Negotiating from home
“Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born” Nikola Tesla
Working from home has become the norm for many millions of people over the past weeks and months. There are a great many positives, but it is often all too easy to focus on the negatives – the current climate may make it feel hard, if not impossible, to advocate for yourself.
Whatever has happened to your business this year, the need for robust negotiation skills and strategy building has never been stronger.
Some organisations have got ahead of the game, and others have been left behind, but wherever your company is right now it is never too late to make a change.
Negotiation in a crisis – is it different?
How many negotiations are taking place as you read this article? I would suggest hundreds, if not thousands. They will involve, policy, law, money, goods & services and all of the other variables that one would expect in any negotiation. What sets apart negotiation in June 2020 from other times is the fact that many of these negotiations will (literally) involve life and death decisions. Conversations taking place right now in board rooms and presidents’ offices about social distancing, remote working and when to re-open schools and shops will all have an effect on the way this pandemic plays out.
good or bad, the example you set will be followed…
even the most sophisticated studies and investigations have yet to make leadership, and its development, more science than art. The four ‘Cs’ – competence, character, creativity, and charisma remain difficult qualities to quantify, let alone cultivate. Growing effective leaders is challenging work.
“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest”
Mutual interest or self interest?
Human nature has been laid bare in the UK over the past few weeks. This, of course, may be the case for the rest of the world gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, but I’ll confine my thoughts to the UK, after all it’s where I live.
Trust and Empowerment
“Tell people what you want doing, not how to achieve it, you will be amazed by their creativity”
Dwight D Eisenhower.
Having spent a long time in the Public Sector (the British Army), I have often thought that it is easier to let go, to let your team ‘crack on’ when the bottom line is not measured in financial terms. After all, if there are no share holders screaming for more profit and no board looking down from the ivory tower expecting you to deliver more £s, $s etc then letting other people make the decisions has to be straight forward, doesn’t it?
The James Bond Effect
An interesting phenomenon.
According to urbandictionary.com:
The James Bond Effect (also called 007 Effect) is a theory in propaganda and political circles, whereby the first detailed opinion/summary that someone hears or reads on a particular topic, is the one they are most likely to adopt.
Leading with Clarity
Clarity is the single greatest asset a leader can bring to their organisation. Clarity aligns action, it acts as a conduit for analysis, catalysing the latent potential of individuals and teams throughout the organisation. Usefully, it also inspires the trust and confidence of external stakeholders. Humans willingly follow a leader whom they trust. Therefore leaders who are able to proffer simple, straightforward plans, strategies and solutions, are likely to be followed willingly and to be produce outstanding results
As the title of the song by The Stranglers puts it, “Everybody loves You When You’re Dead”. I think there’s something in that. Certainly artists of all types and their work, gather momentum post mortem; we frequently hear anecdotes about playwrights and painters who were penniless during their lifetimes, yet their works sell for millions one they’ve gone. Interestingly, the next line of the song goes..“you’ll finally be appreciated”. Strange, but somehow true.
“Differences challenge assumptions” Mohandas Gandhi
Striving to increase workplace diversity is a very good business decision. In a global analysis of over 2,000 companies, those with at least one female board member outperformed those that did not have any women on the board. In recent years a body of research has revealed another, more nuanced benefit of workplace diversity: non-homogenous teams are simply more effective. Working with people who are different from you will challenge you (your brain) to overcome its stale ways of thinking and sharpen its performance.
“Foresight is not about predicting the future, it’s about minimising surprise”
For years, we’ve talked about great leaders having a clear, positive, compelling vision of their team or organisation’s future. A good analogy for a vision is building a Lego model. Before you even begin to organise and assemble the small plastic pieces that are inside the box, you’ll see, very clearly, the final outcome displayed on the external part of the packaging, indeed the more complex models come with a fully illustrated assembly booklet. That’s your vision; the outcome that you’re striving to create.
When considering great leaders one only has to think of such people as Ghandi, Churchill and Boadicea. It would be nice to think that we all have something of the ‘right stuff’ to make a difference in our worlds. There is a good chance that you already have some of the right stuff or at least understand how its application might just make your job slightly easier. Honing these skills and learning how others did and still do lead will further enhance your ability to get it right and be successful in your chosen field.