REAL-WORLD INSIGHTS

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Published: Apr 21 , 2016
Author: Tyler Hall

Whether you are familiar with the character Frank Underwood who is the US President in the hit TV show, "House of Cards", or not, here are some great negotiation tips based on some of Frank’s best quotes.

Published: Apr 18 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

Confidence is one of the important attributes of a good negotiator. Many HR recruiters believe that this is an attribute they need to look for in those who will be conducting negotiations for the organisation (sales, marketing, procurement, Board level), so that testing for confidence as a personality trait is therefore very important.

Published: Mar 21 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

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. When strong emotions are involved, we often don't get the chance to negotiate well.

Published: Feb 16 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

I had a haircut today, and learnt something simple but useful. Chatting to the barber I asked if he had ever been to a particular local restaurant. Yes, he said, but it was about 5 years ago and it wasn’t very good. He had found a small piece of plastic in his mouth whilst eating his meal, and he was unimpressed with the response from the waiter. He explained.

Published: Feb 15 , 2016
Author: Jared Bamford

Our Scotwork office is located in central Sydney. We see many homeless and less fortunate people, and frequently I am stopped and asked for “spare change?”. Today, as I ambled back to the office following my lunch break I spotted a homeless man perched in front of our office building. He had a sign which read “I’m trying 2 get $26 to get a bed 4 tonight, thank you”.

Published: Feb 01 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

My daughter is a fairly recent and slightly nervous driver. I was surprised to note that 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, and what did I know about driving anyway...

Published: Jan 15 , 2016
Author: Stephen White

One of the defining qualities of a good negotiator is the ability to manufacture unusual tradeable variables apparently out of thin air. An example of this is how time is used as a variable. Most people would agree that a day comprises 24 hours. But management consultants know that a day in terms of charging fees is more likely to be 7 hours, so clients who need more than 7 hours find themselves paying for more than a day...

Published: Oct 09 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

Saturday night was a very dark time for me and many of my English friends and colleagues. Whilst no one actually died, it feels like many of our dreams and hopes did. If you enjoy sport and even if you don’t you will be able to imagine just how devastating it is for an Englishman that the National rugby team was knocked out of its home World Cup tournament, by their old nemesis Australia. The only host nation ever to have been knocked out of their own tournament at such an early stage, the loss came fast on the heels of the defeat by Wales the previous week, a game that frankly England really should have won...

Published: Sep 25 , 2015
Author: Romana Henry

I go running regularly with a good friend and neighbour who happens to be a criminal defence lawyer. She is married to another lawyer who works in property and estate settlement etc. On our runs, we exchange tips and advice. She tells me how expensive it would be to divorce my husband, why I shouldn’t run a red light, and why helping my 17 year old daughter to obtain fake I.D. to get into pubs really isn’t a good idea. Why I really must make a will soon, when to put my house on the market, and what home improvements not to bother with. In exchange I tell her how to get a better deal in her various negotiations...

Published: Feb 02 , 2015
Author: Keith Stacey

The most powerful word in the English language is ‘free’. People love a bargain and if it’s free - then bargain it must be. ‘Free’ triggers a range of emotional responses that seduce us into suspending our critical judgments...Over the years many of us have experienced the truism that “there is no such thing as a free lunch”. We are hard-wired to practice reciprocal altruism and accepting a “free lunch” can place us in a vulnerable position when we are later asked for something in return.

Published: Jan 13 , 2015
Author: keith stacey

It may sound slightly unhygienic but it is far better than putting your foot in it! You may also find that you become a better negotiator as a result. Our ability to communicate defines us as a highly evolved species. This ability has been fundamental to our evolution from nomadic hunter gatherers to knowledge workers in cyberspace. In fact, when you think of it the degree of planning, coordination and execution necessary to successfully hunt a woolly mammoth while avoiding being eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger is not that much of an evolutionary gap.

Published: Aug 15 , 2014
Author: John McMillan

On September 18th, Scotland, part of the United Kingdom for 300 years, is holding a referendum on whether to split away from the rest of the UK and become an independent country. Assuming that there is a ‘Yes’ vote, the Scottish Government has a massive negotiating challenge ahead if it is to meet its self-imposed deadline of 24th March 2016; barely 18 months after the votes will be counted...

Published: Jul 29 , 2014
Author: Mark Simpson

The media has discovered that Council-controlled Auckland Transport is using special shuttles to move staff around Auckland; apparently because it’s faster than the public transport they provide for the rest of us. When challenged, Auckland Transport shot themselves in the foot and provided us with a beautiful example of argument dilution...

Published: May 15 , 2014
Author: Tyler Hall

If you’ve ever tried to negotiate something – a corporate merger, a commercial conflict, a new salary or even a family dispute – you’ll know there’s an art to resolution and an art to influencing an outcome that satisfies both sides. The truth is, no one’s born a brilliant negotiator. Right? We all learn to negotiate as we grow and we all engage in negotiation training and education to try and make ourselves better mediators and better “solution influencers.” In one of our recent training sessions, one of the participants asked a great question –Who are the best negotiators in the business? Who should we listen to and learn from?

Published: Apr 18 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

I want you to imagine that you have been preparing for a negotiation and you have got to the point where you have to declare your financial proposal to paper. The bit that is going to be critical, maybe even the most important (maybe), is the price. We could drift tangentially off point here and talk about things that may be much more important than price, like availability, quality, terms, etc., etc., we won’t. But you should...

Published: Apr 11 , 2014
Author: Alan Smith

Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese Military tactician said “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” I was reminded of this famous quote when I read a review of Robert Lindsay’s new play, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, in which Lindsay talked about his political past...

Published: Jan 16 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

There are interminable lists of top negotiating dos and don’ts available on the internet, in books, and on training courses. They mainly contain pieces of sensible, if obvious advice about how negotiators should conduct themselves. You may have read some of these lists, and you may even have been moved to try some of the tips. You certainly don’t need to see another one...

Published: Oct 10 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Before working with a powerful FMCG company in Europe I asked of the thousands of points of sale they have how many client relationships they lose every year to competing companies. The company proudly announced that last year they lost less than 1% annually to competition. I dared to suggest that 1% is probably not enough and that they need to lose more business. This did not deter them from working with us and here’s why...

Published: Sep 26 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Being nasty has no place in my view in life or business, not only because it is wrong, it also makes bad sense. Treading gently does not mean being soft, but it does mean having integrity.

Published: Aug 29 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

When we ask people to define negotiation on the Scotwork pre-course paperwork, purchasing people very often refer to “finding a middle road” or “common ground”. They deal every day with variables about which they and the people across the table feel differently and what they really mean is “let’s split the difference”. Sales people however refer to “persuasion” often as their all encompassing definition of negotiation. This persuasion they see as a unilateral process of changing the view of the other party in order to have them accept their offer or opinion. Salespeople often consider this to be an essential fundamental skill of their trade.

Published: Aug 15 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

I want you to try a little experiment. Think of a simple tune, something like Happy Birthday. Now find a colleague, friend or partner and tap out the song for them without telling them the name of the song. Chances are they will have not got a clue... You have just witnessed for yourself the concept of the curse of knowledge.

Published: Aug 08 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport has, for the past month, played host to a pawn in the international diplomacy game, one Edward Snowden. Mr Snowden is a "whistle-blower" who, depending on your point of view, has courageously defended the rights of downtrodden untermensch the world over, or on the other hand has committed a treasonous offence so heinous as to be punishable by a lengthy spell behind bars - a spell so long that all kinds of keys may just as well be thrown down various drains.

Latest Blog:

Negotiating with Your Nemesis – Yourself!

You probably have numerous regular negotiations throughout the year - with both internal and strategic external parties. However, there’s someone you negotiate with more frequently - yourself! I believe there are two critical moments where we become our own worst enemy in a negotiation...

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