The Art & Science of Negotiating

4/26/18 10:40 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in strategic planning


How many times do you negotiate in a given day? How often do you seek to find agreement or to influence others? Many of us engage in 100+ negotiations in a normal day. The simple fact is that we negotiate from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed.

We negotiate with our kids in the morning, with our employees at work, with our bosses in meetings, with clients and suppliers during projects, and we negotiate with our neighbor and spouse when we get home. Negotiation is how we influence outcomes. When we consider how many times we negotiate in a month, we understand how important the difference between being a good negotiator and a great negotiator is for us—personally and professionally.

If you have ever participated in a professionally led course on negotiation, you are in the minority. Most business professionals are self-taught and they don’t have a consistent process. Not only does this approach result in unpredictable outcomes, it perpetuates poor habits and sub-optimal outcomes.  Even the very best negotiators continually sharpen their skills. Just as professional hitters and golfers utilize swing coaches, it is important to consistently refine one's skills to ensure usage of a consistent process that includes the many factors that determine success.

Most negotiating programs offered today are based upon a concept of "advanced problem solving." That is, participants in a given negotiation (sometimes from multiple companies) are instructed to "separate the people from the problem" and then “unify the people to solve the problem.”

Although this approach sounds great in theory, it rarely leads to an efficient and optimal outcome. In most cases this approach leads to frustration and a significant amount of time and energy being wasted. Why? Because the approach requires two elements to occur in every negotiation. 
1. All participants must be truthful and transparent with information
2. All participants must see the "problem" from the same point-of-view

The traditional approach to negotiation teaches "information is power" and "you must withold information so you do not give away your power." For this reason, information is not shared and what is shared is rarely accurate.

When is the last time you felt that a party you were negotiating with provided you with a full and clear description of the problem? Did each party see the problem from the same point-of-view? Of course not. Negotiations are based upon self-interest and a desire to maximize individual results. Achieving a win/win outcome rarely occurs through a group problem solving exercise.

At Fidelis One, our approach to negotiation follows a direct and time-tested approach named the "Universal Methodology." This 30 year-old, research-based process is centered on three elements: thoughtful strategies, effective dialog, and value-based proposals. This approach does not rely on problem solving or truthful information sharing from parties to a negotiation.

If you ask someone a question, how do you know if you are getting a truthful answer? You don't. But, if you make a proposal, you can bet that people will only agree to proposals that they are willing to accept. One of the most effective ways to negotiate is to offer "micro-proposals" as opposed to "problem solving." By making micro-proposals, you are assured to get a much more accurate picture of what the other party wants and needs from a deal. By uncovering what proposals are accepted, you will discover truth and intent during the negotiating process.

If you would like to learn more about the art and science of thoughtful strategies, effective dialog, and making value-based proposals, you need to attend Fidelis One's Strategic Negotiating (SN) course. This full-day workshop will give you a great foundation to further your professional negotiating skills. The course is led by Mike Milich, an international negotiation expert who specializes in working with some of the world's largest companies.  Our goal is to help you make the art and science of negotiating become a core capability.

Fidelis One's Strategic Negotiating (SN) course will enable you to take your self-taught negotiation skills to the next level. Our simple, yet highly effective process will allow you to effectively influence outcomes to your advantage. This one-day workshop has proven to be the game-changing tool that our participants have been looking for. Our next course is 06/18/2018— Enroll today!

To learn more about the art and science of developing successful B2B partnerships, enroll in one of our courses or check out Dr. Brigman's book PARTNERNOMICS on Amazon. You may also visit to sign up for free content and to read more Fidelis One Blogs.

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The Vision for Gold

2/13/18 7:55 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


The Olympic games mark a special time around our house. The specific sport that we choose to watch always seems to take a backseat to the stories about dreams, tenacity, and dedication that the athletes share. This past weekend saw the launch of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. As standard tradition, our family has watched with patriotic eyes as the athletes represent their sport and country.

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A Partnership or a Free Ride?

2/6/18 7:54 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships

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The term “partner” is arguably one of the most overused words in business – similar to the word “strategic.” Many business leaders say they are looking for a new “partner.” However, what they mean to say is they are looking for a company that is willing to give them a “free ride.”


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Why You Need a Strategic Partnership Plan

1/30/18 7:50 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


Strategic Partnership Plan

Companies are leveraging the power of strategic (B2B) partnerships at an exponential rate. According to the Journal of Accountancy, business leaders are increasing their quantity of B2B partnerships at a rate of 25% per year. This is a significant growth rate of partnerships being formed. 

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Growing Profits via Strategic Partnerships

12/5/17 1:55 PM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


Strategic Partnerships

Profit growth! It is the ultimate and perpetual challenge of business. As each week passes our "modern day economy" becomes increasingly complex and competitive. It takes more than just great products and services to thrive in today's markets. Business leaders must constantly find and implement value-add elements to their solutions to stay relevant. The three approaches to achieve the value-add requirements are organic, acquisition, and partnering. In this blog we will focus on B2B partnerships and discuss some of the pros and cons to this pathway of profit growth.

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Acquisition Approach to Profit Growth

11/28/17 2:41 PM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


Acquisition Approach

Are you interested in growing more profits? Of course you are! The real question is, what is the best path to achieve growth? When we brake profit growth strategies down to the ground level there are three avenues that we can take. The approaches are organic, acquisition, and partnering. In this blog we will focus on the acquisition approach and discuss some of the pros and cons to this route.

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Growing the Biz - Organic Approach

11/14/17 9:32 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


Organic Approach

Are you interested in growing profits? Of course you are! The real question is, what is the best path for you to take to achieve growth? When we "boil it down," there are three avenues that may take us to "profitville." The three approaches are: organic, acquisition, and partnering. In this blog we will focus on the organic approach and discuss some of the pros and cons to this route.

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Incremental vs Exponential Profit Growth

11/7/17 7:50 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


All business leaders want their company to "grow." Right? But we all know that profit growth doesn't happen by magic or by chance. Although there are several creative paths available for you to take, achieving growing profits always starts with a commitment of time, energy, and planning to make it happen. Are you committed? 

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Your Business Professor was Wrong

10/31/17 10:27 AM / by Mark Brigman posted in Strategic Partnerships


There is no doubt that technology is changing the way that we do business. The various advancements in technology constantly challenge the status quo and open opportunities to perform tasks faster, easier, and with less cost. The accelerated pace of technology deployment is causing change at warp speed. 
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Does Your Company Have the Capacity to Grow?

10/26/17 12:58 PM / by Mark Brigman


One of the greatest challenges facing business leaders today is our ability to manage resource constraints. Every business on the planet is resource constrained—period. It does't matter how many billions of dollars in revenue a particular company generate; yes, even that company is resource constrained. The fact that they submit an annual budget to the finance department proves the point.
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