TRI-POD Series 4: Talking the art of negotiation with Paul Duckworth

TRI-POD, The Moodie Davitt Report’s video podcast series in association with The SEVA Group, returns this month with Series 4. First up we feature Paul Duckworth, a renowned expert in the field of negotiation, an expertise constantly required (though often lacking) in travel retail but seldom talked about publically.

There are few people better qualified to discuss the subject than Paul, who (on the eve of this podcast) has just joined professional negotiation, coaching and training firm Scotwork, the latest step in a stellar career.

UK-based Paul describes himself as an international negotiation and intercultural engagement master practitioner and that mastery in terms of experience, knowledge and insight base certainly shines through in this episode.

In this engaging conversation with co-hosts Martin Moodie and Roger Jackson (The Seva Group), Paul offers a series of keen observations on the art of negotiation. Here are some of the stand-outs.

On creating a two-way street

“The key essence of negotiation is giving to get. So making sure it’s not just conceding – i.e. you’re not just reducing the price every time or upping the ask every time. It’s about understanding, well, if we can do this for them, then they can be prepared to do more for us. It’s about making it easier for the counterpart to say yes.”

Martin and Roger fly low cost carrier TRI-POD Airlines towards our resident desert island. Later (fuel permitting) we fly Paul to the destination that resides at the top of his bucket list. Where will it be?

On preparing for the unexpected

“Always be prepared for something new coming in. Be flexible in terms of your approach with different people – that’s got to be key. Having that open mind doesn’t mean what they say is right or you have to bend into that. But it’s about understanding that there’s always something going to be coming which you weren’t quite expecting when you were doing your preparation.”

On creating mutual understanding

“Seek first to understand before you want to be understood. That engagement, the conversations which happen in less formal environments – understanding about their organisation and the culture from which they’ve come and them as individuals – is a really key part.”

On the art of the deal

“If you think you’ve got a successful deal, help the other party sell it internally inside their organisation by providing something which they can go back with to make their organisation feel there’s a deal which works for both parties.”

As always with TRI-POD, we fly our guest on ultra-low cost carrier TRI-POD Airlines to our resident desert island (with offshore duty free status).

There Paul reveals his favoured duty free purchases, choice of reading (without giving the game away, let’s just say it’s a long but Swift read), music, and the wonderfully diverse and intelligent trio of guests he would invite to a private dinner party.  ✈

Note: Would you like to appear with Roger and Martin on TRI-POD? Drop Martin a line at and we will be in touch.

Earlier on Tri-Pod (click on the links to listen)

In conversation with Formulae Prescott Founder Pauline Prescott

Meet Koma Karanth Foundation Founder Maitreyi Karanth

Meet Ellen Torvi of Gold Bar Whiskey

Meet Garry ‘Gadget’ Maxwell of GMAX Travel Retail

Susan Gray, globetrotting airport concessions specialist and “accidental hotelier”

Dufry’s Isabel Zarza

TFWA Managing Director John Rimmer

Brand Embassy and Dayholi Founder Fjolla Holzleithner on ‘sharing happiness’

In conversation with Accolade Wine’s Martin MacKinnon

In conversation with Philip Morris International’s Patrick Awad

In conversation with Mast-Jägermeister’s Toby Witte

How a crazy dream came true – Mirabeau Founder Stephen Cronk

“I’m at war with unfairness” – Patrick Doyle, International Diplomatic Supplies Founder

In conversation with Lagardère Travel Retail’s Bruno Gouisset

In conversation with Lagardère Travel Retail Middle East’s Jacqui Davies

In conversation with Tim Young

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