My first mentor back in 1992 mentioned the quote “Walk a mile in another persons shoes” and it has stuck with me, defined me and served me well in high level corporate negotiations, business transactions, M&A, contract discussions, property deals and securing mutually agreeable terms, time and time again.

It has also served me well in problem solving which is a fundamental pillar of what I have always done. If you can understand where someone else is in life, what their circumstances are, what they consider as a great series of outcomes and crucially cement a bond of trust that enables transparency, you are far better able to position a win:win outcome.

Our business is EquaGroup, encompassing EquaLife and the EQUA stands for our values of Creating and Enabling Shared and Sustainable Value.

If you can inspire deal creation and problem solving and work in a equatable manner where all parties come out of the final deal with something approaching what they expected then you will be able to create an extremely stable and sustainable business founded on solid bed-rock.

In our day to day businesses, conversions and developments we regularly assess our societal partners and what great looks like to them and many of our ‘partners in success’ included in the attached image – how many of them do you consider a ‘partner in your success’. It is extremely thought provoking and I strongly recommend you do this on each transaction.

Your values define YOU and your modus operandi, they are not skin deep they form part of your DNA.

Negotiating is hard and you must be firm and know your position and be clear – however this can be done professionally in any circumstances – “It is not just what you do, it is how you do it”

So remember when making offers, negotiating and examining how to do a deal, working with private investors etc, always start with open questions to understand who would be invested in the deal, what each party’s circumstances are, what an acceptable outcome would look like and when, and how that can be accomplished to the satisfaction of all parties.

Seasoned negotiating starts with who you are, how you ask open questions and absolutely how you then listen. People rarely remember what you said or when you said it, however they will definitely remember who you made them feel.

I wish you well as you create shared value in everything you do for you and your ‘partners’.