• Difficult Negotiations
  • Crises & Conflicts
  • Credibility in Communication

Does childhood have an impact on our lives? Anthony de Mello wrote a fable about an eagle which was raised by a hen stepmother. When the eagle was given the chance to fledge, it chose not to because it already believed it was a rooster.

Tomasz Piotr Sidewicz


25 April 2016

The Warsaw Negotiation Round 2016

In my career as a professional negotiator, I often happen to be on the side of a negotiating battle between the parties, most often as pilot of one of them (using the analogy of car rallies). The pilot's task is obvious - looking globally at the road and giving instructions to the driver, which in the case of negotiations involves knowledge of the subject of the dispute, legal issues, knowledge of the market and knowledge of negotiators' personal profiles. I avoid situations in which I would only advise the other party (do not confuse the role of a pilot with the role of an adviser), because advice alone quite often translates into an attitude - “You advise me and I will do it my way anyway".

I know that for many people being an advisor is ennobling, but my view of counseling clients is completely different.

This time I had the opportunity to take up a completely different role - a judge - a business expert during the negotiating competition, which was The Warsaw Negotiation Round 2016.

Soon you can hit MORE to read it on my English blog.

19 February 2015

Making no decision is a decision

Sport, which depends on loads of variables verifies our decision-making skills, especially in crisis situations. If you do sports, which depends only on your preparation, the possibility of a crisis is lower. In a car racing, where you have to take into account a large number of variables such as the setup of the car, the temperature of the tires, adhesion, changing track conditions, other rivals who can damage your car, the occurrence of a crisis is much greater. The same works in business. In a small scale business, the possibility of a crisis is small. The larger the scale, the greater the likelihood that something will go wrong.

Personally, both professionally and privately I am a supporter of a military approach to decision-making. Sun Tzu leaves no doubt – Military experts do not make mistakes. If they decide to act, their impact is irresistible. I, therefore, say: “Know yourself and know your enemy, only then your victory will not be endangered. Know well the terrain and weather conditions, then your victory will be complete.” In order to make good decisions, you need to perform data analysis. But first, you have to have it. No data translates into speculation. This means a deficit of cognitive resources causing fear to arise. Fear makes you unable to make any decision. No making a decision is a decision not to make any decision.

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20 January 2015

Why does pride walk before the fall?

When do you become a victim of manipulation? Always when you lose self-vigilance and are not able to manage your self-regulation (EQ). The hormone responsible for such a behavior is dopamine, which excess changes your perception of possible threat in your brain. Whatever it was, what you previously recognized as too risky, may seem very easy. In other words, you lose the ability to evaluate reality rationally. In contrast, having solid self-confidence is based on self-awareness constantly analyzing surrounding reality. The brain, in spite of influencing the public, remains in hormonal balance all the time and none of the hormones is in excess. Speaking the human language, although it does not make such an impression, the role is played perfectly and behavior is controlled, but still impacting the emotions of others (the audience). This small difference in physiology makes it easy to identify people with false or solid self-confidence.

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4 January 2015

The Dark Side of the XXI Century

In previous post Funny money … I announced why social influence is becoming much easier, what you need to do to influence others and how to protect from succumbing to influence. What is necessary to influence others is effective communication. In the alleged text by Noam Chomsky – “Top 10 ways to manipulate people” it is concluded influence on masses needs simple childish language and tone, with focus on emotions, not reflection. These are just two points selected from the list of ten. Interestingly, Noam Chomsky denied the authorship of the text. However, many experts (including specialists from CIA) state that the text was not written by an amateur. (source – Racjonalista.pl)

We live in a world of information indigestion. The researchers of the University of California, San Diego, in 2009 counted that daily we consume 34 GB (gigabytes) of information. What does this mean? Living in the era of information, due to fast-growing mobile technology, our brains to not go crazy from information excess tend to process information very selectively, what they consider to be necessary for our survival. Therefore, we choose the information that fits our cognitive structures mindlessly. You must always remember that your brain sees what it wants to see.

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28 December 2014

Funny money? No, thank you!

One of the most important characteristics of an effective influencer is ability to use language properly. Relying on the obsolete theory of Howard Gardner on multiple intelligences (neuroscience rejects multiple intelligences as separate entities – more on this can be found in the book of Daniel Coyle “Talent Code”), verbal intelligence corresponds with an ability to use language effectively. Understanding written and oral communication, formulating complex expressions and adequate choice of words, all these define Howard Gardner’s verbal intelligence. A person with high verbal intelligence communicates with other people effectively, articulates his or her thoughts clearly, aptly chooses arguments justifying his or her position. One of the easiest exercises to develop alleged verbal intelligence is reading books, which is a disappearing activity in times of tablets, smartphones and simplification of language usage.

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16 December 2014

Fear of influencing others?

After many many years of observations gained from conducting training in the field of conscious influence I came to a conclusion people are reluctant to use any of techniques of influence consciously. Many a time I noticed in my previous posts that fear is a terrible adviser since fear paralyzes common sense thinking. Why is fear paralyzing? Because of the need of taking responsibility for the impact of influence, so called PRISONER’S DILEMMA.

Whether we like it or not, everyone uses social impact. The reason? – To make your life easier. Any form of communication among living creatures is a form of influence. Communication is not a transmission of information, contrary to what is commonly believed. Communication serves to interact with others and cause specific reactions or provoke. So everybody does it. Every single human being influences others, providing she or he share the same location with other human being. The simplest form of influence is ingratiation as a self-presentation. The hardest form is persuasion and eristic. The most common form of influence is lying and intriguing. Since people tend to delude themselves (ignorance is bliss), those who lie and plot do not have to make too much efforts to be successful.

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