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Message from the Director

The Art of Negotiation, Part 1

The news of copying unabashedly in the competitive exams recently made the headlines and I was reminded of my school days. Without an ounce of arrogance, I can say that I had never copied. Or rather, being caught copying and getting rusticated from school prevented me from trying such an adventurous feat.

However, I can proudly state that I had succeeded in taking the art of copying used by my classmates to another level. Those were the days when I had just launched ICPA. And within a few days of the launch, I realized that one of the most difficult, but inevitable things about being an entrepreneur or businessman is knowing how to negotiate.

Having been a voracious reader, I read books by the dozen, all those DIY and self-help books on the art of negotiation. I agreed with the notion that, “Negotiation means getting the best of your opponent” but I still sought practical insight and not a theoretical one. After a lot of mulling, I decided to go back to school and take a leaf out of that life! Yeah! You’ve got it right. Copying! But there is a twist to it. Read on!

What did I do? Oh well! I decided to literally use my hands-on experience of watching my friends copying! i.e. I used my palms. I would use them as a reminder by writing on them. Palm faced inwards where I could see what I had written.

And, rather than writing what points to speak or talk about, I would write down the things that I should NOT talk about!

People clasped their hands to feel empowered and confident. I clasped my fingers for the same effect!I boldly lived by the adage of not negotiating out of fear but, definitely not fearing to negotiate!

Today, I often sit alone and smile at those times when after our business meet,the person sitting on the opposite side confessed that they had agreed to terms which they had firmly decided not to, before I had stepped into their office.



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