CHAPTER 2 The Negotiation Clock Face

“There is no right, no wrong, no good, and no bad way to negotiate. Only that which is appropriate to your circumstances.”

Steve Gates

To make sense of how different approaches to negotiation could serve us, and because each negotiation presents a unique challenges, I developed a model called the Negotiation Clock Face. This model was born out of a commercial project I undertook to research and explore the many philosophies being advocated by so called gurus, academics, authors, consultancies, and, importantly, the group of organizations that I represented for at that time, to define what is meant by “world class negotiation.”


Figure 2.1 The clock face.

The definitions on the right-hand side of the clock face represent competitive negotiations based on those involved distributing a finite amount of value between them. It symbolizes transactional dialogs with lower levels of trust and fewer issues regarded as important enough to negotiate. This means that those on the right are tougher to negotiate in nature and are either win–lose or competitive forms of negotiation. So the process is going to be positional and potentially confrontational. The pie is only so big and it’s simply a case of how it gets distributed.

Those definitions on the left-hand side of the clock face provide for more cooperation where collaborative negotiations lead ...

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