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Published: Sep 28 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

Think about what you can do to create the right environment for a positive negotiation. The place to start is your own mood. Creating a positive mindset by being prepared, rehearse some of the key questions and your answers to theirs, creating ways of improving value for you and them prior to the discussion and having the time to listen more attentively could really be the difference between a good and even better outcome.

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Published: Aug 10 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

As the rhetoric between America and North Korea ratchets up serious people have to ask the question ‘What if someone does something very silly and presses the red button?’. If you saw the 2015 TV movie War Book where a fictional role play re-enactment of this type of scenario (in the movie’s case a nuclear explosion in India instigated by Pakistan) with War Office/COBRA personnel trying to strategize as events take place you will know that the effect of such an incident will be devastating...

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Published: Apr 07 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

“The great thing about negotiating is that it enables people – often from diverse backgrounds and polarised positions – to come together and strike deals to the long-term benefit of both parties. You do not have to agree to do business or sign treaties. The whole process of trading enables participants to park their differences for the greater good.” I wrote that last week, but as I concluded the essay, I realised that perhaps the most difficult negotiations you will ever get involved in (apart from your personal terms and conditions at your workplace, or perhaps negotiating where...

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Published: Mar 31 , 2016
Author: Robin Copland

The great thing about negotiating is that it enables people – often from diverse backgrounds and polarised positions – to come together and strike deals to the long-term benefit of both parties. You do not have to agree to do business or sign treaties. The whole process of trading enables participants to park their differences for the greater good. The funny thing is that negotiation often follows on from a period of conflict, the resolution of which has failed by using other methods of conflict resolution. When the Great War ended in 1918, the victorious side imposed such draconian terms on the losing side that many believe that the Second World War was merely a continuation of the first. In that case, the victors imposed their will (as was their right as they saw it as the winners) to the detriment of long-term peace...

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Published: Jan 21 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

The ability to negotiate through conflict is obviously critical within any organisation, regardless of which side of the fence they happen to sit, and in reality most of us sit on both sides of the fence in the different situations we find ourselves in. Sometimes we are buying, other times we are selling. Often we are managing others and maybe we are being managed. Point is we have to be able to handle all of the above...

Published: Dec 18 , 2014
Author: The Scotwork Team

On Christmas Day 1914 the guns fell silent on no mans land. English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish Soldiers emerged from their trenches to meet the German enemy to shake hands and exchange gifts. Despite that only hours previously they had been involved in a vicious and unrelenting exchange of bullets, they engaged in an improvised and good humored football match on the battlefields, Germany V Great Britain. Germany it is rumored won 3 – 2. Did it happen? And why?...

Published: Jul 31 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

As I write, in Israel and Gaza the conflict continues, and two thousand miles away the aggression between those Ukrainians who want their country to face East, and those who want it to face West also continues. The collateral damage in both cases is tragic; men, women and children who have nothing to do with any political or ideological movement are killed and injured by rockets and tank shells which are aimed indiscriminately at population centres, or which shoot a commercial plane out of the sky...

Published: Jan 30 , 2014
Author: Robin Copland

For a man who trained as a physician at the university of Damascus and who spent two years in post graduate training in ophthalmology at the Western Eye Hospital, part of the St Mary’s group of teaching hospitals in London; a man, furthermore, who had few, if any, political aspirations until his brother’s death in 1994, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is taking a pretty myopic view of retaining political power! For the past two years he and the Syrian political establishment have been engaged in a ruthless battle for power with the loosely-defined but western-supported opposition rebel forces...

Published: Jun 13 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Taking a position in a conflict makes its resolution more difficult. And the more witnesses there are to that position-taking the less the likelihood of a negotiated settlement. In Istanbul positions have been taken in the most public sense possible in front of a global audience and I am not alone in fearing that a settlement is unlikely in the short-term. One thing we learn from watching thousands of hours of negotiation is that people either act or dig in NOT because of a complicated array of issues but usually for a SINGLE issue. Conversely, where many issues are raised these are generally some form of rationalisation of a single need or argument, or even a smoke screen. In Istanbul, the protestors’ single issue is that they feel that the government interferes with their personal choices and freedoms. The government, beneath the watchful eyes of the passive majority, feels a need not to be seen to have given in....

Published: Dec 02 , 2011
Author: Alan Smith

On a flight from Glasgow on a cold November night I came across an article in the in-flight magazine about how to make more effective use of persuasion to get what we want out of life, business and family relationships. Warming advice indeed. The basic premise is that it is much more powerful to surround our persuasion with strong rationale in order to get people to do what we want them to do...

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Bad Behaviour (From The Good Guys)

I’m fascinated by how brands can make us feel. The intensity of that feeling, what drives it and how long it can last. The infamous ones in my experience include IKEA. Nothing makes my blood curdle more than the indignity of being herded around the labyrinth of their Wembley store, before you land in the cattle market of the queuing system. Great for your...

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