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  • Posts Tagged ‘Negotiations’

    Persuading Pyongyang: A Non-Confidential Memo for the Trump-Kim Talks

    April 19th, 2018  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

    Persuading Pyongyang: A Non-Confidential Memo for the Trump-Kim Talks

    By Jasper Kim

    Jasper Kim, JD/MBA, is the author of Persuasion: The Hidden Forces That Influence Negotiations (Routledge 2018). He is a lawyer, former investment banker, and Director of the Center for Conflict Management at Ewha University in Seoul, Korea. He was a former visiting scholar at Harvard University and Stanford University. Follow him on Twitter: @JasperKim101.
     
    APG note: this blog is a partial version of the full CNN article found here.
     
    The two most dramatic political figures in modern history—US president Donald Trump and the DPRK’s Kim Jong Un—have agreed in principle to meet in face-to-face negotiations. Will the Trump-Kim talks lead to an epic battle with only one man standing to claim victory? Or could the first talks between a sitting US president and North Korea’s leader culminate towards cooperation?
     
    To Trump, who famously quipped that “Everything is negotiable,” he likely sees the talks as transactional within the broader strokes of the “art of the deal.” Trump’s background hails from the world of high stakes real estate deals in New York. A leader knowingly or unknowingly takes such experience and outlook to higher office. This may be why Trump believes he must always exude uber-confidence and strength. The world, as viewed from his purview, exists in a Hobbesian state, a law of the jungle that can fluctuate wildly and precariously. Thus, his modus operandi is: a good offense is the best defense. No middle ground exists. You are either in the fight club or not.
     
    All the while, Kim Jong Un is watching. So what could North Korea’s Supreme Leader be thinking regarding the prospect of negotiating with Trump who previously proclaimed, “I’m really a great negotiator, I know how to negotiate, I like making deals”? It could be that Kim now views Trump with an increasing level of recognition and respect, formed by watching the commander-in-chief in action since taking office. Based on such observations from Kim’s line of sight, when it comes to the use of possible force, Trump seems like he could truly mean what he says. And this could be the ultimate wake-up call for Kim. If a Stalinist-inspired leader understands one thing, it is the use of force.
     
    A fear factor is also at play within such recognition and respect. In fact, the fear factor is arguably what is driving Kim and Trump together towards the same path of direct talks. They both, albeit reluctantly, now fear and respect each other to the point where neither one sees a more viable option than entering into negotiations. In an ironic twist, both also share similar negotiation tactics. Trump and Kim have each made audacious claims towards a course of action, from constructing walls to launching missile tests, that embolden key domestic audiences. They may not like or trust one other, but Trump and Kim can certainly understand each other.
     
    In a high-stakes negotiation game of one-on-one, tit-for-tat, one-upsmanship, both Trump and Kim increased their rhetoric to the seemingly very outer limits. This was their way of stress-testing the other’s mettle. But neither has blinked in this ultimate game of chicken set at the world stage for all to see. However, perhaps intentionally or accidentally, such actions and fear factor have led to an unlikely state of mutual recognition and respect. Both view the other as having the real potential to take action if perceived as being ignored, slighted, or disrespected. At the same time, Kim and Trump realize that a possible next step in escalation across a fuzzy, undefined, and blurry redline would not yield any benefit for either side. Crossing such redline would lead to a more than likely mutually-assured destruction (MAD) outcome. Of course, based on iterated war game simulations, the US would win such a conflict. But the more calibrated question is: “win” at what cost, economically, reputationally, and in terms of how many lives lost?
     
    From Kim Jong Un’s perspective, his world is a Stalinist world largely frozen in time since the 1950-53 Korean War. Like Trump, Kim also sees the world in Hobbesian terms. To protect himself and his homeland, Kim wants nuclear weapons as a protective shield, similar to how a person may want a gun to safeguard his or her home. Kim also wants economic assistance to protect himself and those loyal to him. But the savvy negotiator’s question is not “what” a person wants, but “why” a person wants it. Such framing shift prompts a negotiation paradigm shift from a competitive (distributive, win-lose) mindset to a cooperative (integrative, win-win) mindset.
     
    Given this, the fundamental questions should also shift from positional-based questions—such as the number of nuclear weapons North Korea may want, or the number of US troops remaining in South Korea—to instead ask “why” interest-based questions often hiding and lurking underneath such positions. Why, for instance, would a secluded state want nuclear weapons, akin to why would a person want a weapon for protection at home? If it is fear of aggression, what is the best solution to remedy such fear? These are often the invisible influencers in a negotiation Yet despite Trump and Kim’s seeming positional differences, both share some common interests, from selflessly altruistic to purely self-focused. These range from securing peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region to cementing their respective legacies.
     

     

    Relationships in Asian Negotiations: Knowing What You Want (To Get What You Want)

    August 21st, 2014  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

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    Do you value all relationships equally for the Asia-Pacific markets?
     
    Your answer should be no. We may all have a sense and have been told that relationships dealing with Confucian cultures are important. But the better question is, “Why do place value on relationships?” It is generally for the expected value (EV) derived or desired relating to a particular relationship where negotiation, persuasion, and influence may be needed. Your relationship calculation is based on all the information available to you (both public and non-public).
     
    Thus prioritize the relationships into the following matrix:
    Y axis (Time): Short-term, Medium-term, and Long-term
    X axis (EV): Low, Medium, and High
     
    The strategic question is thus, “Which matrix box does your relationship fit in?”
     
    The higher your EV, the more resources in terms of time, energy, and economics should be invested into the relationship. Conversely, if your relationship EV is low, then you should strategically minimize your exposure for the sake of the relationship.
     
    Your family will likely have a high relationship EV. The person selling you a used hat at the local flea market will likely have a low relationship EV. Your relationship EV calculation should be done in the preparation (pre-negotiation) stage. This is then constantly calibrated as more information and details become available and are incorporated into your EV matrix.
     
    This strategy in effect reverse engineers your desired relationship outcome. You first decide what you expect and/or aspire towards in the relationship, and then work backwards to step one.
     
    Your relationship EV calculation will clarify exactly what relationship you want, incorporating why you want such relationship level.

     
     
     
    If interested in how Asia-Pacific Global Research Group’s consultancy and training expertise can help your organization, CONTACT US HERE.
     

    Trust-Building in Negotiations: Key Points

    July 23rd, 2014  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

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    How do you establish trust in negotiations?
     
    How to establish trust is the source of much attention in the negotiation field. This makes sense, since for many, negotiation success is largely driven by the level of trust established between the parties.
     
    A. Being Aware of Your Negotiation Trust Level

     
    The first step towards establishing trust is a keen understanding and awareness of the exact level of trust among the negotiation parties.
     
    Three Levels of Trust:
     
    According to Accordence, three levels of trust-related elements exist:
    1. Rapport: This represents the initial negotiation stage. It involves mostly superficial exchanges between the parties. Examples include shaking hands, exchanging contact details, and superficial level of information exchange. Here, no duty to the relationship exists.
    2. Reciprocity: This represents the mid-tier negotiation stage. It involves more substantive exchanges between the parties. Examples include a “give and take” in terms of information, and communication attempts seeking clarity regarding negotiation positions (“what” is being sought) and interests (“why” such positions are being sought). Here, a testing of the relationship occurs.
    3. Trust: This represents the upper-tier negotiation stage. It involves substantive exchanges between the parties. Such exchanges do not always need to be an equal quid pro quo. Even if a misunderstanding or good faith mistake occurs by one party, a benefit of the doubt is usually given by the counterparty. Here, both parties are working for the sustainable benefit of the working relationship.
     
    B. Establishing Trust Through the Likeness Theory:

     
    One such approach is the “likeness theory.” The likeness theory states what many of us may already instinctual believe to be true. That is, parties tend to trust others who are similar to themselves.
     
    This may seem obvious, but it has real potential upside in your negotiations. Beyond the superficial differences, seek specific (over general) similarities with your negotiation counterparties. Doing so, will help to accelerate and further trust. If not done, studies have shown that tendencies towards negative “biases” exist that may have the exact opposite of effect, that is,of acting as barriers to establishing trust. Such biases, according to the studies, include gender and racial stereotypes.
     
    Executive Summary:
     
    Keep in mind the three stages of trust. Awareness of which specific trust stage you and your negotiation team is in may help to determine your future negotiation strategies. Also have an expected value (EV) calculation in terms of the value of the counterparty relationship. If it is high, your aspirational negotiation stage should commensurately also be high. Thus, more effort and resources should be expended towards the relationship. Conversely, if it is low, then your aspirational negotiation stage should commensurately also be low. Thus, less effort and resources should be expended towards the relationship.

     
     
     
    If interested in how Asia-Pacific Global Research Group’s consultancy and training expertise can help your organization, CONTACT US HERE.
     

    Hidden Meanings in Negotiations: 5 1/2 Things to Know

    June 21st, 2014  by  Asia-Pacific Global Research Group - Jasper Kim

    Negotiation
     
    Negotiation is based on communication. Communication, in turn, is based on verbal and non-verbal communication.
     
    Science and studies have led to some startling and valuable findings that may provide “hidden meanings” for your negotiations.
     
    They include the following:
     
    1. Opposites: Some expressions when said are signals that mean the opposite of what is being said. Examples include, “In my humble opinion…” and “Although I sympathize with your opinion..”
     
    2. Prenouncements: Prenouncements are neuro-linguistic cues. Examples include “As you are aware,” “Before I forget,” “Incidentally,” and “By the way.” When these terms are verbally communicated, it can signal to the listener that an important fact or opinion (potential game changer) may follow such expressions, hence the term prenouncement (words prior to an important announcement).
     
    3. Legitimizers: Legitimizers are terms used that attempt to legitimize a subsequent statement. Examples include “Frankly,” “Honestly,” and “To be honest.” Ironically, such terms used to justify a subsequent statement may be a hidden clue that this may not necessarily be true.
     
    4. Justifiers: Justifiers are linguistic terms used to prepare the listener for failure or not meeting expectations. Examples include “I’ll try my best” and “We’ll see what we can do.” As a countermeasure, the listener should then try to recalibrate the expectation value (in negotiation jargon, aspiration point) upwards.
     
    5. Erasers: Erasers are words used that completely reverse (negate) some, most, or all of what was just said. The main two examples are “But” and “However.” From a neuro-linguistic perspective, the listener remembers very little of what was said prior to such eraser verbiage. Instead, try using “At the same time,” or “Having said that.”
     
    5 1/2. Deceptions: Decepter linguistics are terms that serve to disguise the true knowledge or skill-set of the negotiator. Examples include “I didn’t graduate from a big name school, but” and “Although I’m not an expert.”
     
    Excerpts inspired in part from Secrets in Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson.
     
     
     
    If interested in how Asia-Pacific Global Research Group’s consultancy and training expertise can help your organization, CONTACT US HERE.