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Its a scene that crops up in a thousand trashy television cop shows Crouching behind a tight cordon of panda cars the weather-beaten SWAT team leader complete with cap bulletproof vest and loud-hailer looks up to the third-floor window clears his throat and announces You might as well give yourself up Kowalski weve got the place surrounded His craggy face is bathed in the soft amber glow of the street light and a small bead of sweat moves slowly down his temple Kowalski a wily old stager with deep pockmarks and a broken nose is having none of it After all he has the rather attractive blonde hostage securely tied up and there happens to be a fridge full of beer in the office hes holed up in So its a complete stalemate Kowalski and his nemesis are simply going to have to start negotiating In this case negotiation is more likely to be resolved in a bloody shoot-out In the workplace of course negotiations generally dont tend to be conducted under such tense or dangerous circumstances They do however take place on a daily even hourly basis In fact they have become such a regular and ingrained part of working life that participants can readily enter into them without even realising thats what theyre doing Before we proceed it is probably worth defining our terms or at least borrowing a definition from personnel consultant Alan Fowlers book Negotiating Persuading and Influencing Fowler explains that negotiation occurs whenever there is an issue that cannot be resolved by one person acting alone it occurs when the two or more people who have to be involved begin with different views on how to proceed or have different aims for the outcome There are two situations in which negotiation does not or cannot occur when one of the persons immediately agrees to what the Other is asking or suggesting and when one
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