ASK THE GURUS

Negotiating can be tricky. Sometimes the nuclear option seems like the only weapon left, and Michael Geoghegan was recently reported by some to have threatened to leave HSBC unless he was made chief executive (something that the bank denies), though he didn’t get the job and is now leaving. But might threats be the way to get the result that you want?

Ceri Roderick business psychologist, Pearn Kandola
THREATS are usually a very poor negotiating tool, especially when the implied threat is against an organisation rather than an individual. No one – and certainly no business – likes to feel that they are being backed into a corner and the risk is that the response can be as petulant as the threat.

Psychologically you will have damaged the basis of loyalty and trust that is the subtext for any contract of employment, and forgiveness will be slow to come. If you are prone to the dramatic grand gesture, you might be wise to develop some strategies to help you recognise when you are at risk of letting your pride rule your prudence.

Thomas Drewry managing partner at executive advisory and search firm Veni Partners
SENIOR bankers in want of a promotion or higher compensation often try to arm themselves with an insurance policy in the form of a signed offer from a competitor. This often gives them enough confidence to negotiate a better deal internally, either by going through the motions of a “bona fide” resignation or by merely threatening it.

However, such a negotiating strategy should be used with moderation as institutions resent being held to ransom and will often start working on a contingency plan. Using it more than once is also ill advised – so if you go down this route, pick your battles wisely.

Paul McGee managing director of PMA International and author of SUMO – Shut Up, Move On
WE CAN all make decisions and come out with rash statements in the heat of the moment, but they can often leave you full of regrets and with a trail of burnt bridges behind you. Whether it’s bargaining for promotion or trying to influence others to your way of thinking it is never a good idea to shoot from the hip when negotiating – it’s far better to think through your strategy.

Your emotions will cloud your rational judgement and you could appear rash, hot headed and irrational – not exactly great promotion material. Avoid striking while the iron is hot because you could end up getting burnt.