Category Archives: Blatant self promo

Signing Up for Steamit

William Mougayar mentioned Steamit as a platform that incorporates a cryptocurrency wallet in its app. That intrigued me, and so I am signing up for the service.

My hope is that Steamit will provide me one more way to shrae content that I create here and that I can access great new content as well. I will report back as I get into it.


Being Kind is not a Sign of Weakness!

Where does our understanding of kindness come from? Is it, for example, the act of weak people trying to avoid conflict? Appeasement? Or is it a more fundamental expression of strength? We can be kind when we are confident in our own furture.

Kevin Durant is a kind person. Yes, you heard that right. Durant, who just nailed the stake in the hearts of the Cavs “seek to repeat” superstars, believes in kindness. Is he weak? Check out this video to learn more.

The Answer is “Yes”, Now what is the Question?

The title of this post reflects the good old “can do” attitude.

It is an attitude that most people would say oepns doors to success. A willingness to believe that “yes” is possible, no matter how difficult the challenge signals a view to adding value.

It is what made Zappos customer service legendary. 

The yes here is a !big” yes. The yes that connects us. The yes that enggaes us. The follow up is how to get there – the practical stuff.

From the opposite perspective, Steve Jobs (perhaps getting the idea from business guru Peter Drucker) said that in order to be great, we need to say no to good stuff. Hmmm … does this contradict the yes first ideaa?

You might think of this as two different moments in time. The big yes comes first to produce engagement – a path. Once you are on the path, you take it, saying no to distraction.

Got that?

International Negotiation Workshop Summary

We wound up our second international negotiation workshop here in Tartu last Thusday. Yesterday, I was still in teaching mode, as one student had missed a day, and I sat with him one on one to help him catch up. So today, I can finally reflect for a moment on what we have learned.

First, everyone who comes through this course agrees that approaching negotiation skills with a model in hand enables people to learn skills faster. That is what we offer here, and each time we offer this course, I believe in this approach more.

Second, people often think that because they are confident speakers, they have a leg up in negotiating. In fact, their confidence in speaking may be a hindrance to seeing the “negotiation meaning” in given situations. Seeing the strategic element is a mental rather than verbal challenge.

Third, with higher level negotiation skills, people get better at teamwork. The spillover effect is immediate. And given the ever growing importance of working in teams — whether in a single geographic setting or distributed across the globe — this  is great to know.

Fourth, leadership is more and more seen as ongoing dialogue rather than decision/ifnormingroutine. That ongoing dialogue is a type of negotiation that stretches out over years. For that reason, negotiation skills and leadership skills are intertwined.

As always, transferring ideas in a classroom remains our main obsession. We are getting pretty good at it, and I took away lots of thoughts about how we can do it better in the next cycle.


Comfort Zones, Creativity and Negotiation

We just finished our second day of the Tartu InternationlNegotiatoin Workshop yesterday, and the day was spent talking about how to think.

Not just any thinking. But how to think strategically in order to build shared solutions. Doing that puts you in the right frame of mind to start negotiating.

There is a huge amount to be said about this. And sadly, our cultures tend not to emphasize these things. We might watch adventure movies — which all have a strategic component to the storyline —- but in the real world, most of us cling to certainty. We don’t like venturing very far from our comfort zones.

Greg Satell writes about the need to adjust from that and emerge from our comfort zones in order to begin seeing opportunities.

He has a point.  We get comfortable by expanding our belief framework about the things around us. So a home is more than just a building. This is a natural tendancy and a valuable one. But it should not be the only one that we nurture.

So how do we break out? We can do what Greg did and go to a strange environment that does not offer the things that make us comfortable. Mankind has been talkin gabout and writing about this sort of adventure from our earliest days. Or we can simply start learning how to ask questions about the beliefs that we hold dearly. Why are they important? What gives them their value?

Asking this type of quesiton in a series allows you to drill down to core values. That opens the door to alternative ways of realizing those values.

And that is why negotiators tend to be very good at asking questions.

Executive Communication Anyone?

We start our annual international negotiation workshop today, so I will be a bit busy this week. Today is the first day where we are mainly getting oriented.

The key questions that we talk about today is why we focus on this topic at all? What is the big deal about raising communication standards? Why is negotiation important?

Could it be that we are just wasting our time?

Stay tuned!

Getting Smart in Tallinn

I spent yesterday in Tallinn at a conference on “legal tech”, a topic that I am confident will not excite many readers.

The weird thing is that it does not inspire many lawyers either. Lawyers have good reason to be that way. Legal tech threatens to make many legal services cheaper. And as legal bills shrink, the lifestyles of at least some lawyers get less fancy.

This is not a new story. But there are some new twists to the story.  One of these twists involves access to legal advice. AI powered search does not yet rival human legal advisory services in all areas. The key word is “yet”. Applying AI thinking to legal search is in its infancy. So it is no surprise that it is very, very limited. The question is not whether it will start replacing lawyers in certain areas. It is, rather, how quickly this will happen.

And that process will not be driven by lawyers. It will be driven by users of legal services who are less and less willing to suffer the same old inefficient and expensive human alternative.

Here is the weird thing about the conference. While we know that users will drive this process, there were no users presenting at the conference. It was lawyer dominated. Well, it is a nice start.