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Negotiating with the Russians: What we can learn from the Tetris movie

Jules Bakhos

Do you know the feeling when you stumble upon a movie trailer, and you can no longer wait for the perfect moment to watch the motion picture?

For me, the latest occurrence of this was last week, when I finally watched Tetris, the movie about the famous video game that took over our thumbs and eyeballs in the 90s.

This is not a movie review, however, Tetris was a thrilling adventure, but most importantly, it is based on a true story, my favorite kind of movie.

Tetris was invented by a Russian coder working for the Russian government in the 80s. A sales executive working in the gaming industry wanted to sell this game all over the world, but he had to negotiate with the Russians.

For a negotiation consultant, this was truly a treat as I could dissect the negotiation scenes piece by piece and critique each party’s efficiencies and behaviour.

 

 

There is a comedic scene for the audience, but highly strategic for me, when the Russian negotiator steps out of the room multiple times, and at one point, the sales executive loses his mind when the Russian once again leaves the meeting.

It is a perfect example of the benefits of taking adjournments in a negotiation. While one party might be losing power and want to take some time to think, the other party might be thinking the complete opposite, that its counterpart is playing games and is in full control of the situation.

Keep in mind that adjournments can be the time in between two meetings, so it is up to you to show patience and avoid making rushed decisions that could cost you millions of dollars by the time you shake hands.

 

For businesses and professionals keen on honing their negotiation skills, especially in challenging international contexts, partnering with experienced consultants can be invaluable. Scotwork in the Middle East, for instance, has a rich legacy of guiding individuals and teams through the complexities of negotiation. Drawing from real-world examples like Tetris, Scotwork Middle East emphasizes practical, hands-on strategies that can be applied in various scenarios.

While Tetris might be an unconventional touchpoint for negotiation strategies, it underscores the importance of adaptability, patience, and strategic thinking.

When you're negotiating with any party, being equipped with the right skills and mindset is crucial to be able to get what you are negotiating for.

Rushed decisions can be costly, both in terms of finances and relationships. The art of utilizing adjournments effectively can be the difference between a deal that's satisfactory and one that's truly advantageous.

 

If you're looking for expert guidance in this domain, Scotwork in the Middle East stands out as a trusted ally thanks to its decades of expertise in the matter. Should you want to get your team how to best utilize adjournments, and help them become the masters of cliffhangers, connect with Scotwork in the Middle East which includes Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, and Jordan so we can share some interesting insights and go into more in-depth conversation.

Jules Bakhos
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