Dutch Courage at the UN

Published: Mar 14 , 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.

Joseph Torsella, the US representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform has recently called for a ban on drunken diplomats at the world bodys budgetary negotiations, lamenting that the already laborious process of getting 193 countries to agree to anything is being further hindered by officials consuming alcohol. Torsella has proposed "...that the negotiating rooms should be in future an inebriation free zone" and suggested that the negotiators "...save the champagne for toasting the successful end of the session". By that we presume he means having reached agreement and done a deal rather than having all got hammered!

Negotiators need all their mental faculties when negotiating. These are clouded by alcohol. Even mildly inebriated people can change in a number of ways. They may become more bullish, assuming or trying to give the impression of being more powerful or they can become even more nervous and paranoid believing others have all the power. Neither is a good basis on which to negotiate. We need to prepare well, ask good questions, listen, make good realistic conditional proposals and be able to repackage and trade creatively using our wish lists. We also need to ensure everyone has the same interpretation and understanding of what's been agreed when we think we've done a deal. 

Don't do this and inevitably you'll be left crying in your beer!

Mark Simpson, Scotwork NZ


SHARE

blogAuthor

About the author:

Mark Simpson
No bio is currently avaliable

Latest Blog:

Negotiating Lessons from the Banking Royal Commission

The Australian Banking Royal Commission has been quite embarrassing with cover-ups, poor conduct and unethical treatment of customers. But it does bring to light key lessons for negotiators. These lessons are particularly true for those who are perceived to hold the balance of power. In other words, if you are negotiating with someone who is seen to have very little power - there is a high chance your actions will come under public scrutiny at some point. It is highly unlikely the banking industry will be the only one to come under scrutiny. All you need to do to come to this conclusion is read the paper to see similar accusations in industries like retail/grocery buying, leasing, franchising, etc.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork Australia
210/410 Elizabeth Street
Surry Hills
2010
Australia
02 9211 3999
info.au@scotwork.com
Follow us
cpd.png
voty2016_sign_gold.png