Get the latest views and opinions from some of the most experienced negotiation specialists.


2019_02_11 Valentines.jpg

Published: Feb 11 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

Valentine’s Day is the worst! I’m a hopeless romantic but Valentine’s Day messes with expectations in ways that no candy/card/flower-giving day should! I spend the entire year making sure my wife knows that I love her but this one day puts so much pressure on doing something meaningful that I think if I don’t, it would somehow negate the other 364 days of devoted love. It wasn’t until my wife told me this one thing did everything change.

Scotwork_Comic_2018_10_22 Moving Too Fast.jpg

Published: Oct 22 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

In less than an hour the vendor discounted their price by 20%! I wish I could tell you it’s because I’m just that good (said with lots of sarcasm) but I literally had done nothing except ask a few questions and told them, “we need to think about it”. Little did I know that was the start of the end.

Scotwork_Comic_2018_07_02 Foot in Mouth.jpg

Published: Jul 02 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

After being sequestered for five days in a hotel meeting room, three days in sales meetings and two days in negotiation training, the people we were training wanted out. It’s no wonder that when the hotel walked in that late afternoon with the dinner menu the team erupted, “Not again! We need to cancel dinner and go off site!” The team’s admin told them it wasn’t possible because they had a contract to do dinner and it was too late to change. After listening to the bickering and the admin’s insistence that nothing could be done something came over me and I said, “Well, maybe there’s something we can do…” The admin looked at me angrily, the participants looked at me with hope, and my two colleagues looked at me in fear. That’s when I realized I put my foot in my mouth. The class pinned their hope on me, the negotiation instructor, to get them out of this contract. Thus the fear my collegeuges had because they knew if I wasn’t successful all of our credibility would be lost. How was I going to extract my foot from my mouth?

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Negotiation Swagger

I recently read the book Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, who co-founded Pixar along with Alvy Ray Smith and Steve Jobs. In it, he shares a story about a negotiation with IBM that Steve Jobs was involved in, back when Jobs was running NeXT. Jobs negotiated a $100M deal that allowed IBM to use the NeXT operating system without rights to subsequent versions of the software. At the time, it seemed like a big win for NeXT. But was it?

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