Whooshing sound…

Training Primary Care NHS GPs Wooshing sound..

We won’t have much longer to wait.

The next prime minister, will be delivered by Tory Party members;

• 70% are male…

• 97% are white British.

• Average age, 57, +40% aged over 65.

• Members are concentrated in the southern half of the country,

• Six out of 10 living in Eastern England, London, the south east and south west.

• 86% of them in the ABC1 category, used by researchers to describe the top social-grade.

That’s democracy for you. It makes some banana-republics look respectable.

The irony; we’ll have a new PM but the same old problem. How do we get out of the EU without running the risk of destroying the economy in the process?

The problem is negotiation. It’s been bungled.

Negotiating is a skill.

EU bureaucrats spend their entire careers negotiating, with 28 members, accession countries and complex global trade deals. I suspect our skills are ‘a bit rusty’ and in scarce supply.

Like everything, there are rules; ways to approach negotiating.

It starts with building relationships. Connecting on a personal level. Negotiating is not adversarial. It’s about working with the people on the other side of the table, to arrive at a conclusion that fits both sides.

Knowing who you’re dealing with is a good place to start. Who are they and what do they really want. It’s wrong to assume they are like us and want what we want… but they might be.

It helps if your own side knows what it wants… as we are finding out!

A neat trick; ask for more than you need. Add-in items that you can use as trade-offs.

Putting your cards on the table is good. Being honest about what you want. Share as much information as you can. Facts, figures and data.

Give the other side as much of what they want as possible, as early as possible. It sets the tone and builds trust and when you get to the tricky bits, you have some common ground.

And here is a cruncher… deadlines. Don’t use them!

By all means, command the time-line and set targets along the way that are linked to events that are recognised by both sides as significant but don’t use deadlines.

They always backfire.

As the deadline approaches you’ll look increasingly desperate and can sabotage everything you have achieved along the way.

Deadlines also turn negotiations into transactions and transactions are the opposite to a good agreement.

What happens if the deadline is missed? You end up negotiating against yourself.

First rule, never set a deadline with no wriggle room.

Second rule, have a plan B.

Do you know how the other side will react to a deadline. Do they have a Plan B and are they bothered?

Don Moore at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business writes;

‘… consider whether you should also reveal your BATNA-your best alternative to a negotiated agreement. When your BATNA is strong, you may want to share it with the other side. When your BATNA is weak, you may choose to keep it secret.’

It is rare that a deal will fall apart because it hasn’t been agreed in a particular time frame.

Chester Karrass, doyen of negotiation training, writes in his book ‘The Negotiating Game’;

Are deadlines necessary? Absolutely! Are they negotiable? Absolutely! Are some organisational deadlines padded? You know it! Wouldn’t it be a shame to negotiate a poor agreement because of a false or negotiable deadline? Don’t panic at deadlines!

If the plan is to frighten the other side to change their position to avoid mutual destruction, should the deadline be overrun, you’d better be sure they haven’t seen the ploy coming and they aren’t better prepared than you think.

Deadlines tell us, who has the most to lose. If one side has a deadline and the other doesn’t, you can bet the one that doesn’t will come out best.

Good negotiators avoid being boxed-in and understand; when the negotiations are over for one side, they are over for the other side, as well.

The trick is keep talking.

NHS managers negotiate with staff, with the boss, commissioners, providers and when they go home with the kids at bedtime and with their partner over what happens at the weekend. They are experts!

They know, deadlines make a noise, its a whooshing sound as they go by.

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Reproduced at TrainingPrimaryCare.com by kind permission of Roy Lilley.