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The Power of Understanding

Increasing Negotiation and Leadership Performance through the Power of Understanding


  • Nov 07, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.


  • Nov 06, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.


  • Nov 05, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.


  • Nov 04, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    In classic notions of power, experts of deception calculate how to disguise their malicious intentions. They cultivate an air of honesty as a decoy in order to manipulate and mislead others. The appearance of friendliness and trustworthiness, according to classic power strategists, yields results because it is a basic human instinct to trust appearances. Con artists and predatory negotiators, for example, cleverly guide others “down a path of blinding smoke” that it is often too late when the unaware discover they have been manipulated. This week we will address how these devices of the past have been gracefully improved upon by many contemporary negotiators.


  • Nov 03, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    In the realm of classic power, the most preeminent negotiators are those who strategically plan to control the future. This ultimately means a negotiator must be able to predict another’s intentions in order to pressure them to do things they would not necessarily do. Sun-tzu in the 4th century B.C. reminded strategists that foresight comes not from the spirits or astrology, but can only be derived thorough insight into another’s mind. This week’s law of power explores classic interview and interrogation tactics and the ways in which they increase negotiation leverage. Gathering information through spies or through one’s own superb elicitation skills are the most classic “mind reading” tools available.


  • Nov 02, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    France’s 16th century politician and thinker Cardinal Richelieu wrote that “if one foresees from far away the designs to be undertaken, one can act with speed when the moment comes to execute them.” As a scholar and practitioner of power, Richelieu found that most people focus on their immediate circumstances and that plans are usually based on dreams. Richelieu cautioned that those who are careless, have no plan and rely on open-ended dreams often become overwhelmed by circumstances and are rendered powerless.


  • Nov 01, 2012

  • Nov 01, 2012

  • Nov 01, 2012

  • Nov 01, 2012

  • Nov 01, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    In classic theories of power, it is asserted that the ability to precisely discern the interests of others is the most important skill in gathering and conserving power. Without it you are “blind” because you may think, for example, you are flattering someone, but you risk insulting them and losing necessary influence to achieve your goals. “Never rely on instincts,” classicists warn negotiators. Mistakes are made too often when negotiators act without an informed strategy.


  • Oct 31, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    Thucydides in 400 BC wrote in the Peloponnesian War that Pausanias, a Spartan, lost his status and power within his own ranks because of his lack of cultural awareness. In Pausanias’ case, he “went native” by falling in love with and flaunting the joys he found in Persian culture and luxury. Pausanias held his own native Greek culture of simplicity and discipline in distain. In classic laws of power, this outward infatuation with the foreign and disregard for one’s own national culture is offensive and subject to punishment.


  • Oct 30, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    When Sun-Tzu espoused The Art of War in the fourth century B.C, and Niccolo Machiavelli produced “The Prince” as a framework for the laws of power in the 16th century, an entire nation would be ruled by only one king or emperor. Courtiers, military officers and ministers would fiercely compete with each other for access to limited elite economic, political and social resources. The competition for power often became a vicious battle of all-or-nothing wins and losses. This week we will address the fact that over the centuries, power has gradually become democratized and much more diffused.


  • Oct 29, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    Possession of a strong reputation is an essential cornerstone and law of classic power. The classicists point out that an investment in one’s social capital pays off when you are able to intimidate and win at all costs in a negotiation. War analogies are often used in the classic negotiation tradition to emphasize the essentials about how to instill fear and expect submission from others. World War II German Gen. Erwin Rommel, for example, is often cited as one who invested wisely in his reputation.  His cunning and deceptive maneuvering demoralized anyone who opposed him long before he even arrived on the scene – thus, his reputation preceded him. This week’s law will address the requirements and qualities of a negotiation reputation for the 21st century.


  • Oct 22, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.


  • Oct 17, 2012

    Thunderbird Professor Dr. John Mathis speaks about the significance of negotiation in the world of Finance.

    Welcome to this series of podcasts on Global Negotiations. In this second podcast of the series, Thunderbird faculty of Finance, Dr. John Mathis speaks about his experiences in financial negotiations. If you would like to see the video for this podcast, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7ZSAKmrS3Y&feature=relmfu

    Discussion question: How important is negotiation in finance industry?


  • Oct 15, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    Ultimate negotiation leverage is the power to get your counterpart to comply with your requests. Classic power theorists point out that when others willingly grant what you ask for without the need to force or explicitly hurt them, your power is untouchable. In classic terms, the best way to guarantee this level of power is through disciplined attention to the weaknesses of your negotiation partners.


  • Oct 08, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.

    This week we will enhance brain performance and right brain qualities with a focus on the psychology of negotiation. Classic power laws assert that power can be attained when we become a master psychologist of others. Baltasar Gracian, a 17th century expert on power, wrote: “Many people spend time studying the properties of animals or herbs; how much more important it would be to study those of the people with whom we must live or die!”


  • Oct 02, 2012

    Based on the first video of the podcast series, how important is the role of cross cultural communication in negotiations?


  • Oct 01, 2012

    By Karen S. Walch, Ph.D.


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