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Behavioural Negotiation

Posted by Ross Paull on August 18, 2015

There’s a relatively new field of economics called Behavioural Finance which studies the influence of psychology on human behaviour in financial decision-making. It seeks to explain why we behave irrationally.

Interestingly, a similar type of irrationality can creep in when we negotiate. It starts with what psychologists call “heuristic cues”. We all use them because we’re wired to and they strongly influence our perceptions, interpretations and judgments.

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Using technology to negotiate and mediate

Posted by Ross Paull on July 17, 2015

It’s been an interesting few months reading about the negotiations regarding the financial crisis in Greece so it’s topical to compare and contrast different approaches to negotiating.

As per our Mission Statement, Guided Resolution’s cornerstone reference model is Interests-Based Negotiation (IBN), the same framework that mediators use to establish a non-adversarial pathway to resolving conflict.

A variety of names are used to describe this form of negotiation with ‘principled’, ‘integrative’ and ‘win/win’ being the most common.

The key to this method is that it focuses on mutual interests and can yield a better outcome for both parties through equal participation, information sharing and creative thinking.

There is a very funny scene in the comedy movie “The Hangover” which illustrates IBN being successfully practiced in unusual circumstances.

During a bachelor party weekend in Las Vegas, the protagonists had stolen a police car were being interrogated by the unhappy sheriffs responsible for the vehicle.

The sheriffs informed them that they wouldn’t be fronting a Judge until Monday morning, which meant they would miss their friend’s wedding.

In response, Bradley Cooper’s character says:

“I’m not a cop, I’m not a hero, I’m a school teacher but if one of my kids went missing on a school trip that would look really bad on me…no one wants to look bad. We’ve got to get to a wedding and you guys don’t need people talking about us obnoxious tourists who borrowed your squad car last night…I think we can work out a deal, discreetly of course Ma’am, what do you say?”.

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Tweaking our Tweeting

Posted by Ross Paull on October 10, 2014

Is anyone else struck by the declining standards of public discourse that has accompanied new social media?

People seem quick to aggressively attack the individual instead of their underlying argument. Everything becomes highly personal and it sets a terrible example for the rest of us on how to deal with conflicting points of view. The saying, “play the ball, not the man” now seems very old school.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Online Conflict

Posted by Ross Paull on June 16, 2014

The prefix ‘alternative’ in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been used to differentiate the process from the legal profession; and rightly so, because the two are indeed the ‘yin’ and the ‘yang’ as shown in Figure 1.

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The musket gun in Strata Management land

Posted by Ross Paull on June 11, 2014

This week, I spoke briefly at a conference for people who manage strata schemes, live in strata communities, or provide services for them. I kicked-off my talk with some ‘BGOs’…Blinding Glimpses of the Obvious:

  • First, the widespread saturation of the internet in contemporary living is a given;
  • Second, the mainstreaming of online systems for personal and business applications is now the norm, and
  • The final BGO…dealing with conflict situations is a pervasive part of a Strata Manager’s lot in life!
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Prompting empathy to counter bias

Posted by Ross Paull on June 2, 2014

‘Perspective-taking’ is a fancy way to describe the active consideration of alternative viewpoints. Put simply, it means to show empathy and doing so can chip away at ‘de-biasing’ one’s thoughts and prevent the use of unhelpful social stereotypes. For example, in negotiating with a Scotsman, a classic stereotype to draw upon would be that he is inherently frugal…why else would he make such a low-ball offer?

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Is it that hard to pick up the phone?

Posted by Ross Paull on April 24, 2014

I recently found out the hard way why I need to trade my Nokia for one of those new fangled iPhones. My 3 o’clock was a no show so I called to see where they were. Apparently, they sent me an email at 2.50pm to cancel. So…why didn’t they call?

It seems people no longer telephone to cancel meetings – they email – in my case, shortly before the actual meeting. For me, the penny had finally dropped that the old Nokia mobile has become a powerful symbol of falling behind the times and was a relic from the 1990’s. The evidence is more than anecdotal that:

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