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Published: Sep 27 , 2021
Author: Brian Buck

Recently, someone called me in a panic about a negotiation they were involved in. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t going well and they needed help, urgently. They had been negotiating with a long-standing client who had become more demanding and wanted deep price concessions. What was once a good relationship had seemed to sour, and it wasn’t getting any better as the negotiation dragged on. They didn’t want to lose the business, but they could cut their price by only so much before the business was unprofitable. The client didn’t care and was just getting more agitated with every proposal that was made. In fact, the client’s response to each proposal was a curt “that’s disappointing — you can do better.” It was a tough situation, for sure.

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Published: Sep 20 , 2021
Author: Millie Davis

Among those who have fallen in love with the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, many of us have grown fond of the character Nathan Shelley, a coach for the Richmond football team (known as soccer here in the US). In Season 2, Episode 5, Coach Nate is faced with a precarious situation when he must negotiate with a host at the restaurant his father “complains about the least.” Coach Nate tries to procure the window table for his parents’ 35th wedding anniversary dinner, but the host insists that they don’t take reservations for that table. Using what he believes is his leverage, he name-drops Roy Kent — a star footballer who’s also a coach for the Richmond team — to which the host replies that if Roy Kent comes in, he can have the table.

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Published: Jun 28 , 2021
Author: Brian Buck

This past week, a rare news headline appeared out of Washington, D.C.: “A Deal With Bipartisan Support.” Before you run off, this post is not a political commentary. Rather, the headline got me thinking about how we create internal alignment in business. After all, gaining internal alignment in negotiations is a very common challenge. Most people don’t do it effectively, and lack of alignment can become an iceberg that sinks a deal. Surely, if politicians can figure out alignment occasionally, then we in business can do it with much greater frequency and success.

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Published: Jul 13 , 2020
Author: Brian Buck

Whether you’re a parent or not, I’m sure you’ve been listening to the great debate on how to reopen schools. Many colleges and universities have announced plans to offer most classes online this fall, with a limited number of students on campus. My daughters’ schools are offering options from blended learning (two hours a day on campus with the rest at home) to complete distance learning. As with everything during the “new normal,” those plans continue to change and evolve, leaving many families struggling to plan. This situation is analogous to how we’re trying to prepare within our businesses as we deal with the ramifications of COVID-19. No matter the struggle and uncertainty, there’s a way to plan to help you through almost any situation.

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Published: Oct 15 , 2018
Author: Brian Buck

As the Evil Queen stares at the mirror waiting for the response she so desperately wants to hear, she is greeted instead with what needed to be said, for she is not the fairest of all. By contrast, the heroine, Snow White does not see her own beauty and kindness and stays hidden in the forest for fear of the Evil Queen. I see many negotiators who behave like the Evil Queen or behave like Snow White - which are you?

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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: Apr 26 , 2018
Author: Apostolos Korlos

Finishing a Marathon is a life’s dream for a runner. Thousands of amateur athletes live for the moment of crossing the finishing line of one of the hundreds of marathons organized around the world. The marathon, as any other demanding competition, requires…

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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...

Published: May 05 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

Just about a year ago, as voting in the UK General Election came to an end, an exit poll predicted that the Conservative Party would win a 10 seat majority. This was so out of whack with the estimates made by all the opinion poll experts that Paddy Ashdown, a well-known and well respected Liberal Democrat politician promised on TV that if the exit poll prediction was right he would literally eat his hat. The prediction turned out to be correct.

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Trick or Treat?

We’re a Halloween family. Love it! We decorate, we dress up, we get the biggest candy bars to hand out — the whole bit. Halloween is the Buck family’s jam. And every Halloween, kids (and some adults) flock to our front door armed with their canned question: “trick or treat?” Without fail, we respond with candy bars. Everyone smiles, most say, “Thank you,” and off they go into the night. That’s how it’s always gone . . . until last year, when we met an unusual trick-or-treater.

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