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Published: Feb 07 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

Firstly a definition: Deception is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. Commercial negotiators do it all the time, normally without qualms. Buyers imply that a rival supplier has offered a lower price than yours. Sellers indicate that their goods are in short supply. Sometimes the deception in negotiation works but often it is treated sceptically and as a result, trust is eroded between the parties, obviously not good in any relationship, long or short. So deception does matter.

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Published: Jan 24 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

I’m sitting in a Starbucks at an airport, and on the wall opposite me is a sign proudly announcing “99% of our coffee is ethically sourced”. I should be proud of them. Haven’t they done well to help protect the environment and make sure that coffee growers get fair trade prices? But instead, my immediate thought is “what happened to the other 1%? Is that unethically sourced? Why? Couldn’t they have tried just a bit harder and eliminated unethical sourcing altogether?”

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Published: Jan 03 , 2019
Author: Stephen White

The EU continue to claim that the withdrawal deal on the table – Mrs May’s deal – is non-negotiable, capable only of clarification but not of change. Is their refusal to budge from this position a ‘polite refusal’, which might change under pressure, or is it a final position? Look at some analogies. My favourite episode of The Vicar of Dibley was shown again over the holiday period. Geraldine, the eponymous vicar beloved by her congregants, is invited by several of them to their respective homes for Christmas Day lunch.

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An evocative phrase that I heard in two different settings for the first time last week. It concerns the behaviour of salespeople who spend inordinate amounts of time in what is best described as rampant persuasion rather than try to understand what the customer wants. As you must know by now (if you are regular readers of this BLOG), Scotwork are absolute experts in the art of negotiation. We often describe negotiation as what happens when the selling (persuasion) stops.

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