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2019_04_22 Fish.jpg

Published: Apr 22 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

“Fish or cut bait?” That was the last question my then girlfriend asked me as she walked out of the bar. She had brought me there to discuss our future. We had been dating for a while, but it wasn’t really clear where our relationship was going. I have to admit, I was taken aback by what my friends call “the talk.” She wanted to know about my intentions. We were having a lot of fun, she pointed out, but if this wasn’t heading toward something more serious, she added, “what’s the point?”

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Published: Mar 18 , 2019
Author: Millie Davis

Do you ever have that sense of panic when wondering if you thought of everything, or did you forget something? I feel this way every time I leave for the airport which is sad since I leave for the airport often. I also feel the same panic when I am finishing a negotiation, especially a complex one. And this was a complex negotiation that had a lot going on. There were a lot of details around the terms and conditions, payment terms, pricing, delivery dates, etc. Throughout the process I was maintaining a list of everything we needed to cover; as I always do. It’s when I got to the last item on the list, I realized I forgot one very important thing…

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Published: Sep 04 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

It never fails… I see smart, intelligent negotiators who have devoted lots of effort to prepare for their negotiation. They know their positions and limits. They’ve crafted a clever strategy. They have contingency plans. They’ve prepared their teams to work together. They know what they can concede and under what conditions they will concede them. But yet they fail to prepare for that one thing that derails all of their preparation…

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Published: Aug 02 , 2018
Author: Alan Smith

Just back from a two-week holiday in Sicily. Beautiful country, never been before, recommend it. Although not in July. 34 degrees every day (bit like London!!) and an absurd 40 degrees if you go inland sightseeing. You literally can’t do anything during the main part of the day, except sit in the pool with a beer (or another suitable beverage). The locals of course have figured this out (mad dogs and Englishmen!) and time their days appropriately. Siesta, what a fantastic invention!

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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?

Scotwork_Comic_2018_06_18 Lazy.jpg

Published: Jun 18 , 2018
Author: Simon Letchford

If you’re anything like me, you like to combine good results, with the least amount of work. I was fascinated to hear President Trump claim last week that he “didn’t think he needed to prepare very much” going into his summit with Kim Jong-Un to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. While we’ll all have to wait a few months to seriously measure the success or otherwise of that initial Singapore meeting, (and - like everything else in this deeply divided nation right now - opinions tends to be heavily influenced by which political party you happen to support), it got me thinking about the minimum amount of preparation necessary to go into a serious negotiation.

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Published: Mar 30 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

I recently met Bob Saget. I had no idea what to expect. I’ve seen Bob Saget throughout the years. Bob Saget as Danny Tanner, TV Dad from Full House and Fuller House. Bob Saget as host of America’s Funniest Videos. Bob Saget stand-up comic and if you’ve seen Bob Saget’s material, it’s definitely adult humor not for your typical Fuller House audience. As a skilled stand-up comic, Bob Saget’s opening line when he met me was the best…

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Published: Sep 28 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

Moody? I have always been fairly skeptical of the “Happy Clappy” types who say that a positive outlook is the key to a great life. The reality is that sometimes s@#t happens and it is right to be fed up. A friend of mine...

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Published: Sep 07 , 2017
Author: Alan Smith

You may remember, or have kids that do, the magnificent game Top Trumps. It was a card game popular with kids’ in the 1970s and 1980s, especially amongst pre-teens, for whom it was a widespread playground pastime. The subjects covered included military hardware, modes of transport, racing cars and predators. The packs of cards tended to be priced so that children could collect out of their pocket money. They also played to kid’s fascination with competition. My own son was particularly fascinated with the predator cards. One memorable imagined battle was who would win in a fight between a shark and a tiger...

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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 (if you haven’t heard it yet, listen here) 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 focusing on Labor Party policy announcements...

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 03 , 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...

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Stranger Things Have Been Known to Happen

Of all the media and fan sites dedicated to probing every nuance of Netflix’s must-watch series Stranger Things, the experts might be missing something obvious but rather profound. I’m not a big TV or movie buff, but certain themes and genres tend to excite my interests more than others, and this show definitely represents one of them. Yet while so many journalists and bloggers have focused on the minutiae, they seem to have glossed over the extraordinary — namely, the line that separates the believable from unbelievable. Personally, I’m amazed by the creative minds that come up with such fantastical ideas. It’s truly a unique gift and a point of instruction to take with you to the negotiation table.

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