The Meaning of Liff (Part 2)

Published: Apr 14 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

A few 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.

We had some great entries for which we are grateful and listed below are our favourite top 4.

Blunderbuss (n)   – situation when the other side sits close enough opposite you that you can read their wish list upside down (Noel Penrose)

Whatawhata (n) – Embarrassing situation where the other party has said something obviously important to them, but you and your team have not the slightest clue what they mean and are too embarrassed to ask (again). (Jörg Sturmhoebel)

Cymbaldon (n)   – someone who only has 1 point and keeps banging on about it (Angus Clarke)

Sudavtoldem (n) – situation when not revealing your priorities does not work in your best interests. (John McCabe).

Our favourite is Cymbaldon by a short nose, so congratulations to Angus Clarke, a bottle of Champagne will be winging its way to you shortly.

Incidentally if someone has only one point and keeps going on about it, check to see that is the only point that needs to be resolved by trial closing on it, ask yourself if there are any circumstances under which that point could be resolved and the big question is what could you trade for it if you demonstrate flexibility on that issue.

Did we miss any? Comment below with your own made up word for the negotiator's dictionary.


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Alan Smith
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