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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: Sep 07 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

I am occasionally asked the question about who would ‘win’ in a negotiation between a professional negotiator or a gifted amateur. Whilst the concept of a “win” in negotiation is different (an ideal situation, unlike in a fight is where both parties can at least claim some degree of victory) and the relative power and alternatives of the two parties have a lot to play in the outcome. The reality is that the more comfortable that the negotiator is in that environment and the greater the skill set...

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Published: Jul 13 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

For two weeks of the year I become a bit of a tennis fan. These weeks coincide with the Wimbledon fortnight, possibly one of the most eagerly awaited tennis tournaments in the world. When I was much younger it was the time of year that my friends and I rushed off to the local tennis courts, usually empty, but now with queues of similarly ignited youths fancying a knock about. I thought I was pretty good until I actually played someone who played regularly, and realized I was useless. Lacked the skills to be honest, but probably didn’t have the mind set either. McEnroe-esque in my attitude and verbiage...

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Published: Jul 06 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

A couple of times over the last week I have been told by prospect clients, that whilst they suspect they get involved in negotiations, they are not quite sure if they are negotiating or not. It seemed to them that all they had to do was discover the optimal position that could be agreed by all parties and that would inevitably win the day. This struck me as both being a bit idealistic and also somewhat soft. The optimal position may indeed mean that I do not meet my, or my organisations best case. Worse still who decides what the optimal position is? Me, them or some arbitrary power?

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Published: May 18 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

The car-crash interview of Diane Abbott on LBC Radio was the first of many I expect we will hear during the election process. For as long as politicians are poorly briefed, manifesto promises incorrectly costed with policies not properly thought through they will struggle in the face of good interviewers whose goal is to catch them out on data issues and produce cringe-making sound bites for the entertainment of the public. Laura Kuenssberg’s seven-time question to Jeremy Corbyn about his commitment to take the UK out of the EU whatever the deal achieved at the end of the two year negotiation in her interview with him on Tuesday (the data-answer to which was a simple Yes or No) left Corbyn looking unsure of his own policy, and was the segment of the interview that led the news at the expense of focussing on Labour Party policy announcements...

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Published: Sep 29 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Tomorrow I have an appointment at the dentist. I can state with pretty much certainty and I admit comfort, that he knows something about teeth. Partly because the last time I went to see him with a damaged filling I left with it fixed, which frankly it would be difficult for someone without any knowledge of teeth to have resolved. Unless of course he had been very lucky that day and managed to wing it...

Published: Oct 02 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

What is the worst thing you can do when negotiating? Lots of things I guess but probably the most obvious one of all is a lack of preparation. Last year was the 30th anniversary of the bestselling book by Chris Ryan, Bravo, Two, Zero. I’ve got to be honest when it first came out I did not read it. I thought it would only be of interest to military types and frankly was a bit embarrassed to read it on the train or tube, which was my main reading time back then...

Latest Blog:

The New Front Line – Negotiating at Home

I love being at home. I love being with my family. But ALL day, EVERY day? And then I reflected that one of the most important things we teach as professional negotiators is to ask questions, good questions, and then most critically, listen to the answers. In fact, the ability to listen is probably the ultimate negotiator's asset!

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