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Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2007

Evaluating People 27 Feb 2007 09:41 am

Topic 3: Evaluating People

While we are talking about evaluating people, you might find this article by Malcolm Gladwell very interesting. Called “The New Boy Network”, it talks about how we evaluate people, especially in employment interviews.

(Malcolm Gladwell is also on our book club list with “The Tipping Point“. He is also the author of “Blink” and a writer for the New Yorker Magazine).

Evaluating People 22 Feb 2007 01:21 pm

Topic 3: Evaluating People

What is it about evaluating people? I found it really interesting that everyone wanted to take on this topic next.

Are there special topics you would like to cover?

  • Why do we find it hard to evaluate people?
  • How do we “evaluate” people without “judging them”?
  • Are there things that “bias” us when it comes to evaluating people? What do we do about that?

The comment lines are open.

And while you are at it, you might want to look at these three articles written by Joel Spolsky (Joel on Software on our blogroll) about how they look at prospective candidates at Fog Creek Software

Negotiation 22 Feb 2007 12:44 pm

Topic 2: Negotiation (Aftermath)

Thanks to everyone who attended either in person or on the phone. I hope that those of you on the phone could hear well enough for it to be helpful.

As an follow up, I am attaching my Negotiation Session Outline so that you can see how all the pieces were at least supposed to work together.

To put what we talked about into practice, I would welcome comments here, especially on two topics:

  • Controlling the “wringing of the washcloth” we experience in our negotiations with our clients (about time, deadlines, features or price).
  • Negotiating as if implementation mattered, is a very healthy way for both FNC and its clients to look at how it forms its agreements. What would you suggest we negotiate with our clients that would help with implementation?
  • Next Steps

    I will be adding all of the documents we refer to into the 2007 Meeting Info page under the appropriate meeting and topic. That way you will not need to track back through the different posts to find the material.

    Next Topic

    Evaluating People

Negotiation 18 Feb 2007 08:47 am

Topic 2: Negotiation (The Case Studies)

Here are 5 case studies we will be using in our discussions on Thursday, February 22. You should be thinking about them between now and then taking into account the readings we have assigned.

You will want to consider:

1. Negotiating from Interests not Positions

    People: Separate the people from the problem
    Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
    Options: Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do
    Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard

2. BATNA, or Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement

3. Preparation

4. Drawing the line in price negotiations

5. Negotiating as if implementation mattered

Now, here are our case studies:

Case Study #1: Buying a Car

  • How many of you like to buy cars?
  • Why does everyone hate to buy cars?
  • Convinced you will not get the best deal (makes us anxious)?
  • Don’t enjoy the amount of time it takes to reach a decent deal?
  • Don’t feel emotionally up to the challenge?
  • Afraid you will be stuck with a car salesperson you do not like (or is not listening to you, or…)?
    • How do you prepare?

      What is your BATNA?
      How do you stage the negotiation? How does the car dealership stage the negotiation?
      What is the “I need to get my sales manager’s approval for this…” (is this the same as getting the buyer to “stop squeezing the washcloth”)
      What is the car dealership’s BATNA?

    Case Study #2: CMS Agreement

    • Does FNC have different interests in a CMS agreement depending on where you are in the organization?
      How does negotiating “interests” help?
      What are our clients interest in the CMS? What do they worry about?
      Is the CMS agreement a price negotiation?
      What has been our problem with negotiating CMS agreements?
      When does the negotiation of a CMS agreement start?
      What is the objective of the CMS agreement negotiations?
      What about “negotiation as if implementation mattered”?

    Case Study #3: Change Requests and Completion Dates

      Is a change request a negotiation?
      What our own interests in a change request or completion date?
      Does FNC have different interests in how we treat change requests?

    Case Study #4: Salary Negotiations

    Why is salary negotiation a great case study? (How many of you get chills just thinking about it?)

    Does this illustrate the importance of separating the people from the problem and the real need to understand the human side of negotiations?

    • How will “invent options” help?
      Is “salary” the only important issue? (Increase the options)
      What about different assignments?
      What about different or newer equipment?
      What about additional training?
      What about a phase in of any salary change?
      What do you say when someone says, “if I give you a raise, I have to give everyone a raise”?

    Case Study #5: Getting people to work on your project on your timetable

    • How do you negotiate with your peers?
      What are your peers’ interest?

      • Do you know?
        Can you find out?

      What can you “trade” in the negotiation?

  • Negotiation 05 Feb 2007 03:34 pm

    Topic 2: Negotiation (Some Materials)

    Here are some great materials to help everyone get ready for our next session: Negotiation. February 22, 2007. You should go ahead and download them right now.

    The first reading is called Draw the Line in Price Negotiations and is taken from a chapter in Solution Selling by Michael Bosworth

    The second reading is one of the Harvard Business Review’s On Point Collections. This one is called HBR Masterful Negotiating.

    Next week we will start laying out some quick case studies we will examine during the meeting.

    If you have not yet started reading, don’t forget that our text for this meeting is “Getting to Yes: How to Negotiate Agreement Without Giving In” by Fisher, Patton and Ury. We still have some left in the library; just ask Chip Bolton or Neil Olson for a copy—we have not only paperbacks but an audio version.

    This is a very important book on negotiations, so you will want to consider buying your own copy.HBR Masterful Negotiating 2d EditionHBR Masterful Negotiating 2d Edition