The cat, let me call him Tango, had to be rehomed following the death of his owner.  In the post, Tango was shown as though he was speaking to the readers.

Tango set out his objectives for rehoming. At 4 years old and an indoor cat it’s very important for him to be the only cat in a home. He is used to a quiet home shared with just one person, so that would be nice to have. That would mean a preference for no children but once he is settled, he might bravely venture outdoors to a garden which might allow him to escape children if there were no other option.  I thought when I read this that although Tango has been left feeling anxious and out of sorts, he made a pretty good job of prioritising his needs indicating possible areas of flexibility and showing he will give to get.

It’s the feline version of the Scotwork lesson: highlight important things and show areas of flexibility. In this instance, not all Tango’s needs had to be met to allow him to have a happy new home. When we negotiate, we prepare and ask questions to see how others judge our objectives and might be able to agree to them, while always being realistic and willing to flex a bit to get what we want.

I loved the shelter’s approach; they were creative and clear about their objectives for Tango. I expect them to get lots of enquiries and to home him successfully.  

With the odds against me, I could not rehome Tango. I work full time and there is more than 1 adult in the house. The happiness of my two cats is paramount and they would be upset. I decided the only way to assist Tango was to donate, it will help the shelter continue its wonderful work of looking after animals until new owners are found. But as I am sure you will agree the media post – a proposal in all but name - did a great job of managing my expectations.

If you’re feline moved by the story, donating to your local animal shelter is a purrfect idea and it will be mewsic to the shelter’s ears!  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Ann McAleavy
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