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Published: Aug 30 , 2021
Author: Brian Buck

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” said Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. That sentiment has been the Achilles' heel of many negotiations. I was recently working with a group of people from a technology company who looked at negotiating as a win-lose proposition. They felt that it was all about dominating the other party, taking them for everything that you can. They literally believed that negotiation was the instrument of greed, and that notion has had a tremendous impact on how they resolve conflicts.

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Published: Dec 07 , 2020
Author: Brian Buck

What’s on your holiday wish list this year? Instead of the latest electronic gadget or the hottest fashion statement, you’ve likely included a COVID-19 vaccine. But a debate is raging regarding who should receive the vaccine first. It’s a tough question, and one that has no right answer — just lots of opinions.

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Published: Jul 27 , 2020
Author: Brian Buck

As Mark Twain put it, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Every day we’re bombarded with COVID-19 statistics and oftentimes contradictory statistics. For example, I recently read two different headlines at two different reputable media outlets: “COVID Daily Death Toll Rises” and “COVID Daily Death Toll Declines.” Both were posted on the same day! The confounding part is that both were accurate statements. And this is not an isolated incident. Every day I see commercial deals being negotiated with conflicting statistics seemingly based on the same data sets, and it leads to infuriating debates and time-wasting circular arguments. Knowing how to deal with statistics — or, as Mark Twain put it, those “damned lies” — is a necessity for skilled negotiators.

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Published: Jan 14 , 2019
Author: Brian Buck

Last week, President Trump and Democratic Leaders Schumer and Pelosi provided their persuasive arguments about the government shutdown and funding for a border wall. Did it convince you to change your position? Since the talks broke down the very next day and the government remains shutdown, suffice it say, the persuasion didn’t seem to change the other party’s views either. So what do you do when persuasion doesn’t work?

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Published: Aug 20 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

Apple pie, grandma, baseball, and Harley-Davidson - it doesn’t get more Americana than that. Can you imagine Harley-Davidson folding up shop and leaving Milwaukee, Wisconsin? If you’re following the war of words over tariffs between President Trump and Harley-Davidson, that’s an absolute possibility. How can Harley-Davidson stay an American company and President Trump get his tariffs?

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Published: May 03 , 2018
Author: Stephen White

Male Alert - be prepared to read this with your legs crossed. It may have passed you by, but there has been press coverage over the last few weeks about a Bill put before the Icelandic Parliament to ban non-medical circumcision for boys. If passed...

Published: Sep 25 , 2015
Author: Romana Henry

I go running regularly with a good friend and neighbor who happens to be a criminal defense lawyer. She is married to another lawyer who works in property and estate settlement etc. On our runs, we exchange tips and advice. She tells me how expensive it would be to divorce my husband, why I shouldn’t burn a red light and why helping my 17 year old daughter to obtain fake I.D. to get into pubs really isn’t a good idea. Why I really must make a will soon, when to put my house on the market and what home improvements not to bother with...

Published: Aug 06 , 2015
Author: Mike Freedman

I was recently invited to teach at a company that purchases the debts of financial institutions and then pursues the people that owe the money. This company buys the debts through a tender process and they then present the debtors with the facts about the law and the unpleasant consequences of non-payment. They called Scotwork because they wanted to improve their negotiations with debtors. They said that they were talking to a number of companies who had issued quotations to them for negotiation training...

Published: Feb 27 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Just how good are we at persuasion? How gullible are you as a negotiator? Not very, you will probably tell me. You do your prep, you check the facts, you are streetwise, and you can normally see a scam or a piece of B/S coming and react accordingly.

Published: Aug 29 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

When we ask people to define negotiation on the Scotwork pre-course paperwork, purchasing people very often refer to “finding a middle road” or “common ground”. They deal every day with variables about which they and the people across the table feel differently and what they really mean is “let’s split the difference”. Sales people however refer to “persuasion” often as their all-encompassing definition of negotiation. This persuasion they see as a unilateral process of changing the view of the other party in order to have them accept their offer or opinion. Salespeople often consider this to be an essential fundamental skill of their trade...

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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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