green-light.jpg
© Lisa S. | Shutterstock.com

Green Lights

Published: Aug 20 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith


A few years ago I was talking to a guy at a dinner party and he, in the effort to engage in small talk, asked me what I did for a living.

When I told him that I trained and consulted in the area of negotiation skills he was intrigued but also fairly dismissive.

His view was that he never negotiated. He always got his own way by simply making an ultimatum. His view was that agreeing to negotiate was a sign of weakness and that when dealing with his suppliers he simply told them what they had to do and they did it, or he went elsewhere.

I asked how that worked out for him.

He said fine. He was convinced that he always got the best deal possible.

This morning I heard the story of a man who worked as a traffic light controller in central London. What a job!

His wife was very heavily pregnant with his first child and went into labour. She seemed to be progressing rather too quickly for his liking, and nervous (first child after all), he decided to call for an ambulance.

The 999 operator said that there would be at least a 30 minute delay due to abnormal work loads and suggested he take his wife to hospital if it was safe to do so.

He took the advice and before departing he quickly called a mate at the office and told him of the route to hospital and asked for a ‘Green Wave’, essentially that the lights be turned to green as he approached to speed his route. He would keep his chum updated of his progress via the hands free phone in his car.

Now I did not know such a thing existed. But of course this is how visiting dignitaries, royalty or leading politicians are ushered to their destinations. Would not look too good to stop at the lights and glance over to see the Queen I suppose.

Now of course if you are used to the Green Wave in your negotiations and you are waved through at speed, good for you.

God forbid however if there is a block and you have then to find a new route. If you’ve never had to manage push back or deadlock when you arrive there it will be a total shock.

Moreover if you’ve never experienced push back is that because you have not been challenging enough. Have you left a better deal on the table?

I was about to ask him these questions when his wife shouted over from across the room that he ought to put his drink down as he was driving home. She intended to have a couple of glasses of wine that night.

Not sure that any of us always get 100% of what we want 100% of the time.

Alan Smith


SHARE

Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

Read more about Alan Smith

More posts by Alan Smith

Latest Blog:

Another fine mess!

Ever found yourself in that nightmare scenario when you are in front of another party in a negotiation and the partner you have taken with you to the meeting seems to have gone off track, starts revealing new information, giving in on things you had both agreed before the negotiation, being conciliatory when they should have been tough or tough when they should have been conciliatory. Even worse, the other side have...

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork UK Limited
7 Fortrose St
Glasgow
G11 5NU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1413573989
info@scotwork.com
Follow us
Scotwork 21092 - Training Course.png
award 2.jpg
award 1.jpg