The Post-COVID Era of Negotiation

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Post-COVID Era of Negotiation. The summary for this episode is: <p>How has COVID-19 affected negotiation? What will change moving forward? How has it impacted communication and technology? While COVID-19 has changed the world in numerous ways, Keld Jensen points out that change was happening well before a global pandemic shut the world down. Hear his take on the future of negotiation in this episode of&nbsp;<em>Negotiations Ninja</em>.&nbsp;</p><h2>Outline of This Episode</h2><ul><li>[2:20] The European Union and AstraZeneca</li><li>[7:59] How negotiation may change&nbsp;</li><li>[15:03] The erosion of trust in negotiation&nbsp;</li><li>[19:25] The importance of relationships</li><li>[20:44] The world of technology</li><li>[25:16] Adapting to new technology</li><li>[31:38] The speed of change</li><li>[32:56] How to connect with Keld Jensen</li></ul><h2>Resources &amp; People Mentioned</h2><ul><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">World Commerce &amp; Contracting</a></li><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Dr. David Matsumoto</a></li><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Pactum AI</a></li><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">IntelleXt</a></li><li><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Crystal Knows</a></li></ul><h2>Connect with Keld Jensen</h2><ul><li>Keld’s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">Website</a></li><li>Connect on&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">LinkedIn</a></li><li>Keld’s&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">YouTube Channel</a></li></ul><h2>Connect With Mark</h2><ul><li>Follow Negotiations Ninja on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">@NegotiationPod</a></li><li>Connect with Mark&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">on LinkedIn</a></li><li>Follow Negotiations Ninja&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">on LinkedIn</a></li><li>Connect on Instagram:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);">@NegotiationPod</a></li></ul><p><a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(51, 122, 183);"><strong>Subscribe to Negotiations Ninja</strong></a></p>
The European Union and AstraZeneca
05:03 MIN
How negotiation may change
07:16 MIN
The erosion of trust in negotiation
04:25 MIN
The importance of relationships
01:14 MIN
The world of technology
04:35 MIN
Adapting to new technology
06:24 MIN
The speed of change
01:12 MIN
How to connect with Keld Jensen
00:35 MIN

Mark: Welcome to the Negotiations Ninja Podcast where we develop and deliver the most engaging negotiation content and training in the world. We host negotiation, experts, business people and entrepreneurs and discuss what works, what doesn't work and how we can improve our negotiation skills. Listeners welcome, thank you so much for joining me you've got Mark here. My guest today is the incredible and amazing Keld Jensen. He is the guy that wrote the book on trust in negotiations. Literally the guy that wrote the book on trust in the negotiations, and I love talking to him because he brings such unique insights, such unique depth to the conversation. He is passionate about this subject. He's passionate about negotiation. And some of the things we've been talking about is how has COVID- 19 going to be affecting negotiations going forward. And we cover everything in that today. Communication, technology, how the European Union has negotiated deals with AstraZeneca. It's just a fascinating conversation all around. You're going to want to definitely have a conversation with Keld Jensen. And I want to get your thoughts on things. We started a text community that's really, really important to us to be able to share ideas. So once you listened to this share your ideas with me. Text# negotiation to 587- 315- 5948 and shoot me your ideas on what we discussed today. Thanks so much and enjoy this episode with Keld Jensen. Keld Jensen we made it man, here we are after a few back and forth's on scheduling. You're here, I'm here we're having a discussion how are you?

Keld Jensen: I'm doing well. Thank you for inviting me my favorite ninja.

Mark: Well, listen I always have a great time having a discussion with you because you bring so much depth to the conversation. You do a ton of research and just so the listeners know prior to getting Keld on the call here, him and I we're having a discussion about COVID- 19 and not just the effects on negotiation, but also the effects on some agreements that have been made. Keld has done some research on the agreement between the European Union and AstraZeneca and some alarming findings Keld.

Keld Jensen: Yes, it was slightly shocking to read it actually because it was far from perfect. It was an agreement that was made back in June 2020 between EU and AstraZeneca as the listeners might know, we in a situation where several governments, countries, regions around the world is not getting what they expecting. And if I look into that contract, that contract really explains why they're not getting it because it's really bad procurement and negotiation work from especially European Union. So it's actually surprising reading I have to say,

Mark: The intention of the conversation wasn't to go down this route, but I find it super interesting so let's go down this route. What were some of the glaring things that stood out to you in the agreement?

Keld Jensen: Well, there was several things. One of the things was there was an upfront payment from EU to AstraZeneca €336 million. And there was no requirement for whatever AstraZeneca should do in order to receive that payment. So that was just the payment that was built- in. My assumption obviously I haven't been there, but my assumption reading the contract is that EU was really in a panic. So AstraZeneca has probably been saying at the negotiation table," If you want to do anything with us, we have to pay this amount." And by the way Mark there was a funny clause in the contract saying that the amount had to be paid five days after signing the contract into this bank account. And so there was even a very short payment terms built into it. Another thing that is amazing to me is that there are no fines, no penalties whatsoever for AstraZeneca not delivering on time. And there's this wonderful clause that you would love as a former procurement officer Mark and that is, it is stated that AstraZeneca will to their best ability try to deliver, isn't that a wonderful quote? I don't even know what kind of contract they signed. I was actually, I was partly crying and pertly laughing it was remarkable.

Mark: I can just imagine the AstraZeneca guy closing that deal coming back to the office high- fiving everyone in the office just be like,"You'd never believe the deal that I just closed."

Keld Jensen: Yes. Yes. I would assume that was the case.

Mark: Oh man."Not only did we win$ 330 million upfront in a specific bank account within five days, we also guarantee no delivery and there will be no penalties."

Keld Jensen: And there was even another funny clause and you'll laugh about this one as well Mark, it clearly stated that if AstraZeneca is not delivering then EU is not supposed to pay for the non delivery either, isn't that generous of AstraZeneca?

Mark: Wait say that again.

Keld Jensen: So it actually it's said in the contract that in case AstraZeneca is not delivering then EU don't have to pay for the lack of delivery. I think that's very generous.

Mark: Oh man. This reminds me of that old cartoon where you've got these caveman pushing a wagon with square wheels and the one guy with the round wheel comes by and says," Hey, I got this thing it'll help you." And their like," No, no, no, we were too busy were pushing this wagon right now." I picture you as the guy with the round wheel and just like shaking your head being like,"What are you guys doing?"

Keld Jensen: Actually Reuters just published an article yesterday they had done a remarkable good detective work investigating this negotiation or lack of negotiation. And it was actually published yesterday so if you Google it just Reuters and EU AstraZeneca article they actually dive in really deep to analyze what was going on. And they really looked at the characters involved from European Union negotiating and who they are and what they were doing, and basically how that team met at the EU were negotiating. Sometimes it was almost reading like a mafia story, how they're trying to threaten somebody and use the leverage... I would call it abuse the leverage from the EU. I certainly hope that somebody high ranking officers at EU that is sitting down and thinking we need to improve our negotiation skills in this negotiation because this is not going well.

Mark: Well, it sounds like the mafia style negotiation didn't work.

Keld Jensen: No, it didn't work. I guess AstraZeneca was a tougher mafia negotiator than EU in this case Mark.

Mark: I guess so, man. All right. Well, more to come on that because I'm sure once we start analyzing the US agreements, the Canadian agreements, the Asian agreements, we'll start being able to compare notes, which country has the best negotiators.

Keld Jensen: That will be interesting, isn't it? And do you know what Mark, it's so clear to me that that agreement, it seems too that EU are thinking their negotiating with a monopolist, because it's really a deal that has been created with a monopolist. So I don't know whether they were just panicking or they didn't think they had anybody else to negotiate with on what on earth was going on. But basically it seems to me that EU was unilateral concession orientated in basically every single verb.

Mark: For the listeners listening in right now, you can tell why I enjoy chatting with Keld Jansen because this is the level of detail that we get to in the conversations and it's always a fun time. Keld we maybe a little bit late introducing you, but maybe tell the listeners a bit about who you are and what you do. And then let's get into the discussion around COVID.

Keld Jensen: Well, my mission in life since 1998 has really been to try and improve the way we negotiate. And obviously there's so many, many, many good negotiators out there in the world that I'm very impressed with, but there's also a lot of people obviously in the EU as well that could improve the way they negotiate. So my mission in life is really trying to make the world aware that there's a different way we can negotiate differently and we don't have to negotiate the way we always negotiated. And I'm doing that through lecturing, I'm doing that through a keynote speaking, I'm doing that through my position as associate professor at three different universities. And I'm an author as well and have published a number of books on the topic, so that's really what I'm doing.

Mark: Amazing man for the listeners just so that you know when it comes to trust and the concept of trust in negotiations, you're pretty much listening to the guy that wrote the book on many books on that in negotiations. Keld let's get into the discussion right now around how negotiation may or may not have changed. COVID-19 has affected a number of different things obviously with communication, the economy, the markets employment how's it affected negotiation?

Keld Jensen: It's a really interesting topic. I know there was a guy once many years ago who said it's really hard to predict especially about the future. And this is obviously where we are right now because we're trying to predict how are we going to negotiate a year, two years or three years from now. But I've been studying this field and I've been studying together with an organization called World Commerce and Contracting, which is a nonprofit organization with 70,000 members globally. They've been out together with me interviewing these members to try and get a feeling on how we perceive negotiation in the future. And the members of typically procurement officers, legal professionals, negotiators, contract managers, people in that category. And one thing that goes without saying and it's almost a stupid comment you bringing up right now because I'm sure you had that on your show already, but obviously we'll see more online negotiation. But the interesting fact is Mark that we actually saw that a lot even before COVID. I thought that online negotiation was increasing a lot during COVID, but it was already up there. In one of the studies we did, we identified that 70% of all negotiations were predominantly handled online even before COVID. So it shouldn't be a shock to all of us that professionally dealing with negotiations that online negotiating is there and is there to stay because it's been there already it was increasing a lot already. So we will see that obviously will remain, so we'll have a way more online negotiation in the future that we have seen previously. Having said that Mark and I hope and believe that you agree with me, we have to be careful. I'm talking to a lot, especially with CFOs and major corporations that are saying," This is so great. Online negotiation is so cool because we can save on travels and we can save on hotels and we can save time. And it's so great we can do these important deals online and we don't have to ship people off to the other side of the globe. And then I'm usually standing on the table saying," Hey, hang on a second." Because we have to be aware that face to face negotiation will typically deliver a better result than if we're negotiating online. So online negotiation is obviously a great thing and we can use it partially during a negotiation. And we should definitely use it as part of a negotiation but thinking that all negotiation in the future should be online, that's why I'm trying to raise a flag and say," Hey, we got to be careful about that one." Because I do like to meet up with people and shake their hand and when we're able to do that again I look in their eyes. So obviously back to your question online is the thing that we have to relate to. And Mark I hope you agree with me on this one and that is we are not naturally educated just through online negotiation. It's not the same as negotiating face- to- face. And so I actually had an increase amount of requests from my clients around the world saying," Hey, could we just have a crash course on how should we do this thing online?" So what I've been really busy doing the last 10, 11 months is actually doing a lot of online negotiation training because it is different. It's a different animal altogether then sitting in the same conference room and there are certain things we have to deal with.

Mark: I 100% agree with all of those things and in fact it's funny that you're saying that because I just had a conversation with Dr. David Matsumoto he's written a number of different books on a nonverbal communication, sort of a micro- expression guy. And he was telling me that what he's noticed is that the screen is almost becoming this false cover that we perceive. It's giving us a false sense of security that someone can't read our face or can't read our body language. And so we are readily expressing emotions that we shouldn't be expressing on our face that are very easy to read from the counterparty, which is odd because we know logically that there's a camera, someone can see us, but for some reason the subconscious is kicking in saying," You're on the phone. You're not necessarily on the camera." And that transitioned to making sure that you're always being watched is going to be very, very important for people to be able to understand.

Keld Jensen: Very. There was a scary facts that we got out of our study on how much we were negotiating online already. And that was that 40% out of the 70% conducting online negotiation online were actually conducting online negotiation predominantly through email-

Mark: Interesting.

Keld Jensen: ...and that makes it even more complicated. Obviously yes we can negotiate by email and sometimes there's even a benefit in doing it, but it also made stuff complicated, doesn't it. Everything we do in writing is always complicated compared to you talking to people. So 40% out of the 70 were predominantly conducting their negotiations by email. I'm just saying that because I get inspired by what you just said Mark, which I completely agree with that. There's a tendency that we feel we can hide behind the email," I'm not confronting another person. I'm not phasing another person. So I can perhaps even be a little bit more bold and demand something differently if I'm doing it by email, compared to actually meeting somebody in the same conference room."

Mark: So let's make some predictions given that this is a trend that we're seeing, where do you see this going? Do you see this damaging negotiations in the future?

Keld Jensen: Well as you said in the opening Mark one of my cornerstones in negotiation is trust. That's one of the areas that I feel strongly about because I do feel that trust is important if you want to do collaboration. And I'm sorry to report that, we're going to see a decline in trust, again. We've actually been seeing a declining trust for a while, but COVID is not actually supporting trust, which is sad because it could go the other way. And part of the reason is that worldwide we actually seeing a decline in trust towards authorities, governments, politicians, and due to the whole COVID thing and the information or lack of information or counter information or whatever kind of information we're getting. So trust in general is dropping, but it's also dropping in negotiation due to the fact that so many negotiations suddenly is happening online. And we don't have the opportunity to socialize and get to know people the same way and shake hands and all of that. So we have to be careful, I'm not a pessimist so I'm not saying," Oh, this is the end of the world and trust is going to disappear." It's not because we can be aware of it. And I think one of the benefits just to be an optimist for a second is that I do actually feel that more and more people are getting aware of the importance of negotiation, because we are seeing so many contracts being renegotiated these days. inaudible for instance, just to mention one field in a contract, my God that have to be talked about in a lot of cases. So a lot of contracts are being renegotiated and I can feel... And you can probably tell me the same for you and your clients, but I can feel that more organizations today are actually aware of the importance of negotiation as a management tool than before and that's a great thing.

Mark: Purely for risk mitigation purposes. I feel like so many people are now sort of waking up to risk mitigation and the needs to have proper controls to risk mitigation in contracts-

Keld Jensen: Absolutely.

Mark: ...that's a positive thing.

Keld Jensen: Yeah. Absolutely. I completely agree. And that is what I'm seeing as well. So having said that, I feel certainly that the interaction between contract the legal work and negotiation is going to be closer. So we're going to get an understanding of the interaction and the importance of the wording in the contract. And that the contract is a result of what happened at the negotiation table. So it's not two independent animals anymore it's actually more integrated. So that's another prediction that I'm seeing something that's going to change inside organizations as well.

Mark: I like that. So I'm going to talk about this trust piece and how you see COVID-19 potentially eroding trust. Is it because we're not getting that face to face communi... Because a lot of trust is built over conversations, meals, meetings, all that kind of stuff. Is it because we're not getting that face- to- face anymore?

Keld Jensen: Yeah. That's part of the reason Mark, the other reason is that people give up easier in an online negotiation than in a physical negotiation. Imagine that you and I are to negotiate with each other pre COVID. I would catch a plane, fly up to see you in Canada, we would sit down have a meeting, probably go out for dinner. And even if we had a hard time agreeing, I might be more into trying to work on it to reach an agreement because I booked a flight, I went all the way up to see you, I'm spending a whole day. So just canceling a whole day because we can't reach an agreement within the first hour would feel like a complete failure because then I just wasted a day and a lot of money. Now if we negotiating online. I'm just clicking on Zoom, opening up Zoom, we're having a call right now and we can't reach an agreement in 50 minutes I'm going to say a mock whatever. And then I'm just going to say end meeting and that's it. So I'm not as involved in the online negotiation as I would be face- to- face. So that's the other side of the coin that obviously trust is lower when we were talking online, but also the fact that it's just easier for me to give up.

Mark: Yeah. And so what I'm hearing you say is that the increase in technology is facilitating basically our need for that immediate gratification, essentially. And if we're not getting it right away and then people are just going to start walking away from the table more often. And what could be hugely fruitful, beneficial deals end up not happening at all. Not that it falls apart but that they don't even happen.

Keld Jensen: Oh yeah, absolutely. I'm hired as an advisor for an M& A deal and your right now between two companies and two different countries. And I've actually advised them right now to pause the negotiation and wait until we physically can meet up again, because I don't feel things are going in the right way with us just meeting online all the time. So we actually pausing. So I would actually recommend that if the parties are not in a hurry, don't necessarily go through the negotiation right now where we can't meet physically, wait until we have a moment at an opportunity to meet again, unless it is obviously something we have to do right now because it will generally give us better results.

Mark: Hey, listeners, I want to tell you about another company that I run called Content Call- out it is a thought leadership brand marketing company. Now what does that mean? It means that we take you as an executive or entrepreneur, a leader of a small or medium sized business and we turn you into a thought leader online, we take your personal brand and we amp it up to 11, so that you can lead with confidence knowing that people will recognize you, recognize your brand and recognize your business because of the thought leadership approach that you've taken on social media, through content creation and content distribution, as well as engaging with all of your following online. How do you get involved in this easy, easy, easy, just go to contentcallout. com/ getstarted and you will see there three different options that will allow you to take your thought leadership brand for yourself and for your business to the next level. We are super excited to talk to you about this. We've seen some massive growth with the businesses that we've been working with. Very, very exciting time for us. Look at that, we appreciate it, now back to your show. The thing that I've noticed as well is that there is this an increased amount of deal fatigue that happens online as opposed to what happens in person. I don't know if you've noticed the same thing?

Keld Jensen: I completely agree, but you're doing a lot of the same stuff I'm doing Mark and I don't know how you feel, but if I'm being during a training session or keynote or whatever, for a couple of hours online, I'm more exhausted than if I've been standing on stage or with a client in a conference room the whole day, it is just exhausting.

Mark: 100% on the same age.

Keld Jensen: You just get tired and that goes for negotiators as well, obviously. So even negotiating online is exhausting so it's a different approach.

Mark: Given that this may be the reality that we have to live with for some time. Are there some things that we need to start adjusting in terms of our habits and the tools that we use and the things that we're doing to compensate for those things?

Keld Jensen: I think one of the things we're going to appreciate in the future and some things that we made aware of right now is how important the social relationship actually is in dealing with each other. It's nothing new that's been going on for hundreds of years if not even thousands of years. But I think in the period leading up to COVID, I think some individuals and organizations slightly forgot about it because we can do e- auctions or we can automate the procurement process or we can do whatever, so we don't necessarily need to deal with people. But I think we have reached a point right now where we can learn if you want to from COVID that the social part actually can be translated into financial success as well. Now you and I are obviously sitting in the Western world, but in the Western world, time is money and we always in a hurry and we talk too much and we don't listen. But if you go to Asia it's a whole different story. They spend more time on it, they're listening more, they actually appreciate the social relationship more than we typically do in the West. So I think again, to be an optimist, I think one of the benefits we're going to get out of COVID is that those who want to listen and improve, they are actually figuring out that the social relationship is more important than we immediately think it might be.

Mark: Can that be facilitated through social media?

Keld Jensen: Mm- hmm( affirmative). Yeah.

Mark: And do you think that means that we need to start better at improving our social interactions on social media? For example, all I'm thinking about is like the emergence of Clubhouse. So Clubhouse for the listeners that don't know is if you think old school internet forum days, where you would go onto a forum and you would have someone with a conversation in a forum about something, same idea just essentially with voice. There's no video, no screen- share nothing like that just a voice conversation. How do you see that kind of an application tying into this?

Keld Jensen: Well, I just get inspired again Mark, that's a great thing about talking to you. And because I also see I'm following very closely the world of technology and negotiation, and I'm seeing more and more companies being closed to come up with what I would call a real negotiation tool partly based on AI. And I'm raising that topic because we are always are going to see it as an outcome of corona that this technology is speeding up. So it's coming quicker than we've seen before. And I'm actually seeing that some of the tedious, boring assignments within negotiation can be automated within a short time. So, if you're sitting in a typical average procurement position where you are buying whatever you're buying and you're buying millions of those and you're doing it all the time throughout the year, that may not be what you're going to do in 2022 because you may have the software that will be doing all of that for you automatically and probably even better than you.

Mark: I agree with you, there's a company called Pactum that's been making waves recently have you heard about them?

Keld Jensen: Yes. Yes. I heard about them.

Mark: For the listeners this may be of interest to you it's an AI platform essentially, an AI negotiation platform that allows the purchasers of products who do it at scale, let's say a Walmart or something like that an Amazon, to be able to buy the same product over and over and over again, but they would have multiple negotiations at the same time. So typically what would usually end up happening in a purchasing department is you would have one category manager or a purchaser procurement person managing a single category and they manage their negotiation sequentially. So you would have one negotiation and then you would have the next negotiation one after the other. What this platform does is it can do multiple negotiations at parallel. So you can have multiple negotiations at parallel and it's all done on AI, meaning they can achieve the results that they need to get to at scale faster than you could. And they also don't have any of the bias that we have, the negative bias that we have going into those conversations. So they don't have any of the weaknesses that we, you and I would have. So when Keld says something like," Hey, if you're doing these repetitive purchase decisions, these repetitive purchase functions." You're probably not going to be doing that in 2021, 2022 or potentially into the future. The fact is that reality is here it just hasn't been implemented at your company yet.

Keld Jensen: Yep. There's also another interesting company in the Bay area called IntelleXt that is combining contract negotiation with artificial intelligence. So they actually what they claiming they will bring up when they're done very soon is a system that is even reading you as a person. So they actually studying your emails-

Mark: Interesting.

Keld Jensen: ...studying you social platforms. So they're trying to create a profile on you. So when I'm going to negotiate with you next week, I will have a profiling on you saying," This is Mark, this is his belief, this is what he's interested in. This is what we picked up from Facebook, this is what we picked up from LinkedIn." And then they can basically combine all of that in this negotiation platform. It's definitely possible from a technology point of view, so it's going to be interesting to see how that turns out.

Mark: There's a tool called Crystal Knows. Have you ever used Crystal Knows?

Keld Jensen: Nope. No.

Mark: This is interesting. It's sort of maybe a bridge between what you're talking about and where we are today. So this is something that I use consistently on LinkedIn it's just a Google Chrome add in. And essentially what it does is it predicts a person's personality profile and communication profile based on their online habits and online behavior. And so it gives you cues to be able to say, hey, if this person is... They use the DiSC framework so this person's a inaudible dominating, so you may want to structure your conversation this way. When you start a pitch, start it this way. When you have a conversation, talk about these things. It's a great way to think about how to approach those different people. For the listeners just that you know a tool called Crystal Knows C- R- Y- S- T- A- L K- N- O- W- S. It's like a Google Chrome add on and it's inaudible cheap. I think it's 50 bucks around there or something.

Keld Jensen: All right. All right. Right. Cool. Great.

Mark: Yeah. It's super cool. So we've covered the gambit already. So when we're talking about how people are adjusting the implementation of tech, the implementation of different types of conversations that we could be having online. One thing that I think is going to be really difficult for people is the speed at which they're going to have to adapt new technology. And I know that when you speak to the typical executive in any company whenever you're implementing a new technology the biggest issue they have is utilization and use. And so when you're thinking of how quickly they can adapt in the utilization of these tools, it's really going to be those people that can adapt the fastest to these tools that are going to be the successful ones. What advice would you give to someone in their career who maybe is midway to the latter stages of their career that are like," I'm listening to Keld and Mark talk about this now and all these new tools that I potentially have to use, how do I think differently to adapt faster?"

Keld Jensen: Well, it depends on what position you're in obviously. If I was sitting in what I would call a typical procurement position, I would have to rethink that position that I'm in. And that does mean that you have to change position or do something completely different. But I would actually change my thinking from an operational procurement officer into more a strategic negotiation orientated position so I would focus more on negotiation. And reason I'm saying that Mark is that and I'm being a little bit rude and I hope I'm not offending anybody, but I'm actually finding some procurement people who are really not negotiating. Back to the screen, they're sitting behind the screen looking at spreadsheet, comparing notes and proposals, and then they click on the one that has the lowest price. To me that's not very advanced negotiation work is it because you're not generating any value you're just trying to get a reduced price. So that group of people might have some difficulties in the future because technology will replace them in five minutes, that is so easy. So if you want to stay within the field of procurement dash negotiation, I would move on and actually connect them to back we talked about earlier the social part. Because obviously technology will be there to assist us and it will be replacing some of us, but it will also be a tool to assist us in more important long- term relationships. Because I don't see technology will replace human beings in truly important negotiations in the next 10 minutes. That will take a while before we actually start doing that. So we will obviously still have people involved in everything more important. So I would move in that direction and then we could ask all the listeners, I'm often asking that to my students and clients Mark and that is ask yourself right now," Do, I actually like negotiations?" Because there's the tendency that if we do like something, we get better at it and if we dislike something we're not really good at it. So I'm often asking people and I can ask the same right now, ask yourself right now and be honest please do I actually like negotiation. If your answer is no stop doing it because you're never going to be really good at it. And if you actually say," Honestly, I do like it. It's fun." No all of us Mark I'm sure you and I, we have a couple of negotiation every year where we leave and think," That sucks." So yes, we do have a few bad ones but in general we should appreciate it and find it's fun and if we don't stop doing it.

Mark: Look, I think there's definitely some truth to that. I also think that this new technology could be a great way to coach and train. So I've recently been just thinking about the application of Clubhouse. Did you see that Elon Musk jumped on Clubhouse and grilled Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev recently. Imagine being in the room and I wasn't in the room at that time, but in Clubhouse you have the ability to view the discussion. Wouldn't it be interesting if we could get world leaders, for example, to have live negotiations for us to be able to see what happens behind closed doors? Maybe not at that scale, but let's say for example, a way for coaching for the team to be able to join in. They don't have the ability to jump into the conversation, the moderator can shut them down. There's no text functionality so they can throw negative blurbs. There's no image sharing or anything like that, but just to sit in the room and listen to two people like that have a discussion would be quite interesting.

Keld Jensen: Very interesting. That's a great idea Mark.

Mark: I'm wondering how we can start implementing it. Okay. Listeners, if you're listening to this right now, maybe we can do this as an experiment. Start thinking about some of the tools that you have available right now. Traditional ones, I can't believe I'm calling the Zoom traditional, but traditional ones like Zoom, Teams, all the rest of it. Start thinking about we're using those right now, obviously, but how could we utilize Clubhouse? How could we utilize AI? What Keld was talking about earlier with that company that starts reading faces, Pactum those kinds of things. What are the different ways that we could leverage technology to our benefit and make it less obtrusive and easier to be able to pick up? I think one of the ways that we need to think about this and Keld I think you'd agree with me is we've almost got to think of that as a way as a game. Like how do we make this more fun? Because if you're looking at this as I've just got another tool that I have to use or another platform that I have to use, then this is going to become very burdensome to you as a person. And I feel like if you're looking at it as an opportunity to find different ways to do the things that you already do and maybe do them better, it could be a really great way for you to lever up your negotiations.

Keld Jensen: Mm- hmm(affirmative). Yep.

Mark: Okay. Let's put that out there as a challenge. If you're listening to this right now, start to think of all the different tools and applications send me a message on LinkedIn. So you can go straight to my LinkedIn profile, shoot me a message and say," Hey, listen, this is what I want to do. This is what I'm interested in. This is how I think these tools can be provided." In fact better yet we just started a new negotiation text community, and here's what I want you to do. I want you to type into your phone right now,# negotiation, I'm going to get the number for you. It's a new number for me. So just one second while I get it# negotiation to the number 587- 315- 5948. So that's# negotiation 587-315- 5948. And shoot me a text that's going to come directly to me on my phone, I will respond to you. I would love to hear what your ideas are around the application of technology in negotiation. Keld as we close off this session, you're going to join me for another session here fairly shortly. What is the closing advice that you would give to people around how COVID- 19 has affected them and how they could still succeed in this uncertain time?

Keld Jensen: Great question. I would actually go back and refer to the World Commerce and Contracting study I mentioned earlier, because what we learned in that study is that 65% of all the people that was participating in this study, they said they would like to have improved communication and increased data sharing. And so we actually saw a majority of negotiators saying we would actually like to have better communication and more sharing of data. 57% of the market this is actually interesting said," We need more collaboration in our negotiations in the future." And they even expanded out in it and said," We feel that we've been doing serious positional negotiation too long with a win lose outcome and we can actually mature negotiation. We can win without the expense of the counterparty if we start to collaborate more." And they supported that by saying," I'm even willing to share more risk." So I think one of the things and that's my optimistic hat, my positive hat if I put that on, I do believe that we're coming out of COVID with for some people slightly different view on negotiation and perhaps even our view on more collaboration that we had previously.

Mark: Well said, my friend, I love the positive outlook. I think it's fantastic. Where can people find out more about you and what you do? I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people that are going to be like," Holy cow, this guy knows a lot about negotiation. How do I get a hold of him?"

Keld Jensen: Well, if their interested in any of my books Amazon obviously is carrying a lot of it, so they can just go to Amazon and look for my name. They can Google me and there's a YouTube channels with a lot of free stuff, a lot of videos they can watch and obviously there's my website keldjensen. com.

Mark: Excellent. Thank you so much for being on good sir. Hang tight. We're going to get to another session with you for the listeners, just so that we're going to link out to all of those resources for Keld. Thank you so much for being on good, sir. I'll get you in round two in five minutes.

Keld Jensen: Thank you for having me, Mark.

Mark: Hey friends, thanks so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with friends and colleagues so that they can benefit from it as well. If you find Negotiations Ninja Podcast worthy, please go on to iTunes and give us a cool rating with a nice review. We certainly appreciate every single one that we get because it helps us to understand who is listening, how they're listening and what it is they like. If there's something that you would like me to discuss around negotiation, influence or persuasion, give me a shout. You know how to reach me on social media or you can get me on my website, which is www. negotiations. ninja.


How has COVID-19 affected negotiation? What will change moving forward? How has it impacted communication and technology? While COVID-19 has changed the world in numerous ways, Keld Jensen points out that change was happening well before a global pandemic shut the world down. Hear his take on the future of negotiation in this episode of Negotiations Ninja

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:20] The European Union and AstraZeneca
  • [7:59] How negotiation may change 
  • [15:03] The erosion of trust in negotiation 
  • [19:25] The importance of relationships
  • [20:44] The world of technology
  • [25:16] Adapting to new technology
  • [31:38] The speed of change
  • [32:56] How to connect with Keld Jensen

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Keld Jensen

Connect With Mark

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