REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Jan 19 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

"That is why I have said before — and will continue to say — that every stray word and every hyped-up media report is going to make it harder for us to get the right deal for Britain." Theresa May has long repeated the mantra that she is not going to reveal the details of Britain’s Brexit negotiating tactics, because that would be poor negotiating practice. Yet in her speech on Tuesday she did just that. Here are some verbatim extracts – what deductions could you make from the highlighted words if you were a European bureaucrat charged with analysing Britain’s negotiating position...

Published: Jan 11 , 2017
Author: Stephen White

Like the conference speaker who has the misfortune to be given the slot immediately after a brilliant raconteur, 2017 is unlikely to be a ‘wow’ year, following on as it does from a humdinger 2016. Unlikely, but not impossible, and it certainly got off to a great start with the unexpected resignation of the UK’s Permanent Representative to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers, an event which would probably have been called PRexit if it wasn’t so easy to mishear. Not only did he surprise everyone with his impeccable timing - the first Brexit bombshell of the year – but in his swan song note to colleagues he laid into the Government for its appalling state of Brexit preparation....

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: Oct 05 , 2013
Author: Simon Letchford

This week’s government shutdown makes both sides of politics look dreadful. A poll this week had Congress less popular than head lice and root-canal surgery. But, channelling Rahm Emmanuel, (“never let a serious crisis go to waste”), here are a few negotiating lessons to take from Washington’s latest home-cooked fiasco..

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.

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Don't sweat the small stuff, its all about perspective

A friend send me a short video clip at the weekend, which came at just the right time. We were in a dispute with colleagues. All parties felt aggrieved, everyone had different perspectives and nobody was going to yield. Long standing relationships were at risk of being compromised and escalation of the dispute, something that would hurt everyone, was coming ever nearer. The video made me smile, it reminded me of what's important in life. It didn't so much change my perspective (both sides still maintain the other was wrong) but helped me re-frame it.

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