Suyin Aerts
February 2, 2024


A new month has started! February, the month my new book will be published. This year is a leap year so I selected a special date for the launch: 29th February.

Publishing a book comes with many negotiations, and when you say negotiate we say asking questions. This book is about asking the right questions. 

The emphasis on the right questions is key, but there is no magic formula for the right question. A good question is one that takes into account who you’re asking, where you are, what situation you’re in and many other factors. Sometimes it’s an open question, sometimes it’s a closed question.

At the moment our whole country is blocked due to strikes by farmers. These recent strikes have cast a spotlight on the challenges within the agricultural sector. I am convinced that they will need to explore as well as farmers how asking the right questions during negotiations can be a catalyst for meaningful solutions. 

Understanding the farmers' perspectives requires a genuine curiosity about their challenges and aspirations, but I do have my doubts on how they are blocking a country and even playing with security.

I think negotiation is an art, by addressing crucial topics, negotiators can create a foundation for successful and collaborative negotiations. Each negotiation is unique, so adaptability and a willingness to engage in open dialogue are key factors in achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.

Asking the right questions is a big part of the negotiation process. When you ask questions I think you always need to keep in mind that there might be cultural differences that may impact communication and decision-making.

Being transparent and defining goals and objectives upfront may help, but we also need to stay open and agile to eventual changes during the negotiation process. Be prepared to make concessions but ensure that they are strategic and aligned with your goals.

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