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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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Negotiation success is all about accessing another dimension of leadership

Negotiation success is all about accessing another dimension of leadership

Negotiation skills workshops have to be one of the most popular training courses in recent corporate history. Executives sign up hoping to acquire all sorts of skills and manoeuvres to get a great deal. They learn about going silent, being prepared to walk away, assertiveness and much more.

While the training may work in the short term, they almost invariably impair the chances of longer-term success. Just think about how you feel when someone has got one over on you. It might be a short-term victory for them, but you are fuelled by an increased motivation to return the favour. The situation sets up such a high degree of competitiveness that the next time the winner becomes the loser. Ultimately it’s a zero sum game – a lose-lose scenario.

In theory, we know that a win-win scenario is much more desirable. The trouble is that such scenarios are not easy to broker. One reason for this is that many people operate in the binary world of ‘either/or’. They create answers that are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. So either you’ve won the argument or I have. We can’t both win. Either my point of view is correct or yours is, we can’t both be correct at the same time. 

Such a binary view of the world is a sign of under development. Thus when you develop yourself and you become more vertically sophisticated, it’s possible to appreciate how to hold two apparently different contradictory points of view at the same time. To illustrate this point consider the story of the blind men and the elephant that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Four blind men were examining an elephant and arguing with each other about what they were feeling. Each was certain that their ‘view’ was correct. The person feeling the tusk believed he was examining a pipe; the person feeling the tail rejected this idea saying that what they were examining was a rope, etc. They all argued that their perspective was correct and they could not appreciate any other person’s points of view. Only when a sighted man came along was the full picture revealed.

So when we are negotiating we may be taking a partial and incomplete view. If, by contrast we are able to appreciate, in our negotiations, the complete picture and take a more inclusive frame, we may succeed. Basically we need to develop the ability to transcend our own point of view and include other perspectives. We may have a piece of the truth but so may the person we are in negotiation with. The ability to ‘transcend and include’ multiple perspectives is sign of vertical development. If we can do this, then we have unlocked the fourth dimension of leadership (4D Leadership). The more sophisticated you are, the more able you are to embrace different points of view. This ability to hold multiple points of view enables the best negotiators to be successful.

Read more about how 4D leadership development can enhance negotiation success in 4D Leadership.

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Dr Alan Watkins

Alan is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance. He has a broad mix of commercial, academic, scientific and technological abilities.


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