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How to negotiate – and get nowhere 13 Feb 2012
ON 14 JANUARY the Dominion Post published a photograph showing representatives of the Myanmar Government and representatives of the Guerrilla Army of the Karen People.
 
Separating them was a 2 metre wide table. Presumably the table was nice and wide to prevent anyone stretching over and throttling someone on the other side. The article stated that the parties had been involved in the world’s longest running war.
 
We’re not surprised if this is how they negotiate.
 
The photo shows how not to negotiate. If you want to reach an agreement, surely sitting opposite each other as adversaries is not going to help.
 
When negotiating, mix the parties so they sit next to each other. Take away the adversarial atmosphere and promote a working together feeling.
 
A similar situation exists when interviewing. When job hunting, if you can carefully move your chair so it is at the side of the desk instead of opposite the interviewer, you could improve your chances of success.

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