The Meaning of Liff (Part 2)

Published: Apr 02 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith


Few weeks ago we asked readers to submit words (made up ones) and their definitions as part of a tongue in cheek exploration of a new vocabulary for the seasoned negotiator to describe behaviours, activities, tricks and techniques they have encountered whilst participating in the noble art of negotiation.

Regular readers may recall that we suggested that linguists and philosophers recognize that language defines reality. The way we talk about a subject  creates the landscape in which that subject lives. Just as we are often said to be what we eat, we are in many respects are what we say.

We had some great entries for which we are grateful and listed below are our favourite top 5.

Blunderbuss (n)  – situation when the other side sits close enough opposite you that you can read their wish list upside down (Noel Penrose)

Whatawhata (n) – Embarrassing situation where the other party has said something obviously important to them, but you and your team have not the slightest clue what they mean and are too embarrassed to ask (again). (Jörg Sturmhoebel)

Cymbaldon (n)  – someone who only has 1 point and keeps banging on about it (Angus Clarke)

Professionull (n)  - a negotiator whose negotiation style repertoire includes three core strategies:
1) aggression,
2) intimidation, and
3) nothing else...

(Matt Lohmeyer)

Sudavtoldem (n) – situation when not revealing your priorities does not work in your best interests. (John McCabe).

Our favourite is Cymbaldon by a short nose, so congratulations to Angus Clarke, a bottle of Champagne will be winging its way to you shortly.

Incidentally if someone has only one point and keeps going on about it, check to see that is the only point that needs to be resolved by trial closing on it, ask yourself if there are any circumstances under which that point could be resolved and the big question is what could you trade for it if you demonstrate flexibility on that issue.

Happy Easter to you all.

Alan Smith


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Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

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Who is Going to Pick the Fruit?

It’s amazing how many people go into negotiations with no clear idea about their bottom line. “We’ll see how it goes,” seems to be the rather naïve thought and of course they leave themselves open to the risk of a really poor and unprofitable deal at the end of it. It is empowering to know your bottom line, especially when you have internal agreement at senior level. Think about it: the other side are aggressively demanding that you improve your terms, but you know that what they are asking for is beyond your bottom line.

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