How to get Everything you want (16) – The Negotiation

Sometimes in life we cannot just rely on our ability to do math to get what we want, we (have to) ASK for what we want. To me it’s quite good news that someone out there can give me exactly what I want, if I ask for it.

However, the fact that we just need to ask for something is not as important as How we ask? So here it is:

How to get Everything you want (16) – The Negotiation

Let’s get started (this is my personal way of doing things, I’m glad if it helps or entertains people, please don’t like what I say if you don’t. Cheers):

1-Know what you want:

It is a dangerous thing entering a game without knowing what you want. In short, if “grey and emotional” is the situation, you will end up lost, beaten and miserable.

It might take a lot of time swimming in an ocean of information and opinions (especially these days) to even figure out what you/I want. Most of the time the situations are complex or people complicate the situations. There is a model of system thinking which I’ve been using lately to navigate in complex situations – the 5 Level Framework (5LF) – cheesy name, but kinda works:


Let’s imagine we are in a football game – complex thing, 22 people running around and around.

System Level: The system that overrules the “what we want”. In this case the system is football rules, no matter how we play the game, we have to play by the rules.

Success Level: What do you want? How do you define success? In this case score more goals than the opponent (or winning 2-0 or 3-1).

Strategic Level: NOT the strategy, but the Strategic Guidelines that will be used to choose concrete actions to accomplish the mission. In this case different strategies for the match will be listed out. The coach will then prioritise a specific plan, based on the overall goal of the match and the knowledge about his own team and the rival.

Actions Level: The concrete actions that are chosen to move towards defined success. In this case 4-4-2 or 4-3-3  or 4-5-1… formations and/or other strategies.

Tools Level: The tools that support the planning and implementation of the plan. In this case players, balls, shoes, equipment, etc.

If one can successfully plan and execute the 5LF without requiring external resources, there is no negotiation that needs to be done. Case closed. However, if either Strategic Guidelines or Actions Level or Tools Level that needs extra leverage, we need to talk. The Success Level – “Know what you want”, or more importantly “Define what you want” – is the heart of the whole planning process.

2-Know what you opponents/allies want 

It is no less important for the lawyers to prepare the opposite case. Do your homework, awake your inner Sherlock Holmes, use your reasoning ability – the lingo is endless. I hope your opponent is easier to understand than a woman. My favourite is to do the 5LF of the opponents alongside with mine.

However, unless we are in a court with a very smart Judge, I don’t trust reasoning that much, maybe 20%. If you’ve ever been (or watched) a securities trader (they trade stocks and bonds) or observed a hospital, you would see that emotions and personal interests rule this world. I cannot tell how wonderful a ruthless CEO behaved when his child suffering cancer. Seriously, go down to the stock market or the hospital for a day, you won’t trust that reasoning test employers give you anymore. The point is, when you actually enter the room, listen to and watch your opponents/partners/allies, think about his substances: position – (PERSONAL) interests – (PERSONAL) needs – emotions – values – perceptions.

As Hemingway said – “Before you act, listen. Before you react, think”, don’t make assumptions, be aware of your own preconceptions and biases. You can always probe your opponents – Ask “What if…?”

3-Define the common ground of interest 

Now, this is the art of letting someone have it your way, or shall we say Diplomacy.


(Please excuse my hand writing)

There is nothing to negotiate if there is not a common (ground of) interest. Therefore, in many cases, there should be pre-negotiations about the common ground of interest; so that parties will not waste time later on arguing about totally different interests and needs.

Let’s focus on interests, not positions – this philosophy is very effective for both bilateral and multilateral negotiations.

4-Negotiate nicely (but “inflexibly”)

Our best asset is Trust. With Trust life would be so much easier. If your partners/opponents/allies don’t believe in what you say and don’t believe that you will actually do what you promise – NO DEAL.

If they trust you, you have a level of control over the situation. Trust is the ideal situation that we want to build and earn. However, let not lose ourselves. Therefore, work to establish trust with your straight-dealing and honesty, without compromising on substances and without being naive about how far to trust the other side.

The difficult negotiator is charming and inflexible. She/he is NOT loose, rude and doesn’t invent confusion and/or stupid problems.

With my special thanks to Dr Karl-Henrik Robert, Founder – The Natural Step, and Dr Peter Collecott, Former British Ambassador to Brazil, for your coaching of system thinking and diplomacy.

This is Part 16 of my ‘How to get Everything you want’ series, previous parts can be found via links below:

How to get Everything you want (THEN WHAT?)

Part 1: Every (great) thing in life starts with a vision. Create your vision!

Part 2: Count what you have AND what you don’t yet have; be grateful for both!

Part 3: Take a walk

Part 4: Create your A—>B agenda. Stick to it.

Part 5: Do your homework. Research. Get to know-how (at least theoretically).

Part 6: Differentiate between pure fairy tales and ambitious (but doable) dreams.

Part 7: When you get stuck, unplug yourself from work for a while, go out and enjoy life. Set yourself time to come back to work.

Part 8: DO your best everyday (for yourself first), the rest will come.

Part 9: Select the people that you keep (closely) around yourself.

Part 10: Be patient while accumulating (please don’t be patient sitting there doing nothing).

Part 11: Be happy living frugally, then (one day) you can have it all and will still be happy, then (one day) you may lose everything and will still be happy.

Part 12: Test yourself to see if you have what it takes to get Everything you want.

Part 13: Be Remarkable, create things that are closest to perfection, pay attention to detail.

Part 14: Habits are powerful. Create some good ones.

Part 15: Go with the flow

– Skye

Love and a little light

The emotion of Love brings out, and develops, the artistic and the the aesthetic nature of man. It leaves its impress upon one’s very soul, even after the fire has ben subdued by time and circumstances.

Memories of Love never pass. They linger, guide, and influence long after the source of the stimulation has faded. There is nothing new in this. Every person, who has been moved by Genuine Love, knows that it leaves enduring traces upon the human heart. The effect of Love endures, because love is spiritual in nature. The man who cannot be stimulated to great heights of achievement by Love, is hopeless – he is dead, though he may seem to live.

Even the memories of Love are sufficient to lift one to a higher plane of creative effort. The major force of Love may spend itself and pass away, life a fire which has burnt itself out, but it leaves behind indelible marks as evidence that it passed that way. Its departure often prepares the human heart for a still greater Love.

Let’s go back into our yesterday, and bathe our minds in the beautiful memories of past Love. It will soften the influence of the present worries and annoyances. It will give us a source of escape from the unpleasant realities of life, and maybe – who knows – our minds will yield to us, during this temporary retreat into the world of fantasy, ideas, or plans which may change our lives for good, forever.


If you believe yourself unfortunate, because you have “loved and lost”, perish the thought. One has loved truly, can never lose entirely. Love is whimsical and temperamental. Its nature is ephemeral, and transitory. It comes when it pleases, and goes away without warning. Accept and enjoy it when it remains, but spend no time worrying about its departure. Worry will never bring it back.

Dismiss, also, the thought that Love never comes but once. Love may come and go, times without number, but there are no two Love experiences which affect one in just the same way. There may be, and there usually is, one Love experience which leaves a deeper imprint on the heart than all the others; but all Love experiences are beneficial, except to the person who becomes resentful and cynical when Love makes its departure. No experience, which touches the human heart with a spiritual force, can possibly be harmful, except through ignorance, and jealousy.

– Napoleon Hill

One scientific future of the world

The problem is real: The incremental increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has led to global warming and climate change. Why? Because “CO2 causes warming, it’s basic physic that has been known for more than a century, it’s pretty straightforward – If you put more CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere it will get warmer, there’s no way around”, said Professor Eric Wolff, University of Cambridge.

Why should we care?

Global warming and human induced climate change are dangerous threats to human existence. Scientists and researchers, for instance Colin et al. (2015), have been arguing that the current Syria civil war and refugee crisis are results of a historic drought caused by climate change and global warming in the region. The draught was identified as the main cause to the shocking mass migration to Syrian urban areas, which resulted in resources constraints, unemployment, crimes and civil conflicts. What happens in Syria today demonstrates a possible dark future of humanity if climate change and global warming are unstoppable.

Syria: children speak from Zaatari refugee camp - video

However, since 1988, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been continuously higher than the upper safety limit, which is 350 parts per million (ppm) and has increased by more than 2% every year (Hansen et al., 2010). According to CO2NOW (2014), 91% percent of humanity’s CO2 in 2010 came from fossil fuels burning and cement production; the rest came from land use change and deforestation. To breakdown further, 2013 CO2 emissions were constituted by coal (43%), oil (33%), gas (18%), cement (5.5%) and gas flaring (0.6%).

Good news: There are solutions. For instance, one of the critical solutions to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is to replace all current fossil fuels based vehicles with the next generation of transportation that is powered by renewable energy. The systematic solution should be a completed product-service cycle, in which includes: sustainable ­­­energy generation, energy storage (battery), electrical automotive design and manufacturing, infrastructure, recycle. Sustainable energy generation such as wind and solar, and energy storage on a larger scale can also serve as alternatives to traditional energy solutions – coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro. “No incremental CO2, that’s the future we need to have”, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (2015) addressed in the debut event of Tesla power-wall, the battery pack that stores energy generated by solar panels.

– Skye