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Published: Aug 17 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

Last Wednesday evening was a bad time for two different groups of Londoners. At five o’clock the doors of several walk-in centres run by a high profile children’s charity called Kid’s Company closed for the last time, and thousands of children who depended on the charity for both physical and educational support were stranded. There had been suspicions about the financial affairs of this charity for some time – allegations that it was not well managed and that it was not in control of its finances. Central government was a major contributor and when the media picked up stories of financial irregularities they and other generous donors began to think twice about their funding... because the charity had virtually no reserves it had to close. It is unlikely to re-open, at least in its present form.

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So often we are asked – what is the difference between persuasion and negotiation? We observe negotiations, discussions, and arguments with two types of dialogue - persuasive dialogue and negotiating dialogue. Persuasive dialogue is telling, selling, influencing and arguing to win. Negotiating dialogue is trying to discover the positions, constraints and priorities of the other party and also disclosing your own. We are trying to gain understanding in order to then trade on issues. So should I persuade or negotiate?...

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