Trust. You have it or you don’t. It’s hard to build and easy to lose…


Being ‘trusted’ is the key to relationship survival. Building relationships is critical for negotiators.

The Principals Of Effective Persuasion


Skilled negotiators and influencers have long recognized the power created by linking views with those who hold authority. Then when this 'authority' power is allied with the drive to remain consistent, it becomes a lethal combination to strongly influence mindsets. Lessons for Business Influencing Where we have the opportunity to use 'authority' power to influence others we gain strategic advantage. For example, if we can bring the power of the CEO or perhaps our Manager to bear, or if we can cite the authority of 'research' or 'precedent', we have a powerful influencing tool.

Emotion defeats Logic


In negotiation, does emotion defeat logic?

The Impact of Pre Negotiation


Britain voted to leave the European Union on 23rd June, 2016. Just six days later, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, stated that there would be ‘no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw’. In other words, until Britain triggered Article 50, there was nothing to talk about.

Negotiation Styles - Trump v Clinton


As our screens fade to black at the end of the seemingly interminable US election campaign, what is interesting for negotiators? While the ‘reasons’ for Donald Trump’s victory are manifold, an analysis of his and Hillary Clinton’s negotiating styles is intriguing. Curiously, the candidates’ default or reflex styles seemed to conform to party colours, red for Republicans and blue for Democrats. ENS International alumni will appreciate that Clinton’s attempt to reason and rationalize with voters fell at the more collaborative ‘blue’ end of the spectrum, while Trump’s confrontational harangues were firmly in the more competitive ‘red’ zone. Nevertheless, things were somewhat more nuanced than this. Where was the negotiation happening? Despite strong media focus on the gladiatorial confrontations of the presidential debates, they were not really negotiations between the candidates. The candidates were not seeking to influence each other. They were conducting simultaneous individual negotiations with two hundred million potential voters. Hillary Clinton’s style With her extensive experience of politics and formal negotiation, Hillary Clinton demonstrated greater style flexibility than her opponent. Clinton essentially chose a *Content-based strategy to try to influence voters. Focusing on her strong policy credentials, using reason rather than emotion, she broadcast an underlying message of her being a ‘safe pair of hands’. Nevertheless, Clinton showed that she could take on Trump on his own, competitive ground, counterpunching vigorously and aggressively to his insults and threats. As the first female presidential candidate in the nation’s history, it was important to show she could hold her own in that often macho environment. Donald Trump’s style Trump’s competitive default style matched his overall confrontational approach. It came as a surprise when he showed he could be conciliatory. He managed to do so on a few occasions, notably when asked to praise something about his opponent at the end of the second debate, and in his placatory victory speech and other post-election announcements. While Trump’s campaign team tried to send him out with a less aggressive style, under pressure his natural combative instincts (default) usually overrode the carefully-laid plan. His lack of policy knowledge, compared to his vastly experienced opponent, meant that he lacked Content Power. He relied on **Process Power, focusing on a specific demographic: the white working class in disempowered post-industrial regions. Perhaps the best quote demonstrating this is his ‘Nobody builds walls better than me’. A phrase devoid of meaningful Content but full of emotional resonance (Process) for a certain sector of the population. The atmosphere deliberately cultivated at Trump’s rallies, aggressive to opponents but emotionally engaging for supporters. It was part of a conscious and planned style choice. The key to his success was his recognition of the emotional needs of his targeted voters. He engaged with their personal need for self-esteem, leading them to feel that with Trump they still had a stake in their country’s future. His policies (Content) were less important than the fact that he made these voters feel better about themselves.