Are you ready to negotiate?

United States cover
United States cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It looks like a simple question but is it really?

The strange thing is that I’ve only met probably two or three people who have told me that they are trained in negotiation. I’m not sure what it is but South African small business owners don’t seem to see the real need for negotiation training. I don’t know if this is similar around the world but negotiation here is viewed as something you just learn instinctively as you go along.

It’s no wonder that small business owners often find negotiation doesn’t work for them. They feel frustrated after a negotiation, not having achieved much after hours of discussion. Often their negotiations deadlock. Then there are those who feel afterwards that they’ve done well in a negotiation but are mystified why their adversary appears so satisfied. Continue reading “Are you ready to negotiate?”

Do we have a deal? Stand up guys can agree fast when the gun is loaded

Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken (Photo credit: André “Gigopepo” Persechini)

Al Pacino in “Stand up Guys” plays an old criminal (Val) who gets out of prison after 28 years. He wants to have fun – sex, drugs and food – but little does he realise that a mob boss has hired Al’s best friend Christopher Walken (Doc) to kill him.

At one point in the movie Val and Doc have discussed an issue – and they have plenty to talk about in this feel-good crime comedy – and Val asks, “Do we have a deal?”

Under the circumstances, Doc is agreeable to just about anything Val wants to do because he has the impossible task of killing his best friend by 10 AM the next morning.

Decisions aren’t reached so fast in real-world negotiations that take place between small businesses owners and the host of people they end up negotiating with. It’s not what the negotiation books tell you. Some negotiations can take months or even years. Continue reading “Do we have a deal? Stand up guys can agree fast when the gun is loaded”