Despite the snow, the student protests and the train service we made the dinner with Terry Waite CBE last night on the topic of Barter and Backscratch – The Art of Negotiation. What an experience! Most of us negotiate constantly with our families, our colleagues, our suppliers and our customers. But how different it is, when peoples lives and liberties are at stake. And as Terry’s story played out – his own. He gave us his simple plan for negotiation, which we could easily replicate in our professional lives:
- face to face encounter
- build a relationship of trust
- get to the reasons why (the hostages were taken in his case)
- create a resolution where all parties walk away with dignity in tact.
He also talked about his conditions. He has certain ethics or rules by which he lives. And he will not break those for others or ultimately for himself, even when his own liberty is in danger. How many of us, by slice and dice, have compromised on our own internal ‘rules’?
He then illustrated these factors with his own rich story, told by a master story teller. We were all spellbound, listening fascinated to his experience.