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Published: Mar 06 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

As the current situation in Ukraine is changing so swiftly that no one has any serious ability to predict the outcome, conflict-resolution pundits should be reading the unfolding events in negotiating terms in order to make sense of what is going on, for themselves and for those who follow them...

Published: Feb 06 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

The Winter Olympic Games open in Sochi this Friday, but any expectation that there would by now be a rising tide of enthusiasm for the splendour of the opening ceremony or the thrill of the sports on show has been dashed. Instead we only read about the likelihood of a Chechen terrorist attack, the possible effect on athletes and spectators of recently enacted anti-gay Russian legislation and the appalling prospect that some Western journalists might find their hotel bedrooms are unfinished. Of these, the terrorist threat occupies most press attention...

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.

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Be Specific With What You Want

You are out for a drink and the bartender asks you – “What would you like?” to which you reply “Guess!”. “Alright then” he says, “How about a red wine?”. You shake your head to this and say “No, that’s not what I want. Guess again.” After much back and forth, the bartender is justifiably irritated and through gritted teeth he tells you “I have other customers I need to serve, you look like someone who would enjoy a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc so I’ll pour you one of those. Enjoy your night.” This is a silly analogy to what I observe every week in most negotiations. Often there is a lack of specific disclosure as to what it is that the party wants or they take a long time to bring this information forward...

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