Training in Copenhagen

At the end of November I delivered a training course on Advanced Negotiation Skills. OK, that’s something I’ve done quite frequently over the years, but this course had a slight difference.  This was the first course I’ve delivered as an Associate with CEDR.

It was wonderful working with my co-trainers: Andy Grossman has been delivering conflict resolution training with CEDR since “forever” (about 20 years) and has a wealth of experience; the third of our team was Phil Williams, a retired police officer who now specialises in delivering training around hostage and crisis negotiation.

Djøf delegates getting to grips with collective bargaining, November 2017

The trainees were all members of Danish organisation Djøf (the Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists), a trade union for lawyers, economists and a wide range of other skilled workers across all sectors.  Trade unions are much stronger in Denmark that the UK, with around 67% of workers in membership.  Indeed, the workforce takes a key role in the strategic direction of many businesses. As such, they operate at all levels of the business and often have a greater buy-in to business decisions than is the norm in the UK.

It was fascinating to see how the delegates worked through the course and embraced different aspects of negotiation. The emphasis was clearly on cooperation and people seemed genuinely uncomfortable even having to role-play situations where they had to hold a line and end up in conflict. Their explanation was that this is the Scandinavian way: being reasonable, finding the common ground and working towards a mutually beneficial outcome are second nature.

While Andy and Phil focused on negotiation theory, behaviour and motivation in negotiation, I focused on the collective aspects of negotiating in a workplace.

Like many unionised organisations in the UK, it’s common in Denmark for there to be multiple unions involved with an employer. To simulate that, we ran role-play scenarios where the delegates had to negotiate towards a pay agreement, given a range of restrictions and contradictions within which to find an outcome.

It was wonderful to see the range of approaches they came up with to present and justify their position, whether they were role-playing management or staff, and the enthusiasm with which they set about negotiating.  Suffice to say, it was encouraging that all of the groups were able to achieve their objectives and came away with a greater understanding of the challenges ahead when faced with real collective bargaining situations.

All in all, from a training delivery perspective, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

 

Malcolm Currie

 

I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the topics raised in this article, so please leave a comment or, if you’d like to discuss anything more directly, please contact me at malcolm@strathesk.co.uk or give me a call on 07736068787.

SME Sickness Absence – Prevention or Cure, THAT is the Problem…

Most of my blogs have been about topics in the news that I find interesting, or on which I’d like to provoke a little debate, but this time round I thought I’d take a slightly different approach and reach out to people who, like me, run or work for small/micro businesses for whom sickness absence […]

Continue reading...

Good Riddance to Employment Tribunal Fees

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but the Cameron Government’s decision to charge fees for people to raise claims in the Employment Tribunal has finally been shown to be illegal. In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled that charging people up to £1200 so they can challenge the legality of their employer’s […]

Continue reading...

Taylor Report on Employment – where now?

 We (OK, a few of us) were on tenterhooks waiting for the publication of the Taylor Report into employment practices in the UK, but will it make things clearer or further muddy the waters? Uber, Deliveroo and Pimlico Plumbers have all been answering legal questions about the legitimacy of a business model that sees them, […]

Continue reading...

Back to the Future as wages are predicted to stay in the past

In spite of political insistence that the economy is recovering, and has been for a good while, this week the BBC’s Economics Editor has predicted that wages are likely to stagnate for a good while longer. That conclusion isn’t really a surprise, but it will be a disappointment for many given the extent to which pay has […]

Continue reading...

Are you dying to go home?

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. 28 April 2017 is the annual Workers’ Memorial Day.  It’s hard to believe that the world of work is still so dangerous.  Of course, many of us underestimate the risk of many of the things we do each day – how many people treat driving […]

Continue reading...

Trade Unions face big new fines

Trade Unions face big new fines “The number of working days lost are at historically low levels when looking at the long-run monthly time series back to the 1930s.” Sneaking past the radar, under cover of Brexit, the Government is running a number of consultations, including ones around the Trade Union Act 2016 and Corporate […]

Continue reading...

Trade Union Act looms large…

This extremely useful summary by David Morgan at Burgess Paull of the upcoming changes through the Trade Union Act caught my eye, and brought to mind some of the key issues surrounding the Act. The existence of this legislation in the first place is a bizarre piece of ideological policy making, since it certainly isn’t/wasn’t […]

Continue reading...

Disciplinary Penalties: You’ll Have Done Your Time?

This is an interesting one.  An  Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently ruled that an employer acted fairly in dismissing someone while taking into account a number of disciplinary issues that were, according to their procedures, ‘spent’. The case is an extreme one, with the employer having taken 18 formal actions against the individual over a 12 year […]

Continue reading...

Time to call time on out of hours e-mail?

The French now have an absolute right NOT to check their e-mail out of hours, but why do people do it in the first place?  Is a law necessary?  And how much of it comes as an expectation of the employer, and how much is self-inflicted? I suspect there may be a PhD in accurately […]

Continue reading...