Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.
Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.

The Negotiation Skills Company -- Newsletter January 2009

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The occasional newsletter of
The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. (TNSC)

Number 43, January 2009

The occasional newsletter of The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. (TNSC)

Memorial Edition


Negotiation is very much a 'people' activity. Machines may be utilized as tools to carry forward the negotiation process - but the communication, collaboration, and decision-making are all the province of human beings.

Relationships are crucial as people negotiate. It is critical to understand the nature of the relationship between negotiators, their constituents, and other interested parties. Moreover, as negotiators representing different parties deal with each other, they must understand the relationships of the parties and the degree to which relationship issues complicate - or simplify the negotiation process. For seven years The Negotiation Skills Company was blessed with the involvement of Marsha Vaughan, whose title Vice President of Marketing barely touched the extent of her involvement in every activity of our team. Marsha's relationships with TNSC's clients, suppliers, and trainers improved all of those interactions. She developed methodology and used her organizational skills to add value to the entire process and all the work we do.

Marsha Vaughan died on January 2nd after a valiant battle with cancers that invaded her body, but never had a chance against her spirit, her sense of humor, or her capacity to empathize with others. Towards the end of her life I brought my laptop to her room in the hospice with photos and videos from clients as well as members of TNSC's training team who wanted to say hello - and good-bye. Marsha looked at me and asked, "What kind of crazy person brings a laptop to the bedside of a dying woman?" As she looked at the photos and videos, there were tears in her eyes reflecting the profound emotion of feeling so appreciated.

One of the strengths Marsha brought to TNSC was her understanding of the value of preparation. As her body battled the cancer, she focused on planning her funeral. She found that preparation was another way of prolonging her sense of being alive, of being in charge of something.

TNSC lost Marsha's day-to-day presence in December 2007 - when she stopped work to focus on her treatment and her family. But she remained actively interested in our work through 2008.

This newsletter is not our usual discussion of the negotiation process - yet the way Marsha negotiated with her health and her life is a lesson for us all.

We will miss her enormously.

Final Word

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote:
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Steven P. Cohen, President
The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.

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The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.   P O Box 172   Pride's Crossing, MA 01965, USA   
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