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Published: Mar 01 , 2018
Author: John Hopkins

One of the biggest frustrations we can face is that of being misunderstood. Or thinking that we have understood the other person only to discover that we had it all wrong-or did we? Maybe they just moved the goal posts! In negotiating, it’s crucial to ascertain that what you have ‘heard’ from the other party is what they have communicated, and at Scotwork we teach that there are some key ways of doing so...

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Published: Feb 08 , 2018
Author: John Hopkins

I appreciate that in an increasingly globalized world, the opportunity to be in the same room as the party with whom you are negotiating, or simply the commercial pressure to do so, is becoming increasingly rare. Sure, video conferencing has come a long way, but in my opinion there is no substitute for negotiating with a party in real time and in person. As this question keeps coming up, I have started to reflect more, both on my behaviour on the phone, and the importance of being ready to negotiate on the phone when the opportunity arises.

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Published: Feb 01 , 2018
Author: John Hopkins

When your emotions have free reign, you lose focus. You lose perspective of what it is you set out to achieve. Your “argue step” goes out the window – how can you ask effective questions and actively listen to the other party when you’re yelling, screaming or-God forbid – throwing cake on the floor? And in amongst all the noise and the chaos you’re much more likely to miss important signals and make mistakes.

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Often, I’d Prefer Not to Negotiate

Often, I’d prefer not to negotiate... this may seem a strange choice for a blog title written by a negotiation consultant who works for a negotiation training and advisory company. So why then would I suggest that negotiation isn’t always the answer? Not everything is a negotiation! As a professional negotiator, I do of course practice what we preach at Scotwork – good negotiation preparation, asking questions, listening to the other party and understanding what is of value to them, looking for areas of flexibility, etc... All very important skills. However another important skill for any negotiator is the ability to recognise when to negotiate and when there may be a more suitable alternative to conflict.

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