Nelson Mandela the Negotiator - lessons for business

29 May 2017

In a fascinating presentation which traverses Mandela's life from the early 1940's when he arrived in Johannesburg as a young lawyer to his release from an apartheid prison in 1990, John Brand identifies many pertinent lessons in negotiation from Mandela's style of negotiation. 

These lessons include the following:

  • Mandela worked over many years to strengthen the ANC's best alternative to a negotiated agreement, his BATNA, and weaken that of the apartheid government.
  • He understood the difference between a position and an interest, and focused on the interests of both the ANC and the government. He worked hard to find overlapping interests and common ground.
  • He was a master at building relationships with his adversaries, separating people from the problem and focusing his energies on the problem.
  • He was a brave leader, seeing himself as more than a mere mandate bound messenger. He nevertheless appreciated the importance of the mandating dynamic and worked hard at maintaining the confidence of his constituency.
  • He was an excellent listener, with a capacity for really hearing and for empathy.

To view John's presentation CLICK HERE