From the Publisher's Desk, April 2013
From the Publisher's Desk...
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Some comments on the April 2013 issue …
This issue examines five aspects of negotiation interaction and offers practical how-to guidance on dealing with each of them. We begin with the importance of recognizing the hidden agendas that often lie beneath the surface of many negotiations, explore some of the qualities that make a great negotiator, look at a thought-provoking listing of frequently neglected negotiable items, examine the wisdom of carving out exceptions to the old rule that everything can and should be negotiated, and conclude by focusing on a new iteration of the extraordinary hands-on guide to the what's and how-to's of mediation. As always, our goal is to make these articles thought-provoking as well as informative. I am confident these articles achieve the goal.
"The Political Nature of Collective Bargaining Interactions" examines one of the powerful hidden agendas that complicate negotiations and need to be factored into the interaction calculation. In this case, the focus is on union negotiations and the important, but often unstated needs of union negotiators for political victories even more than real concessions. The real focus of negotiation may well be far different than the stated purposes of the participants. If so, the wise negotiator needs to work within the reality of the encounter. This article points the way to discovering those hidden agendas and using them to advantage.
"Churchill's Bathtub" examines several of the key elements behind the great success of Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill as a negotiator. Churchill was an active and incredibly successful negotiating force throughout the war years, shuttling from London to Washington D.C., Canada, N. Africa and the Soviet Union to meet with his Allies. Throughout these encounters, the fate of his nation literally hung in the balance. Soaking in daily baths, Churchill planned his agendas, studied his options and rehearsed his words with care. The results were that despite having the weakest power position in the room, Churchill was always the best prepared on the Allied leaders. Time and again, it was Churchill's positions that prevailed in the discussions. The lesson of this hard-working leader are invaluable for every negotiator.
"Ten Things People Don't Realize They Can Negotiate" presents ten categories of items that are all negotiable, but often are not negotiated. In contrast to the next essay, this article should get you reconsidering the breadth of your present selection of negotiating targets. Are your negotiating strategies unnecessarily confining your opportunities? Negotiation is always about strategy. Here is a push to reconsider and expand your negotiating boundaries. The results may well surprise you greatly.
"Negotiating With Terrorists" questions the official U.S. government policy of not negotiating with terrorists. It contends that negotiation needs to be a major part of the U.S. response options. The article makes a persuasive argument for the change. This essay should get you thinking about that old saying that "everything is negotiable." Is it? Should it be negotiable? What are the opportunity costs of such exceptions?
"The Mediator's Handbook" focuses on the facilitative approach to mediation in contrast to last month's article on evaluative mediation. In a manual built from decades of hands-on experience in conflict resolution by mediators who often created the what's of the mediation process and tested out the how-to's that make it work. Whether you are a mediator at this time or a future mediator, this is a look at the process that every negotiator needs to understand.
Expanding Our Horizons…
A call for topic suggestions and articles…
The Negotiator Magazine goal is to provide the most comprehensive resource in the field of negotiation. Throughout the more than eleven years that the magazine has served its readers, one of its most valuable resources has been our readers who have suggested and often written many of the over 350 articles contributed by the nearly one hundred writers that enrich the publication.
If you would like to suggest a a topic for a future negotiation article you would like the magazine to cover, contribute an article, or comment on an article in the magazine please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I and the readers are delighted by your response to date. Please keep enriching the magazine.
John D. Baker
Editor and Publisher
The Negotiator Magazine April 2013 Copyright © 2013 The Negotiator Magazine