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by Alan Hargreaves

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Entries in human relations (17)


Why helping others is good for you

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Treating colleagues like customers. 

I once spent a few months working as a kitchen hand in a ski resort. It was the ideal job if you wanted to work on your skiing; not so great if you wanted to enjoy your work.

That wasn’t because the job was hard. It was because the chef was an idiot. His passion was customer service. He demanded the staff focus entirely on the experience of the diner. 

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Getting most of what you want

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They are feeling the heat too

What surprises me most in negotiations is when the other side folds. It comes out of the blue. It doesn’t seem to reflect the strength of my position. It’s often contrary to how they had presented, even the table-thumpers.

I’m not a particularly skilled or highly experienced negotiator. But one thing I’ve noticed is it’s always darkest before dawn. Just when I think I have been worn down, I find out they have been too. 

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Management and regulation

There’s a positive to compliance.

A key part of assessing a business acquisition is the “due diligence” process. Few people will buy a venture without thoroughly kicking the tyres.

Sometimes it’s a modest exercise focusing on obvious concerns. In more sophisticated acquisitions, it involves a prolonged examination of every aspect of the business in question. Buyers don’t just want to know the upside; they also want to check the downside.

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The trouble with values

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Here’s a quote:

Good corporate governance practice is an important ingredient in creating and sustaining shareholder value, and ensuring that behavior is ethical, legal and transparent.

Nothing special there. Much the same turns up in most value statements. Roughly translated, it says “lets make our business succeed rather than fail, and let’s do that by playing fair”.

Most would agree. So much so, that I’m not sure why people insist on stating it in lofty terms and enshrining it in fancy bold type. It’s like saying maybe we are not really like that but we’d like to be.

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Networking Vs. Network

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What does networking actually mean?

For many it’s social purgatory; like standing around at a cocktail party feeling like a bunny in the headlights. Everyone seems comfortable except you.

That’s not what a network is about. That’s simply a bit of social fear and we can all have it.

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