Long hard experience has taught me that, 'I can learn from the past, but I influence the future by how I behave in the present.' Provocatively, I would suggest this is the one and only thing that any of us can actually control in life - how we choose to behave in the present. 

It is that commitment and consistency to how others experience us that is the most influential factor in what benefits come our way. Many call it luck, actually it isn't. We contribute to this so-called 'luck' through how we choose to interact with the world far more than we ever appreciate. That's not luck, that is skill and I like to refer to this particular skill set, highlighted by Google, as 'skills for life.'

The 'surprising' Google research, recently updated, confirms what Hostage and Crisis Negotiators have for decades placed at the forefront of their skills inventory when it comes to achieving the seemingly impossible.

In a similar vein, if you look at the people who you truly admire and then consider the really great negotiators who seem to achieve so much; they are doing just that. They are as focused on the 'how' to deliver, as the 'what' to deliver. In business speak, I have learnt that the 'what' is also referred to as the 'hard skills' and commonly is the focus of great business investment. The 'how' gets a side mention and is referred to in more hushed tones as the 'soft skills.'

Knowledge about the 'what' of your particular business is, of course, important, but combine that with great 'soft skills' and you are in another league. These are in fact the 'tough skills' to truly master and more aptly are the 'critical skills' for business, organisations and anyone looking to really achieve the extraordinary.

In that endeavour, CEDR can help. 

We offer a wide range of tailored packages that include our flagship Advanced Negotiation Course or our new modular programme in 'Skills for Life' - master active listening, managing emotion, how to have that difficult conversation and be an agent of influence. To learn more, contact the CEDR Skills team at training@cedr.com

Philip Williams is a former Director of Hostage Negotiation for the Met Police and one of our lead negotiation trainers. He brings his experience of negotiation in global crises to the world of business and works with leaders globally to help them advance their skills and capability.