About Jessica Tselepy

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So far Jessica Tselepy has created 9 blog entries.

Read Between the Lines

2019-06-15T19:47:03+00:00 By |Tags: , , |

Negotiated agreements are often categorised, neatly numbered, and suggest completeness. Behind this picture of order lies another story: what did the parties exclude and why? The written terms of an agreement imply finality. Most agreements stack pages upon pages of clauses that address a broad array of topics. The sheer multitude of factors to consider can make interpreting real motives very difficult. Let's consider a simplified hypothetical where Holly proposes draft terms for the sharing of a car. In these terms Holly includes: "1. The car shall reside at Holly's house in the mornings, and at Joe's house in the afternoons. Each party must return after their period of use. 2. The car shall be cleaned once a day. 3. No food shall be consumed in the car." Have a think about what Holly might be trying to accomplish with each of these terms? When Holly shares a simple first [...]

Thank you!

2019-06-08T14:08:50+00:00 By |Tags: , , |

In the world of concessions and compromise, you may not achieve all that you want in a negotiation. Or, if you do, it may come at the expense of your counterpart. To keep a healthy business relationship, how can we maximise parties' post-negotiation impressions of each other?  Negotiators come to the table with goals. There are stakes involved, and possible promotions or demotions on the line. As much as we seek to remain as objective as possible, our humanness inevitably becomes tied up in the outcomes we seek. As such, our stumbles tend feel more injurious and our wins more glorious in these environments. This emotive reaction to score-keeping does not sweep by in its pain or pleasure: it will set the tone of future interactions you have with those same people. As important as a first impression, which anchors our attitude towards a new acquaintance, is the last impression. [...]

The Aussie Negotiator

2019-05-24T21:24:05+00:00 By |Tags: , |

So you've got some upcoming deals down under? This is your guide to the best negotiated outcomes with Australians.  From politics to footy to the boardroom, Australians tend to value certain characteristics and negotiating styles. Every individual is different, and you should certainly always be on the lookout for the vast numbers of people who don't conform to their cultural stereotype, but that doesn't erase the fact that cultural norms do exist... meaning you can use those traits to your advantage. Here are our top five Aussie values, and how to play to them in your negotiation: 'Larrikin-ness': Australians use humour to lighten formal settings, to establish rapport with acquaintances and friends, and as a general conversational style. We are often skeptical of all-business types, and will typically be less generous in information sharing accordingly. Try not to jump into serious business talk too soon in your meeting, and keep your conversational [...]

What Trump Means For The Female Negotiator

2020-07-21T21:51:43+00:00 By |Tags: , , |

Donald Trump has made it no secret that his approach to any negotiation is to win at all costs. Aggressive positioning and zero-sum strategy are central to this. But has his style really made it harder for negotiating women?  Short answer: yes. There are two major ways this manifests. First, in specific policy changes. Under Trump, equal pay regulations have been scrapped, funding for birth control has been cut, and only male chief executives have been appointed by Trump to the Women in the Workplace panel. The seemingly most powerful leader in the democratic world has promoted a consistent position against women's issues. On these topics specifically, American women now have to push harder than before when negotiating their pay, the rights of their bodies, and fair treatment in their places of work. Second, in general influence effects. Men in positions of power have two prominent narratives weighing on their [...]

Negotiation Lessons from Brexit So Far

2019-05-14T15:14:15+00:00 By |Tags: , , , |

Negotiation is both wildly unpredictable and formulaically predictable. In other words, it is the complex product of reactive behaviour and meticulous strategy. Brexit, the hot topic that pops in and out of our headlines and minds, embodies this dichotomy. So let’s check in with the lessons Brexit has taught us so far for our own negotiations. […]

Jirga: Traditional Dispute Resolution in Afghanistan

2019-03-06T21:20:02+00:00 By |Tags: , , , |

Commonwealth systems of dispute resolution are so pervasive we sometimes overlook unique local considerations of the issue. Tradition and culture underpin our worldview and actions in every aspect of life. So why do negotiators so often try to apply a standard model to disputes in distinctive international environments?  […]

Broach Diplomacy

2019-02-25T19:16:38+00:00 By |Tags: , |

Broaches may be a bit too 90's for your choice of apparel, but when flaunted on the lapel of negotiation power woman Madeline Albright, they packed some serious semiotic power. As U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Albright was faced with a rather undiplomatic comment: former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein referred to her as a serpent. Instead of reacting the provocation with a jab of equal pettiness, Albright took the opportunity to make statement. She retrieved an old pin from her collection and wore it at every future negotiation with Iraq: a snake pin. Two decades on, in a purportedly more progressive and respectful world, such slings and slurs are not an uncommon experience for professional woman. Whether they be a manifestation of prejudices that take more than a generation to phase out, or a reaction to the tumultuous and confronting political climate of 2019, snarky verbiage is a reality woman [...]

Pre-suasion: Strategic Precedent Setting for Negotiations

2019-02-20T18:50:13+00:00 By |Tags: , , |

How do we maximise our chances that our ideas will be received favourably? Entering into an unknown environment with an unknown counterpart can leave our intrinsically strong arguments to fall apart in the midst of a negotiation. To ensure we are prepared in in control of any negotiation situation, we can learn the art of  ‘pre-suasion’. […]

The Art of ‘Relationship Diplomacy’: A Valentine’s Day Strategy

2019-02-20T18:30:33+00:00 By |Tags: , |

When Empress Wu Zetian sent a pair of pandas to her Japanese counterpart in the 7th century, she sent with them a desired impression of her nation. A figure of gentleness and strength, the symbol of this gift spoke multitudes. The practice of ‘panda diplomacy’ prospered for centuries, from Empresses to Chairmen. Success stories span globally, with explicit requests arising from U.S. President Nixon to British PM Edward Heath in the 1970s. Clearly, this was a winner of a gift. And the Valentine’s market has certainly picked up on the theme. For what gift inspires our feelings of warmth, endearment, and delight than a cuddly panda bear (albeit in a rather less alive form)? In our heart of hearts, is this not a most desirable outcome (especially when certain calendar dates exacerbate expectations)? Though we may throw in the metaphorical hat on any prescription of romantic activity being constrained to [...]

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