The Negotiator Magazine

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Most academics are familiar with numerous vocabularies, for example if a cartographer would be asked to create a map for a geomorphologist or a settlement geographer it is clear that her familiarity with both vocabularies would have to be consistent with her understanding of the vocabulary of her own field. Indeed the cartographer and the geomorphologist may well create a new vocabulary to suite their problems and solutions. In doing so they have created an 'opportunity of becoming' together. The purpose of the vocabulary is to keep the various parties involved on the same page or to create a common ground through which solutions are found and modelled.

To take this one step further one can imagine the challenge faced by academics and project managers involved in the Manhattan project, the project which had as its goal the creation of the atomic bomb. A host of skills in a large number of fields would have had to be aligned and kept on the same page for a period of time until the perceived fruits of that terrible project had been brought to bear.

The creation of common ground through terms of reference and vocabularies was absolutely vital. As important in that endeavour is the fact that none of the skill sets involved in that project had the wherewithal to pull it off successfully alone. The parties involved did not claim value but created it together according to a strictly managed and agreed upon set of principles.

There are, as a matter of course, a large number of techniques which aid in the creation of shared aspirations and the management of difficult parties and interests towards basic framing and shaping. But perhaps more important than discussing the techniques, is the realisation of the spirit and the existence of the process within many, if not all fields of human endeavour, without which many human efforts would have come to nought.

To earn is not to receive
To earn is not to take
To earn is to become.

The Negotiation Academy - Europe (TNA-Europe) is a negotiation consulting and negotiation skills solution provider. Committed to delivering best practice based negotiation solutions, TNA-Europe collaborates with clients to instill an organisational negotiation capability With deep industry experience, global resources and a proven track record, TNA-Europe is ideally positioned to assist clients in achieving optimal results from negotiations across all functional areas: Negotiation Skills Training.

Sebastian Herweg is a graduate of the Wits University Honours program [Johannesburg. South Africa] and has represented corporate entities in varied roles including training, sales, technical consulting and operations. Mr. Herweg has worked across industries internationally, including the financial, automotive and information technology segments. He is expert in multi-cultural negotiations and speaks a number of Africaan languages.

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January 2005