I’ve just come back from a great holiday at a yoga retreat in Ibiza and the topic of negotiation came up a lot, not least when I managed to get 9 people into a nightclub for free!
But it reminded me of an interview I did a few months back with the yoga/well-being blog The Baoli and I thought I’d post the transcript here.
Simon Horton: “Transform your world with winning negotiation skills”
September 12th, 2012 by baoli
Recently we spoke to Simon Horton about his book, Negotiation Mastery, which introduces cutting edge negotiation know-how with stories on everything from evil dolphins, Ghengis Khan and Val Doonican’s mum to create a practical page-turner. You may think negotiation is about businessmen in boardrooms, but Simon, negotiation expert and amateur trapeze artist – trapezing is “turbo-charged yoga on adrenalin”, apparently – is turning this idea on its head.
You say “Win-Win is the most effective way to negotiate”, can you explain what Win-Win means to the lay person?
Negotiation is often seen as you versus them, but if you go in thinking of them as the enemy, you’ll create an enemy. With the Win-Win approach it becomes a problem solving exercise: how can we work together for the good of each party? Even from a selfish perspective helping the other get their goal is beneficial to you. You create value for them, they’ll do it for you in return.
You, “…want this book to be accessible to people who would not normally buy a book on negotiation skills.” What will The Baoli readers get from Negotiation Mastery?
Good negotiation skills improve lives immensely. You’re actually negotiating all the time: with kids, partners, friends, colleagues, at work, in shops. If you apply the principles of Win-Win to all relationships then you will transform those relationships.
How can these principles be used where trust is an issue and emotions are involved – say in cases of divorce?
Trust and emotions are big issues. There are many principles outlined in the book: one example is to create a ‘them and us’ situation, where you strengthen the negotiating relationship through facing a third party, say the lawyers, in cases like divorce. You can then work together to reach your agreed Win-Win.
Indeed if the other party isn’t in on the Win-Win principle, how would you go about encouraging them to get in on it?
There are lots of ways. The majority of people waver between Win-Lose, the “I’ll take them for all I can get!” attitude, and Win-Win anyway. Most people don’t like fighting, if you go into the negotiation in Win-Win mode first then the other party is likely to follow your lead. There is a whole chapter dedicated to helping the other person become more win-win.
You say, “Strong Win-Win involves strength and generosity.” Can you tell us more about being generous without being weak?
Studies show that if you give something then there is an element of indebtedness; with the recipient invariably giving more than you gave. So in fact it’s a successful way to accrue. In yoga terms it’s about abundance. In fact, I would see strength and generosity very much part of the yogic way.
You want people to enjoy this negotiation process, to see it as a ‘game’ even. How do you relax and feel the flow, when you’re negotiating something which could cost you highly?
If you focus on risk and stress then that is what you get. Envision a nice chat with a nice person in a café and the stress diminishes. You might even enjoy it. If you imagine a battle it will be. If you imagine a nice chat it will be.
You spent twelve years as a consultant to the financial services sector, how did you come to be a trainer in negotiation Skills?
After semi-retiring from the finance sector, I travelled the world and had adventures. But I wanted to do something productive so I studied NLP. Ultimately it seemed obvious to apply those principles to negotiation. Although it was a fine-line between this and stand-up comedy! But that’s a fulltime job itself, so I use humour in my training. I hope the book is funny with some laugh out loud moments.
You are very much involved in charity work, it’s obviously important to you to give something back, why?
Essentially my aim and this book is about making the world a better place for everyone and on every level too – the material level, relationship level and the practical level. I’m spreading the word.
And while you’re healing the world, what does wellbeing mean to you?
One word that comes to mind is wealth, in every sense of the word. Wealth and richness in life, experience and relationships – it’s all about relationships. Negotiation Mastery removes a lot of conflict, resolving things you might usually dread, so you can enjoy the moment. Win-Win – successful outcomes and relationships for all is wellbeing.
What do you think is the most important thing someone can take away from Negotiation Mastery?
To apply the negotiation techniques in the book to everyday situations, to every aspect of life and all relationships. People get into habits fighting with those around them, especially the ones they love – when we should be allies. I want this book to be for everyone from the hardnosed to hippy-types. I want nice people to get their goal and give them the muscle they need to achieve that. And I want the bullying types to realise they’re not really getting the results they want and be nicer. I believe reading this book and applying the principles can transform the world.
Find out how to become a winning negotiator and order Simon Horton’s “Negotiation Mastery” today!
You can see the original article on the Baoli website.