Four Negotiation Tactics We Can Learn from Copenhagen/ The Leadership Moment

Leaders’ Negotiation Skills:

The much vaunted United Nations conference at Copenhagen is over – but not the wheeling and dealing that led to a much criticized conference statement which promised some improvements in carbon emissions, but held no one accountable for any targets. From the outset, from a leadership perspective the challenge was huge: 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders attempting to agree on something – ANYTHING. Essentially, the delegates were split into two broad camps – the developed countries resisting an agreement that would legally bind them to cut emissions by a certain amount by 2020; and the developing world that wanted more help to reduce their emissions, and also to avoid being tied down to legal agreements that might both save the planet and nix their growing economies.

These were dense, multilateral negotiations, and here are what we can learn from the negotiation skills displayed by the players. China, one of the world’s biggest polluter (bit not by a per capita basis) adopted two effective negotiation tactics:

for the rest of the feature, go to The Asian Negotiator (see our new blog on negotiating your best and highest futures


A boy gathers up his football, assembles his buddies to plan the game they have against another bunch of local kids at the park. A shopfloor worker holds an informal lunchtime meeting about a safety issues. What is going here? Nothing but simple everyday leadership. Leadership is not a high level, complex skill reserved for the big shots. Leadership is for everyone who has ever decided to take upon a task or worked with a group of people sharing a common goal.

In that journey they learn how to crystallise words into action, win buy-in from others if needed, retain clarity of what they need to do, and move to action. What people do not need are distractions, put-downs, naysayers. So what can you today? Ask your colleague about a leadership moment they experienced in the past week – discuss how they performed, and what they could do even better. It starts with such simple steps.

Have a great month ahead!

David Lim,
Certified Speaking Professional (CSP)

“Its not how much you know, but how much you apply what you know, everyday, towards a goal.”
David Lim