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: 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 11 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

I predict a spike in the birth-rate at the beginning of August 2017 because thousands of people, in the US and around the world, were making babies last night. There is much anecdotal evidence that after a trauma people take solace with each other. How many couples will have gone to bed last night whispering to each other ‘WTF (Will Trump Flourish?)’ before rolling over and occupying themselves with other things?

Published: Mar 18 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

Well there are actually! Negotiation involves cold logic, cutting through all the verbiage, careful and clear analysis of the volatile and unpredictable environment before coolly selecting the correct option. Problem is we rarely get the time when making the hundreds of decisions we need to make each day in the negotiations that we do in both our commercial and personal lives. Emotions play a huge part in the actions we take and to some extent the brains higher function has been argued is to sort out many of the choices we have already made and make sense of them after the fact...

Published: Feb 02 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

My little girl was reluctant to use her full beam when driving, preferring to keep to dipped headlights even in the pitch of night... When I asked her why, she said she preferred to focus on what was directly in front of her and did not want to be distracted by the distance....

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: Sep 22 , 2012
Author: Stephen White

Within the last few days the Obama administration have made it clear that they consider the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Assad regime on their own civilians to be a red line. What they mean is that if the Syrian government uses chemical weapons, they will have crossed the red line, diplomacy will have come to an end, and military action will follow. Similarly, in neighbouring Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu has chided the US administration for not setting a red line on the subject of the Iranian development of nuclear weapons....

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Stop scuttling your own proposals

There are many reasons why proposals get rejected, and it is our job as negotiators to surface and remove the roadblocks. However, sadly many people subconsciously scuttle and roadblock their own proposals before they are even made. Some key tips to increase the likelihood of success:

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