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REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Aug 09 , 2021
Author: Brian Buck

Anyone who’s taken a high school physics course has heard of Sir Isaac Newton and his three Laws of Motion. Decades ago, when I first learned about them, I had no idea that I would one day apply them to negotiating. In particular, I use them when I need to get someone to do something differently, or I need to get a deal done faster, or when I try to keep a deal from stalling. Here’s how it works . . .

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Published: Oct 12 , 2020
Author: Brian Buck

During The Princess Bride’s epic sword fight scene, Inigo Montoya asks his opponent, Westley, who he is. Westley responds, “No one of consequence.” Not satisfied, Inigo pleads, “I must know,” to which Westley replies with a life lesson: “Get used to disappointment.” Little did Westley know, that’s exactly what all negotiators must overcome — disappointment. Every negotiator walks into a negotiation with expectations and, at some point, faces the reality that so does the other side. How dealmakers navigate their own expectations will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of their negotiation, including whether they’re satisfied or disappointed.

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Published: Jan 06 , 2020
Author: Brian Buck

Welcome to 2020! It’s Scotwork’s 20th anniversary here in North America. While Scotwork has been a global presence for 45 years, we launched operations here in the US/Canada in 2000. During that time, our skilled negotiators and consultants have helped thousands of dealmakers to not only improve their deals, but also strengthen relationships and create more value for all involved. As such, we want to start off your year of dealmaking right, with 5 things you need to do to make every deal better.

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Published: May 13 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

This past week, I was working with a sourcing team. We were developing a variety of negotiation strategies to help them formulate better deals with their suppliers. We ran some mock negotiations to put these new strategies to the test. In one particular simulation, we did a multilateral negotiation among three parties: the sourcing team, a supplier, and an internal business partner. The sourcing team was attempting to negotiate a deal with the supplier on behalf of the business partner. We had all three parties meeting together to work out a deal — which they narrowly did. Exhausted from the intense exercise, one of the participants made an observation about the process that changed the way that I analyze negotiations.

Scotwork_Comic_2018_12_03 Elephants.jpg

Published: Dec 03 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

There it is. You can’t ignore it. But you do. No one says anything. We pretend it’s not there. But we’re all waiting for it to come up. We talk around it. We don’t talk about it. We’re hoping it just goes away. But it doesn’t. Then it happens. The elephant moves and now it has to be dealt with because you can’t deal with any else other than the elephant. So if we know the elephant is there, why are we not dealing with it?

Scotwork_Comic_2018_07_23 Emotional.jpg

Published: Jul 23 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME??” I was so mad. This was the third agreement I had come to with this potential business partner in the last six months. Just when I thought we had an agreement, they would come back and change the terms. It was infuriating. At this point I really wanted to walk away but I couldn’t because this joint venture was strategically important for both organizations and the cost were far too high to walk away. However, I felt like they were exploiting that fact and I was becoming more and more emotional. The more emotional I got, the more irrational I became. I had to detach emotionally and find a way around or this deal was going to hell in a hand basket.

Published: Mar 17 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Well there are actually! Negotiation involves cold logic, cutting through all the verbiage, careful and clear analysis of the volatile and unpredictable environment before coolly selecting the correct option.

Published: Feb 11 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

I had a haircut today, and learnt something simple but useful. Chatting to the barber I asked if he had ever been to a particular local restaurant. Yes, he said, but it was about 5 years ago and it wasn’t very good. He had found a small piece of plastic in his mouth whilst eating his meal, and he was unimpressed with the response from the waiter. He explained.

Published: Sep 29 , 2014
Author: Gaetan Pellerin

We’ve all been trained to hide our emotions in a business environment—especially during negotiation. Keep your emotions out of negotiations or the other side may crush you, right? Not exactly, because you can’t negotiate effectively as a detached robot. So how do you find the happy medium?

Latest Blog:

Be Angry. Then Do This . . .

I can’t wait for the New Year to tell you all about a personal negotiation I was just in that sent my blood boiling! The deal isn’t completely done yet, so I don’t want to jinx it. (In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not superstitious — that would be bad luck.) However, in this deal, something happened that triggered an immediate and angry response. I bring it up because even as a highly trained and experienced negotiator, my emotion was getting the better of me. That is, until I did the following . . .

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