REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Dec 10 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

People think of negotiating as “that thing you do when you’re buying a car” (you’re probably haggling), or “that time you took a particularly sinuous series of bends at speed without driving over the cliff edge” (you were probably driving). At Scotwork, we are of the view that negotiating is that thing you do when something happens to make the status quo no longer tenable; in other words, external factors disrupt an ongoing relationship to the extent that contracts and relationships need to be re-aligned...

Published: Nov 27 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Two questions: When negotiating, do you want the other side to act reasonably? And, Is it a good strategy to be reasonable when negotiating? Most people will say yes to the first question. It would be crazy not to. The second however creates a bit more of a dilemma. We are sometimes tempted to go high or low, pad and exaggerate what we really anticipate being able to achieve. Because that is what we should do right?...

Published: Nov 04 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

Complicated negotiations often involve different meetings, different personnel, different issues and, in the case of the upcoming Brexit negotiations, different countries! The key word in this kind of negotiation is alignment and that involves a number of different factors and considerations. We can learn from the insect world; think bees! Perhaps first and foremost, there needs to be a central “go-to” point where all the information and meeting notes are collated and stored. It is vital to have a central hive of information that teams preparing for a new round of negotiation can reference. The old phrase, “singing off the same hymn sheet” has a certain resonance in this regard. The workers need a point of reference...

Published: Oct 29 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

What do Joni Mitchell and Boris Johnston have in common? Well very little I suspect, but they do both share an interesting way of looking at issues before finally making up their minds. “Both Sides Now” is one of Joni Mitchells most famous songs and appeared on her 1969 Album, Clouds. She says that she has investigated life, love and clouds from both sides, the inspiration being that she was on a transatlantic flight and looked down on the clouds rather than the more customary up. Boris Johnson was quoted in the press this weekend of having a similar way of making up his mind when considering his view of whether to support Britain’s In or Out vote over the now decided Brexit.

Published: Oct 21 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

This isn’t going to be popular; to write it – even to think it - sticks in my throat as it offends against my innate sense of fair play and good will to all people, but there really are times when I want to take our elected representatives to one side and slap them about the face. They pontificate and they grandstand; they puff themselves up into rice krispies of righteous indignation; they adopt their “holier than thou” positions; they occasionally demonstrate a frightening lack of common sense and commercial nous and, at the same time, they would have us weaken our position in future negotiations....

Published: Oct 17 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

What do Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Pot Noodles, Persil, Dove soap and Marmite have in common? They are all made by Unilever. What does Unilever and Tesco have in common? Dave Lewis, Tesco’s current boss, spent most of his career at Unilever before being poached by Tesco. What does all of this have to do with negotiating? Well, having been in a stand-off that threatened to damage both parties, heads were banged together on Thursday 13 October and a deal was done. We at Scotwork have constantly maintained that external factors are the most common cause of the kinds of conflicts that need negotiated solutions and what happened between Tesco and Unilever is a classic example. External factors do not come much bigger than Brexit...

Published: Oct 14 , 2016
Author: Rafael Castellanos and Silvio Escudero

A couple of weeks ago we were surprised by the results of the “referendum” in Colombia. Colombians faced this question: “Do you support the final agreement to end the conflict and build a long-lasting and stable peace?”. This question referred to the agreement reached by the Colombian Government and FARC (oldest guerrilla group in the country). It was an agreement to put an end to a 52-years conflict that brought to the country thousands of casualties and displaced people, not to mention the impact of this conflict in the social and economic development of the country for decades....

Published: Oct 07 , 2016
Author: Yannis Dimarakis

By November 9th, we will probably know the name of the next president of the USA. As the polls are not decisive, the statistical probability of Trump winning, is a real one. The negotiating profile of incumbent American presidents is instrumental to the behavior of “the country with the greatest influence on the planet”, on a range of issues, ranging from global challenges like climate change, to regional trouble spots like Syria, North Korea etc...>

Published: May 20 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Walk out the door? Maybe not quite as easy as you may think. The challenge for anyone in a long term relationship, business or pleasure, and particularly one experiencing difficulty is: do I invest in trying to fix it or cut my losses? Look at the massive challenge surrounding the Brexit campaign...

Published: Mar 11 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

A BBC reporter recently went to the Island of Lewis, part of the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland, to gauge reaction to the increasing likelihood that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential candidate. Donald Trump’s mother comes from Lewis; he is so to speak one of theirs. The journalist found that the islanders were less than enthusiastic about him....

Published: Feb 19 , 2016
Author: Robin Copeland

It’s not that David Cameron does not have his troubles to seek as he shuttles around Europe trying to secure support for a modified agreement with the UK’s fellow European Union member states, but I bet you he wishes he had not been quite so cavalier as to promise an “in-out referendum” in the period leading up to the 2015 UK general election. Politically, he felt that he had to do it to give some kind of sop to the so-called “Euro-sceptic” wing of the Conservative Party and to prevent further haemorrhaging of potential supporters to UKIP...

Published: Jan 11 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

It occurred to me. The most prominent current industrial dispute in England, between the Government and the Junior Doctors, might be an excellent vehicle to analyse how Millennials (defined typically as born after 1983) negotiate, and whether Millennial traits have impacted on the negotiations. For non-UK readers; ‘junior doctors’ includes doctors from the time they leave medical school to the time when they are appointed as ‘Consultants’, typically about 10 years later. There are about 55,000 of them, a very important component of the medical provision in England (the dispute does not affect doctors in Scotland or Wales). The dispute dates back to 2012, when the employers announced that they wanted to update the terms of employing junior doctors. Negotiations have been on and off since then, but on Monday they broke down and the doctor’s union (the BMA) announced strikes for later this month...

Published: Nov 20 , 2015
Author: Robin Copeland and Stephen White

George Santanaya’s maxim that ‘those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them’ has a corollary. We should use the successes of the past and repeat our behaviour with the problems of today? In particular, can we replicate the negotiating behaviour which brought about the Irish peace agreement to effect a negotiated settlement in the Middle East, and stop the carnage of Paris on 13/11, perpetrated by ISIS?

Published: Oct 23 , 2015
Author: David Bannister

Daniel Hannan is a British Member of the European Parliament (MEP), an institution for which he seems to have little warmth (as do quite a number of other British MEPs). The UK has announced its intention to renegotiate the terms of its membership of the European Union (EU) and to put the issue to a referendum in the next couple of years. The tactics of all of this are of more than passing interest to a negotiator. So far, our Prime Minister, David Cameron, has made only relatively vague references to what issues will be on the agenda when he negotiates with his fellow leaders, some of whom have wasted no time to tell Cameron what they think will not be on the agenda. Those of us interested in the negotiating tactics might conclude (as I do) that not saying what you want is not a great starting point on the journey to getting what you want...

Published: Oct 02 , 2015
Author: John McMillan

A story in the British press reads that oilfield services provider Halliburton has made an offer to swallow rival Baker Hughes for $35 billion; Schlumberger has weighed in on equipment maker Cameron International in a $14.8 billion deal. Companies that specialise in one part of the services market, for example offshore drilling, are in a difficult situation and are finding themselves squeezed by their customers to such an extent that, in order to survive, they are having to accept takeover deals from bigger rivals or risk going out of business; takeover deals that would not have been countenanced 18 months ago are suddenly now acceptable – even welcome....

Published: Sep 25 , 2015
Author: Romana Henry

I go running regularly with a good friend and neighbour 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. In exchange I tell her how to get a better deal in her various negotiations and we regularly brain storm long lists of things which she would like to get in negotiations in exchange for things she knows she will have to concede. Quite a pair we are. Imagine how much faster we would run if we spoke less and breathed more....

Published: Aug 28 , 2015
Author: Robin Copeland

I was interested by a report I read on the NHS website on 21 August in which Public Health England published an “evidence review” about e-cigarettes, stating that they were 95% safer than cigarettes and that, further, they were an effective quitting aid for smokers. As a result of the review, e-cigarettes are to be licensed and regulated as an aid to quit smoking from 2016....

Published: Aug 07 , 2015
Author: Sam MacBeth

Although news of a pay differential between men and women doing the same or similar jobs is nothing new, recent studies suggest that even when women are on the employer’s side of a negotiation, men can feel more threatened by a female boss, and tend to negotiate using more extreme positions. In one survey, male and female college students at a U.S. university were asked to negotiate their salary at a new job in a computer exercise with a male or female hiring manager. Once they had, the participants were asked to guess words that appeared on a computer for a fraction of a second. Those who selected words such as "fear" or "risk" were judged to feel more threatened....

Published: Jul 23 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

Two negotiated deals of historic significance. One between Greece and the EU/Eurozone, the other between Iran and the P5+1. Both are hailed as a victory for diplomacy. Both are rubbish. Both are being derided and disowned in all quarters. Both are disintegrating as the ink dries. What do we learn?...

Published: Jun 20 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

How many deadlines have been and gone in the continuing saga of the economic chaos in Greece? I would suggest there have been so many that we no longer believe that any of them really mattered – or ever will matter in the future. The crescendo of press speculation in recent days indicates yet again that the media believes we might be getting close to a crisis point. That is because Greece has a large repayment of debt – a tidy €1.6 billion - to make to the International Monetary Fund by June 30th, and there isn’t that much in the Greek coffers, so there is a real possibility that Greece will default that day, triggering the much publicised exit of Greece from the Eurozone, commonly known as the Grexit. Add to this the fact that in recent days, talks between the various parties have all but broken down...

Published: Jun 12 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

A woman tries to board an overcrowded bus at the bus depot. The passengers bar her way. She protests. ‘I must be allowed to get on this bus’ she says. ‘Why’, the other passengers reply. ‘What makes you so important that you should take priority over others who are already on the bus?’ ‘Because I’m the driver’ she says. Two weeks ago we saw Sepp Blatter exercising his rights as the ‘driver’ to stay on the bus, even though more and more of his fellow passengers were uncomfortable with his insistence to do so. Eventually the pressure got to him, and now the whole FIFA edifice is collapsing before our eyes....

Published: May 07 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

On the day this blog is published the population of the UK vote in elections for their next government. Opinion polls put the two main parties neck and neck, with neither commanding a strong enough following to win an outright majority. So the result is likely to be a minority government which will have to form a coalition or make deals with the handful of minor parties in order to be able to govern. Even if there is an outright majority for one party the margin will be so small that alliances will need to be forged for effective government to survive. Do we have a cadre of politicians who can rise to the challenge of creating these deals through effective and inspired negotiating?...

Published: Apr 03 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

A couple of weeks ago we asked readers to submit words (made up ones) and their definitions as part of a tongue in cheek exploration of a new vocabulary for the seasoned negotiator to describe behaviours, activities, tricks and techniques they have encountered whilst participating in the noble art of negotiation. Regular readers may recall that we suggested that linguists and philosophers recognize that language defines reality. The way we talk about a subject creates the landscape in which that subject lives. Just as we are often said to be what we eat, we are in many respects are what we say...

Published: Mar 13 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

Driving to a meeting recently I was brought low by a radio programme about dementia. The story, told by her family and her medical team, was of the remainder of the life of a bubbly and vivacious woman who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 80. As her condition worsened she became increasingly uncommunicative and aggressive, and finally died some 13 years later. One element of the unfolding story was unusual. In middle age she had made a living will...

Published: Mar 02 , 2015
Author: Yannis Dimarakis

Most of you have followed (to some extent at least) the negotiations between the recently elected Greek government and its European partners. Depending on his or her political persuasion, an observer may feel in a number of ways regarding the outcome. So was the agreement a huge success, or was it a full capitulation of the Greek government?...

Published: Feb 19 , 2015
Author: Yannis Dimarakis

As these lines are written, the negotiations between the Greek government and its Eurogroup partners are still under way. As the end result is not yet known (and probably will not be for some days) some mistakes of the Greek handling of the situation are already discernible. Here are three obvious mistakes I have selected to discuss in this article...

Published: Jan 16 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

There is one group for whom cheaper oil is bad news — oil producers, who've been having an amazing run between a combination of higher prices and surging production. For the rest of us it may be pretty good news. For the negotiator there is certainly the potential of a discussion dependent on the relationship between the price of oil and that of your end products, and how you approach it will depend on which side of the fence you sit...

Published: Dec 19 , 2014
Author: The Scotowrk team

On Christmas Day 1914 the guns fell silent on no mans land. English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish Soldiers emerged from their trenches to meet the German enemy to shake hands and exchange gifts. Despite that only hours previously they had been involved in a vicious and unrelenting exchange of bullets, they engaged in an improvised and good humoured football match on the battlefields, Germany V Great Britain. Germany it is rumoured won 3 – 2. Did it happen? And why?...

Published: Dec 16 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Who does the housework in your house? Seems this is a much bigger issue than you might think. Or maybe it is already a huge issue for you. I suspect it depends on who does it and whether you care. It certainly seems to cause significant conflict if the radio is to be believed. I have a confession to make. As someone who works a lot from home I find myself in an office in my garden with very little company apart from the radio. A guilty highlight (sometimes) is Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. Remarkably there has been a controversial theme over the last few weeks focused exclusively on housework, and who does it...

Published: Dec 10 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

An American President (depending on your politics it could be any American President since Eisenhower) visits a class of 9 year-olds. The class is discussing the meaning of the word tragedy. The President asks ‘Can anyone give me an example of the word ‘tragedy’. Peter says ‘My friend ran into the road and was killed by a passing car – that is a tragedy’. ‘No’, says the President, ‘that is an accident’. Jane says ‘There is a chemical leak at a factory and 2500 people are killed – that is a tragedy’. ‘No’, says the President, ‘I would call that a devastating loss’. William says ‘The Presidential plane is blown out of the sky by a ground-to-air missile fired by a rogue American soldier, and you are on board – that would be a tragedy’....

Published: Oct 26 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

There are three things that stick out for me from the new series of The Apprentice. The first is that at 10 years old it remains remarkably good telly. The introduction of new tweaks and twists on a familiar format makes it essential viewing if you want to have something to say at the water cooler. Not many programs still pass that test....

Published: Oct 13 , 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? Recognize that emotions—positive and negative—are totally normal during a negotiation. But we’re often so busy driving the conversation, persuading the other party and doing everything we can to close the deal, that in the moment, we lose touch with our emotions. Or we choose not to deal with them...

Published: Oct 02 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Imagine this scenario. You are driving through city streets as a passenger with a colleague at the wheel. He is driving faster than the speed limit, trying to get a meeting on time, and is involved in a minor accident; no one is hurt but the police are called. Passers-by who witnessed the event tell the police they think your colleague was speeding. He asks you to speak as a witness on his behalf; to testify that he wasn’t speeding. What would you do? The Universalist sees this problem in terms of the uniformity of the application of laws and regulations. The issues of loyalty and the attempt to be punctual for a meeting are irrelevant; if the law has been broken then the consequences should be suffered by all, notwithstanding special circumstances or relationships. The Particularist sees the same problem in terms of extenuating circumstances and relationships. No one got hurt, you know your colleague is usually a safe driver, being truthful may well affect the relationship with him and possibly impose a driving penalty on him as well....

Published: Sep 16 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

On 18 September voters in Scotland will be asked the Yes/No question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The final push for votes comes as a YouGov poll run by the Sunday Times suggested that, of those who have made up their mind, 51% planned to back independence, while 49% intended to vote no. Looks like the vote is going to go to the wire...

Published: Aug 22 , 2014
Author: Tom Feinson

As ever it feels like little or no time has elapsed between the end of one season and the beginning of another. The World Cup serves to heighten those feelings, but here we are on the eve of new season, that blissful period where our hopes, dreams and aspirations are as yet undashed. The glorious “Transfer Window” (unless of course you are Southampton) enables teams to offload a dodgy left back or temperamental winger (should that be whinger) and land a top quality striker ‘Who is going to give us 30 goals a season’...

Published: Aug 01 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

As I write, in Israel and Gaza the conflict continues, and two thousand miles away the aggression between those Ukrainians who want their country to face East, and those who want it to face West also continues. The collateral damage in both cases is tragic; men, women and children who have nothing to do with any political or ideological movement are killed and injured by rockets and tank shells which are aimed indiscriminately at population centres, or which shoot a commercial plane out of the sky...

Published: May 23 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Politicians who promise that the streets will be paved with gold and deliver nothing but cobbled cul-de-sacs, managers who claim that the future will be filled with bonuses and jam while delivering dry crust and the negotiator who offers a future filled with high volume orders and pulls them whilst pocketing the promotional bonus. Nothing offends the sensibility quite so much as the empty promise delivered with mind-boggling confidence....

Published: May 02 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

During the Pistorius trial I happened to spend some time with a friend who is a judge. I asked him if over his 30 years of experience he had developed a sense of who was telling the truth, particularly important when the outcome of a court case between a plaintiff and a defendant at war depended on which version of events the judge believed because there were no witnesses. Yes, he said, you do get a feel for it; it’s not infallible but you usually know who is telling the truth....

Published: Apr 11 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese Military tactician said “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” I was reminded of this famous quote when I read a review of Robert Lindsay’s new play, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, in which Lindsay talked about his political past. For people of my generation, Lindsay came to prominence in his breakthrough role as a hapless Marxist in the TV sitcom Citizen Smith...

Published: Feb 28 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Our propensity to believe the unbelievable is enhanced by a world which is increasingly intrinsically unbelievable. I find myself gawping at the news on a daily basis. Facebook paid $19,000,000,000 for an App which employs only 55 people and doesn’t take advertising? Did your finger get stuck on the zero button? Candy Crush Saga, a moronically addictive computer game, has been downloaded more than half a billion times? You’re pulling my leg. ATMs already exist for a virtual currency which has existed for only 4 years, is prone to vast fluctuations in value, and is often used for money laundering? Surely not....

Published: Feb 17 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Switzerland's economy is booming at the moment, and unemployment is low, but many Swiss worry about what they see as a looming problem, namely, immigration. Last year 80,000 new immigrants arrived in Switzerland with a relatively small overall population of around 5 million, and foreigners now make up 23% of the inhabitants. It is the continent's second highest foreign population after Luxembourg, for whom 42% are immigrants...

Published: Jan 31 , 2014
Author: Robin Copeland

For a man who trained as a physician at the university of Damascus and who spent two years in post graduate training in ophthalmology at the Western Eye Hospital, part of the St Mary’s group of teaching hospitals in London; a man, furthermore, who had few, if any, political aspirations until his brother’s death in 1994, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is taking a pretty myopic view of retaining political power! For the past two years he and the Syrian political establishment have been engaged in a ruthless battle for power with the loosely-defined but western-supported opposition rebel forces....

Published: Jan 10 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

New Year’s resolutions. We all do them. Although I have to say come March time they tend to have disappeared unlike the food belly that sadly gets a little bit bigger and more stubborn with each passing decade. So what’s the point? I guess they give us a little bit of focus for what should be important to us following a couple of weeks off from the ever spinning, ever faster treadmill that we call life...

Published: Dec 16 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Today’s friend is tomorrow’s foe in this dynamic and complex world. Barely a day goes by without mergers, acquisitions, take overs (hostile or not) or promotions, that takes the guy you were managing and makes him your boss. How do we best manage our relationships to get the most out of them in this constant flux? Seems the best way of building rapport is to focus on what psychologists call ‘uncommon commonalities’....

Published: Nov 08 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Like most sales people I talk about value first and price last. This week was no exception. My prospective client was considering courses for the company’s purchasing managers. The meeting was going very well, and when the quotation was requested I announced the total price for our three-day negotiating skills course upon which my much-interested prospective client asked…"is that the cost per day?"...

Published: Oct 18 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

The Oxford English Dictionary defines charm as ‘the power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others’. It is a word which has been much used recently about the newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in particular in connection with the speech he made to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24th. It is difficult to know how much the world’s perception of his charm is actually a reflection on the lack of this same quality in his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Published: Jun 03 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

There is no doubt that people are strange. You and especially me! A number of studies into social psychology in the 1960’s sought to look at how this strangeness affects the way we live our lives and conduct our affairs. In 1966 experimenters went door to door in a suburban neighborhood asking residents if they would agree to a huge advertisement reading, “drive safely” being erected in their garden. They were shown a picture of how it would look. Just so you know the photo showed a lovely home almost totally obscured by the billboard...

Published: May 18 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Asking good questions that are tough, direct and specific is one of the key things we can do to improve the quality of our negotiation behavior and resulting outcomes. A study in the US tried to identify the best kind of questions to ask in a classic buyer seller relationship...

Published: Apr 30 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

BMW used to do it. So did Mercedes. Porsche and Ferrari still do as far as I am aware, though it’s been a while since I checked. Then along came the so-called “budget” airlines and the tactic is back in vogue with a vengeance. It starts with a loud - gaudy even – welcome page on which there is loudly displayed a low figure. At the time of writing, the figure is £10. The word “cheap” appears and you are tempted along to the “flights” window. “£10” and “flights” together; it’s a heady mix that conjures up the golden age of travel together with cheap air fares, so you delve deeper. Mind you – the words “golden age of travel” and “Ryanair” are not comfortable bedfellows, but never mind; I live in Edinburgh – where could I go? What could go wrong?...

Published: Apr 11 , 2013
Author: David Bannister

Many words have been written in the past few days since the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, some reflect her perceived greatness and others portray her as a class enemy. I cannot hope to emulate the lyrical heights to which some have soared in the press. I can, however, look back and reflect on the way she dealt with trade unions and specifically the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1980s. During that time I was an Industrial Relations Officer in a manufacturing factory situated in the middle of the South Yorkshire coalfield. Friends and neighbours were involved both practically and emotionally in all of the events of that memorable year from March 1984 to March 1985...

Published: Mar 29 , 2013
Author: The Scotwork UK team

Over the weekend there were reports in the UK media that the multinational retailer Laura Ashley had written to its suppliers requesting an immediate 10% cost price reduction on all orders already agreed and contracted. The demand was accompanied by a statement that this would save Laura Ashley the need to review its supplier base – in other words, failure to agree would prompt such a review, and some suppliers would inevitably be delisted as a result...

Published: Mar 07 , 2013
Author: Mark Simpson

Nervous negotiators may often be tempted to partake in a drop of “Dutch Courage” before entering what they anticipate will be difficult negotiations. Our advice is DON’T and it seems the United Nations now agree with us.

Published: Feb 15 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Perhaps a better question might be, where’s the beef? The continuing furore about what actually is in European food products took another turn when Findus had to withdraw all of their Frozen Beef Lasagne after it was discovered that the beef was actually horse. Neigh I hear you cry...

Published: Feb 01 , 2013
Author: Gaëtan Pellerin

Each of us has encountered this type of negotiator: A customer who threatens to give your business to a competitor if you don’t give in to what he or she wants. A family member or close friend who behaves as a victim, playing the guilt card. Or an angry boss when the outcome is not what he or she expected...

Published: Jan 15 , 2013
Author: Stephen White

The most frequent request asked of Scotwork consultants is ‘Teach me how to know I have paid the right price’. It comes from a lifetime of self-doubt; that although the negotiated deal looks like a good one, satisfies the need, resolves the conflict, addresses the issues and falls within the levels of affordability, there is a demon nagging at the back of the brain. ‘Sucker!’ says the demon, ‘you could have done much better than that’...

Published: Dec 13 , 2012
Author: Robin Copeland

They eat a lot of peanuts in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a landing on Mars approaches. It is an old tradition that dates back to 31 July 1964 when Ranger 7, an unmanned space probe was due to approach the planet, take a few pictures on the way down, then crash onto the surface at breakneck speed. Bear in mind that only a year or two previously, President Kennedy had targeted the USA with landing men on the moon, then returning them safely to Earth by the end of that decade. You would have thought, would you not, that crashing onto Mars would have been well within the wit and capability of the good folks at NASA; sadly not. Rangers 1 through 6 had failed miserably in their various attempts to crash on the planet and Ranger 7 was their last shot at glory...

Published: Nov 29 , 2012
Author: Alan Smith

On July 20th 1969, the late Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the surface of the moon. As commander of Apollo 11 his legend was secured by this act of endeavor, courage and ambition. His words as he left the Eagle have been recorded for posterity. ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. These words were beamed to the millions of global viewers making it one of the most watched televised events in history...

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