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Simon Usherwood @Usherwood
, 15 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
In the absence of any big Brexit news today (pace 'no-deal' contingency notices), a couple of thoughts on how to negotiate constructively:

Common view of negotiations is that it's about winning/doing better than the other lot.

This is a zero-sum view: anything they get, I must be losing.

I'm sure you can find your own real-world examples of such thinking

Partly it's common because we negotiate over the price of things, so it looks zero-sum-y

Partly, it's because people tend to be a bit competitive [cough]

Any way, and rather obviously, I'll argue that this zero-sum view isn't very helpful or stable

Instead, it is much more constructive to think of a negotiation as an exercise in problem-solving

I'm not trying to beat you; I'm trying to help us find an answer to the problem in front of us

That has various important consequences on how you act

Most obviously, it requires you to understand that 'they' have interests too, so you're going to have to think about, and act upon, them

If I can get inside your head and understand how you see the problem, then I have a better chance to finding a mutually-acceptable solution

So that points to being more open about what you want, so they can understand it better

But it also means that you have to separate the people from the problem: just because they're annoying, doesn't mean you can't try to solve the problem. Although you do have to actively police the split between the two

And finally, it means seeing that gains/benefits can be shared. Indeed, in practice, most negotiations are positive-sum: both parties can win

I mention this as we head into the deep summer, not only as a reminder of how UK-EU talks might progress, but also the discussion w/in the UK.

Rather than just shutting your ears to those you disagree with, try to understand why that is: maybe then you'll have more chance of finding some common ground and an outcome that works for everyone

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