The annual SHRM conference is almost upon us, and by now you should be starting to think about the sessions that you’d like to attend, the vendors in the expo hall you’ll need to visit, and of course you can’t forget about catching up with some friends and colleagues.
Sounds like you might need a "map".
My fellow bloggers have already interviewed several amazing speakers and have shared them with you, but I wanted to take a different approach. Call it the “Road Less Traveled” approach or, if you grew up in the tropics, more of a “Wherever the Caribbean Breeze takes me”. I wanted to find a speaker that was going to share something new, something creative, and bonus points if the session was at 7:00 a.m. So you can imagine my absolute joy when I found one that met all three criteria.
The session is titled “The Cartography of Negotiation,” presented by Mr. Scott Wayne. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more about Scott before I approached him for an interview. Here’s a bit from his corporate bio:
Scott is the lead negotiator of The Frontier Project. Working predominantly within the Frontier Envoy unit of the firm, he discreetly investigates global market opportunities, moderates executive summit meetings, leads product development teams and provides negotiation support to key clients.
Prior to founding The Frontier Project, Scott worked as a British Diplomat and led business development for a global law firm. He holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics where he studied on a Barclays Scholarship, and a graduate degree in Security Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. (From Scott’s profile on The Frontier Project)
This bit of research sealed the deal for me. I mean, how many times do you get an opportunity to hear a diplomat speak about negotiations? Exactly! All the more reason for me to ask. So I reached out and asked Scott if he’d like to be interviewed prior to the conference, and he graciously agreed.
JN: As a recruiter, I’m naturally drawn to unique stories, interesting phrases, and word choices. Why did you choose to use the word “Cartography”? It seems a bit academic, bordering on archaic?
SW: The American business community is obsessed with processes, specifically linear processes. But negotiation doesn’t follow a linear process. Just like hiking, there are many paths you can take to reach an end point. So, I borrowed language from the world of exploration and mapmaking to get this idea across.
JN: How has your training as a Diplomat helped you succeed in the highly competitive world of business, law, and just for fun, “the business of law”?
SW: Diplomacy has very little to do with the world of litigation. Litigation is about one side winning. Diplomacy is about both parties gaining, and as the world of business politics and social issues increasingly collide, a diplomatic mindset among corporate leaders is critical to navigating ambiguous and uncertain marketplaces.
JN: Your session is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21st. That day is going to be a long day for some attendees. Why should I come to your session?
SW: I’ll be in my pajamas! In all sincerity, though, I’m very conscious that people have to drive their hungover selves out of bed to make my talk. It will be worth it—I’m going to cover specific negotiation techniques for HR professionals to use with their more dominating counterparts, such as sales leaders, marketing officers, and finance teams. Negotiation will be the weaponry that aspiring HR leaders can use to dominate discussions and get the decisions made that they want. We’re also giving away digital copies of my book, The Cartography of Negotiation, to everyone who attends so they can continue fine-tuning these skills back home.
JN: Finally, what do you like to do for fun? How do you relax?
SW: Getting as far away as possible from electronic devices. Those same woodsy paths that inspired the title of my book inspire me on a much deeper level. If I’m not working, I’m running, hiking, or kayaking.
That was a heck of a lot of fun, and now I’m officially excited about the conference. Scott was incredibly nice and I know he's going to offer some great insight into a skill set that is absolutely critical in today's complex business environment.
Thank you, Scott, for taking the time to chat. And now you'll know where I'll be on Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m.!
For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.