By @SimonCocking we recently reviewed by The Leader’s Guide to Negotiation by Simon Horton. We thought it might be interesting to dig a little deeper into why he wrote the book. See more about the book and how to buy it here.

What inspired you to write the book?

Actually, it was for two reasons, one selfish, one not so selfish. The first, let’s not lie about this, is that writing a book is good marketing for a consultant like me. The second, perhaps more honourable, reason is that I want to help people and I think the book can do that. I think if people follow the techniques outlined in the book it will make their lives better. It will help them achieve their goals and build better relationships at the same time.

We enjoyed the book. You’ve had a diverse career / life experience, how much did that help & inform your desire to ensure that this was as practical a book as possible?

A lot. I believe it is important to be able to communicate your ideas to all kinds of people and I bore that in mind when writing. What’s more, I think it’s important to keep things interesting at all times and so I really tried to bring in stories from all areas of life to illustrate the points. I want people to learn a lot from it but enjoy the learning process.

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If you do a second edition is there anything you will do more or less on / or change in anyway?

I think its a bit too early to answer that, this book is only just out and in my eyes its perfect, ha, ha!

How do you apply these experiences into your own day to day life?

Well, I think we are negotiating all the time – everyday life is full of micro-negotiations with our family, our friends, our colleagues, the people we meet. So these techniques apply everywhere. One simple example, I do try to consider other people’s wins in any interaction I have. And if I am involved in a classic set-piece negotiation like buying a house or selling some work, I definitely take the time to consciously think it through from the perspective of all the techniques in the book.

What top tips would you give for startups when dealing with potential angel investors who coming looking for disproportionately large slices of their businesses?

Get a repeat player on your side. This type of negotiation is very unequal – for most start-ups it is the first time they have gone through the process but the investor has done it many times. Consequently, the investor knows all the tricks and knows how to make the contract seem fair but actually there is one phrase hidden in one of the clauses that means they hold all the cards. So get someone, for example a lawyer who specialises in this kind of transaction, on your side. It might cost but it will be worthwhile in the long-run.

What’s next for you?

I think more of the same – teaching negotiations to various organisations. Since the book came out I have actually been contacted by a few television production companies, that would be nice if something came of it but I’m certainly not holding my breath. We shall see.

Will you be coming to Ireland?

Yes, I will be visiting briefly in July but not in a work context. I have a lot of family in Ireland and I will be taking my mum over to catch up with them.

Anything you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

I cant think of anything specifically. I just hope people enjoy the book and find it useful in their lives.


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