Keld Jensen RSS Feed Keld Jensen Twitter YouTube Facebook LinkedIn
Keld Jensen
Switched On Leadership

Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed

  By Keld Jensen
Albert Einstein's was estimated at 160, Madonna's is 140, and John F. Kennedy's was only 119, but as it turns out, your IQ score pales in comparison with your EQ, MQ, and BQ scores when it comes to predicting your success and professional achievement... Continue Reading Article
Negotiator Magazine

Book Review: SMARTnership: The Third Road - Optimizing Negotiation Options

  By John D. Baker
Jensen provides his reader with both a negotiating style, a rational for its excellence and a careful selection of techniques to implement it; a case for the critical importance of an organizational style; and lastly, a brief blueprint for implementing it. One rarely finds a work that covers so much essential ground and does so with such skill. This is a book about building value, strengthening performance and winning competitive advantage. It truly is a must-read... Continue Reading Review
Jon Hansen

Executive Deceit and Optimizing Negotiation Outcomes

  PI Window on Business hosted by Jon Hansen
Keld was a guest on the PI Window on Business radio show hosted by Jon Hansen, where he discussed his book, SMARTnership: The Third Road. Listen to Interview
Generosity Isn't For The Holidays
  By Keld Jensen
...This time of year brings out the best in people. We focus on the important things, like family and friends. We look to help those less fortunate by volunteering, donating time and money to charities and others in need. In fact, in just the time between Thanksgiving and New Years, the average person makes 24% of their annual donations. However, my belief is that we are doing ourselves a disservice if we limit our generosity to the holidays. Instead, we need to make it a way of life. By looking to do right by others on a consistent basis, you’ll achieve a more rewarding and successful experience, both personally and professionally... Continue Reading Article
Be Thankful For What You Don't Have
  By Keld Jensen
It's good to be thankful for everything you have this holiday season, but you should also be grateful for what you lack. We live in a microwave society where we want fast results, and then we want them faster. People often choose the quick outcome instead of one that requires more time but is a better solution in the long-run. For all the things you don't have yet or had to give up in order to get something better, be grateful. Your ability to keep your ultimate goals and dreams in sight is what will allow you to rise to the top and create the life you really want... Continue Reading Article
Don't Negotiate Your Salary This Year
  By Keld Jensen
It's that time of year again. Holidays, family, and the all important question, "Will I get a pay raise?" Are you planning on negotiating salary with your boss this year? Here's some advice: don't do it. Instead, raise your expectations and see the big picture... Continue Reading Article
The Race To Zero: The Business Of Being Cheap
  By Keld Jensen
We all want goods and services to be cheap, and preferably very cheap, but have you considered the impact it’s having on our economy? Competition is good because it forces businesses to offer consumers a fair price. But how do we know when it’s been taken too far? Continue Reading Article
Why Negotiators Must Insist Their Opponent Makes A Profit
  By Keld Jensen
Imagine you’re headed down Madison Avenue, NY, when you pull up to a skyscraper on the corner of 77th street. You hop out of the car, tip the driver, and take the elevator up to the 60th floor to meet with the head of advertising at one of the most prominent marketing companies in the world. You are here to negotiate the pricing on a new multi-million dollar advertising contract. Your counterpart has a reputation for being a real hardball negotiator, so your palms start to sweat before you even enter the room... Continue Reading Article
You Can't "Win" Negotiations Without Rules Of The Game
  By Keld Jensen
Imagine you are about to compete in a tennis match. You have your racquet and are looking forward to a good match. You are tremendously surprised when you arrive at the court and your counterpart has set up two chairs and a table on the side. On the table is a chess board, stocked with knights, rooks, and pawns. He looks expectantly at you and asks, "Are you ready to play?"... Continue Reading Article
Goals! The Reason You're Not Achieving Yours (And Its Easy Fix)
  By Keld Jensen
If you're not reaching your goals, here’s an unusual piece of wisdom from the man who scored the most. Wayne Gretsky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer, once said, "A good hockey player skates where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be..." Continue Reading Article
Lies, Spies And Scandals: Who Can Be Trusted?
  By Keld Jensen
What happened to the days when you could complete a business deal with a single handshake? Do you remember the time before 9/11 when you could show up to catch your flight 10 minutes before takeoff? What precautions will follow as a result of Edward Snowden's exposure that our internet and phone activities are monitored by the government? How will this affect international business relationships?... Continue Reading Article
Three Shocking Truths About Lying At Work
  By Keld Jensen
Mark Twain famously said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." However, the benefit of a guilt-free conscious and a crystal-clear mind appears not to be a strong enough incentive to deter lying, especially in the workplace... Continue Reading Article
Money, Sex, Power: How To Get Plenty Of One
  By Keld Jensen
For the more traditional careers that apply to the 99% of us, I believe there is one key skill required to achieve the money or power of the 1%. Consider what abilities would be most valuable if your task was to convince your boss to provide you with a pay raise. If you are in a discussion with a valuable client, what skills are necessary to retain the account or create favorable terms? In your personal life, how would you increase your travel budget when your partner is against it, obtain a refund after the warranty expired, or make an appeal to the most attractive person you've ever met to go on a first date with you? Your success in all these situations is dependent on... Continue Reading Article
Consensus Is Poison! Who's With Me?
  By Keld Jensen
Consensus is a proven decision-making approach for sapping the intelligence of your entire team and creating watered-down results. Reaching a solution that everyone agrees on may sound nice in theory because it involves cooperation and collaboration. These are vital elements to smart decision making. However, consensus is often achieved by following the path of least resistance and allowing everyone an equal say. This throws personal accountability out the window, as well as the capacity for independent thought... Continue Reading Article
Want My Trust? Then Risk Your Arm First
  By Keld Jensen
We've all been burned by being overly trusting at least once during our careers. But we carry past prejudices to our own detriment, being distrustful and closed off to those we don’t know or completely understand. For decades, my firm, MarketWatch Centre for Negotiation, has studied the impact of trust on business transactions. We've found that negotiators typically lose up to 42% of a deals' potential value due to distrust and a zero-sum (I win when you lose) mindset. Conversely, when trust is high, transactional costs go down, the sales cycle shortens, and profits increase. Trust has real economic value which we refer to as Tru$t Currency™... Continue Reading Article
After the Boston Marathon Bombing: Trust? Are You Kidding?
  By Keld Jensen
On the evening of April 15, 2013, we all fell asleep feeling less confident in other people, more vulnerable, and sickened by the terrible person or people responsible for the bombing. Make no mistake; this is the goal that acts of terror attempt to accomplish. Beyond the immediate violence, they strive to create fear and panic in the populous... Continue Reading Article
Would You Like Free Dinner at the World's Best Restaurant?
  By Keld Jensen
Ranked the world's best restaurant for the last three years by Restaurant magazine, Noma's dining experience is near perfection, and so are its 386 Google reviews. Turning down a meal at Noma would be considered borderline insanity. Yet, when a professor from Northern Virginia Community College tried to find a couple to join him for "dinner on the house," he was met with nothing but awkward silence and rejection. Quite simply, no one would accept the offer because no one trusted him... Continue Reading Article
To Hell With Shareholder Value
  By Keld Jensen
Shareholder value: It’s been called the driving force of 21st-century business. It’s also been labeled “the dumbest idea in the world” by legendary chief executive Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Welch was able to dramatically increase revenue and shareholder value during his tenure, but GE’s extraordinary accomplishments were not the result of a single-minded focus on beating quarterly profits. Maximizing returns is an outcome, not a strategy... Continue Reading Article
Why Negotiators Still Aren't "Getting To Yes"
  By Keld Jensen
One of the all-time bestselling books on negotiation is Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Millions of people have purchased and read this masterpiece for its tremendous insights and academic perspective on deal-making. Unfortunately, there's one major problem with this classic title: It didn't work... Continue Reading Article
The Shooter: The Real Smoking Gun
  By Keld Jensen
In the wake of Sandy Hook and last summer's Colorado theater shooting, we are once again left with anger and confusion. Why do these shootings keep happening? Are they becoming more frequent? Are we becoming jaded to their impact? Do we need more laws and regulation?... Continue Reading Article
Flourish As An Influential Leader – Think Like A Negotiator
  By Keld Jensen
What do employee reviews, vendor selection, venture funding, and project planning all have in common? They all involve persuasion and negotiation. Although most business interaction is not formally labeled as a negotiation, communication in the workplace is most often used to reach an understanding, resolve differences, or produce an agreement on a course of action—these are, by very definition, the goals of a negotiation. As a leader, it is essential to your success to use the skills and mindset of a negotiator... Continue Reading Article
Hardball Costs, Generosity Pays
  By Keld Jensen
Generosity is an often overlooked negotiation variable that can yield surprisingly positive outcomes. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, there are many reasons why you want your partners to profit on any transaction you negotiate. In fact, you should insist upon it... Continue Reading Article
Don't be a Deal KILLER! Negotiate in SMARTnership
  By Keld Jensen
...Research from my firm, MarketWatch Centre for Negotiation, found that negotiators lose a huge amount of the potential value in a transaction due to dishonesty, distrust, and lack of communication. Conversely, our studies show that negotiators can reclaim up to 42% of the value buried in the deal by abandoning zero-sum games and forming a relationship based on informed cooperation and trust—what I call SMARTnership(tm). To access this sweet spot of maximum value and mutual-gain solutions, here are three steps negotiators should follow... Continue Reading Article
Nickeled and Dimed: Can Banks Buy Back Your Loyalty?
  By Keld Jensen
Banks can no longer afford to ignore the issue of broken trust and disappearing customer loyalty. According to a 2012 Edelman Survey, less than half of people around the world (47 percent) trust the banking industry "to do what is right"... Continue Reading Article
The Worst Negotiator in the World
  By Keld Jensen
When trust is discussed, there are generally two extremes: distrust on the one hand and naïveté on the other. Regardless of which you adopt, you will not get much out of a relationship built on either extreme. How do you determine when you can count on the person on the other side of the table?... Continue Reading Article
Rock Bottom: How Great Leaders Triumph Over Failure
  By Keld Jensen
Steve Jobs was fired from his own company; Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison; and Abraham Lincoln failed in business, had a nervous breakdown, and was defeated in eight elections. So how did all these people achieve such extraordinary success?... Continue Reading Article
The #1 Reason Why Liars Get Off The Hook
  By Keld Jensen
"You can't handle the truth!" Or at least that’s what some people want you to believe. Studies suggest that 6 out of 10 people lie at least once during a typical 10-minute conversation, and the people you get along with the best are no exception. In fact, in most instances, people use lies to appear more likable or to enhance their self image, which raises an interesting question: Do we give some liars a free pass just because we like them?... Continue Reading Article
Success Is Overrated: How Do You Handle Your Mistakes?
  By Keld Jensen
Success is easy to deal with, but how well do you handle your mistakes? Do you embrace them as opportunities to showcase your leadership skills, or do you shy away and look to cover up your flaws?... Continue Reading Article
The Naked Truth: How Body Language Reveals the Real You
  By Keld Jensen
Whether you’re presenting on stage or networking at a trade conference, discussing a project with a co-worker or detecting someone’s lie, body language is often the key to creating, or uncovering, the real meaning of a message... Continue Reading Article
WOW Your Audience! Four Ways To Deliver Masterful Presentations
  By Keld Jensen
I recently attended a conference at Harvard University which featured an array of presenters ranging from Ivy League academics to some of the most renowned international consultants in the world. As I sat in the audience and observed the differences among the presentation styles of the speakers, I was astonished by what I saw. Many of them broke rules advocated by communication experts, and yet they still captivated the audience and delivered masterful presentations... Continue Reading Article
Why Some People Are Worth More Than You: Trust Is Money
  By Keld Jensen
We all instinctively know what trust is, but many of us find it difficult to define, and even more challenging to value or quantify it accurately. This is understandable because we can "feel" trust, but we can't touch, taste, or see it. But thanks to new research on the concept, neurologists are now beginning to understand the biochemical processes behind trust... Continue Reading Article
Intelligence is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed
  By Keld Jensen
Albert Einstein's was estimated at 160, Madonna's is 140, and John F. Kennedy's was only 119, but as it turns out, your IQ score pales in comparison with your EQ, MQ, and BQ scores when it comes to predicting your success and professional achievement... Continue Reading Article
Good and Bad Negotiators: Which One Are You?
  By Keld Jensen
I once asked a corporate executive how he recruited good negotiators and he told me that he only hired the lucky applicants. When I asked him how he identified the lucky ones he said, "We had been looking for a new manager to head the purchasing department and we received more than 100 applications with the necessary qualifications. The first thing I did was to throw 90 of them into my wastepaper basket. The 10 which were not thrown out were lucky, and we hired one of them." As comical as his response is, the answer caused me to think: What does separate a good negotiator from a bad one? Is it sheer, dumb luck, or something more? Continue Reading Article
Rebuilding Trust: It All Starts With You
  By Keld Jensen
On March 14th's NY Times Op-Ed page, Greg Smith, an executive in Goldman Sachs London office, wrote a scathing commentary attacking both the company's leadership and its culture. Smith said he hoped the article would serve as a wakeup call for the company's board of directors. I hope this opinion piece inspires you to begin rebuild trust in your organization... Continue Reading Article
Lack of Trust Hurting Greek Economy
  By Keld Jensen
While Greece's financial stability is the most obvious and immediate concern, confidence—or a lack thereof—is a major issue and a growing part of the equation as the rest of the world's leaders circle the wagons in an effort to rescue this tiny country... Continue Reading Article
What's Your Negotiation Strategy?
  By Keld Jensen
In all the times I've asked, "How many people have a negotiation strategy?" to countless audiences of business leaders of all cultures, generations, and genders, the results never change: Almost no one has a defined negotiation and relational approach to their partners, suppliers, customers, or other stakeholders in their organization... Continue Reading Article
Boeing Flying High With Supplier SMARTnerships
  By Keld Jensen
Boeing is at the mercy of thousands of vendor partners to meet their parts requirements in order to meet delivery promises made to their customers. With the next six years of production already sold, Boeing’s main challenge is getting their 1,200 direct suppliers to ramp up production and ensure the quality of the parts ordered. How have they gone about solving the problem? By becoming more open, sharing information, and communicating more efficiently with their suppliers... Continue Reading Article
Three Negotiation Skills That Can Jumpstart The Economy
  By Keld Jensen
We live in an era characterized by jarring market volatility, single-digit profit margins, vaporizing trust, and unstable resource allocation. In a commercial environment laden with these challenges, negotiation skills are a key skill set to getting the economy back on track... Continue Reading Article
Negotiating Iran: Can U.S. End the Standoff?
  By Keld Jensen
"U.S. Not Keen On Negotiating With Iran"
That's the headline of a recent news clip that featured a panel of experts discussing the economic sanctions against Iran and the Iranian threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, a key passage way for oil tankers. While each of the three experts had different opinions on the matter, the sentiment seemed to be same: negotiations are nowhere on the horizon... Continue Reading Article

Soft skills all great leaders should have

  By Rachel Farrell
"It all starts with the ability to build trust. Oftentimes the greatest leaders, regardless of social or professional status, are remembered for inspiring others to buy in to a vision. This skill has less to do with focusing solely on business strategy and more to do with consistently showing others that 'I've got your back.'" -- Keld Jensen, managing director, MarketWatch Management, a consulting firm... Continue Reading Article
Contract Manufacturing and Packaging

Wading Through the Talent Pool

  By Jordan Brandes
CM&P> What actions can end a partnership with a contract manufacturer?
Jensen: From an internal perspective, there are a number of factors that can contribute to a partnership falling apart. These include dishonesty, lack of communication, failure to meet contractual obligations, distrust, the inability to collaborate and work together creatively, changing the rules midstream, withholding important information, creating an imbalance of rights and responsibilities, issuing threats and indulging in other combative or unfair tactics, and being greedy when the benefits begin to roll in. In the end, it is the human factor which matters the most to the success or failure of the business relationship... Continue Reading Article

What CEOs Need to Know About Hardball Negotiating

  By George Nicholas
"Always, always, always ask for something in return if you are going to make a concession," stresses Keld Jensen, managing director of the MarketWatch Centre for Negotiation, at the University of Copenhagen, who has written 16 books on negotiating. If you're faced with a last-minute demand, he favors using silence to make the other party explain its rationale. "The first thing to do is nothing," he says... Continue Reading Article
Business Insider

Seven Communication Rules For The Debt Super Committee

  By Stephanie Nora White and Rebecca Theim
By stressing rhetoric over substance, it’s no wonder that so little was achieved from the initial debt ceiling debate,” said Keld Jensen, an associate professor at the Copenhagen Business School and managing director of MarketWatch Centre for Negotiation. The two sides of the debt super committee need to have “an accurate understanding of their starting points, targets, overall objectives and thresholds for pain"... Continue Reading Article

Bargain Hunting Is the New Bootstrapping

  By Keld Jensen
Thinking about starting a new business with no immediate sales channel or sources of revenue? Start polishing up your negotiating skills—you're going to need them... Continue Reading Article
Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
Power Up Negotiations By Power Bargaining
  By Keld Jensen
Today's high-risk negotiation climate calls for a new style of negotiation called "power bargaining" — one in which cooperation builds powerful partnerships that allow hidden value to be found. Once uncovered, the extra value is skillfully debated and divided... Continue Reading Article
Negotiating for Mutual Benefit
  By Keld Jensen
Seven tried-and-true strategies can help your organization - and your suppliers - get more of what you both want from procurement negotiations... Continue Reading Article
Aspen Times

Your Move

Negotiating is a skill often practiced badly, as the recent debt-ceiling showdown demonstrated. Heed the lessons.
  By Dawn Klingensmith
Before getting down to business in a negotiation, "Know your starting point, target and threshold of pain," says Keld Jensen, chairman of the Centre for Negotiation at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. "One of the biggest barriers to cooperation in the debt ceiling deal was the lack of specific budgetary numbers. Stressing rhetoric over substance, it's no surprise it was difficult to find a suitable agreement"... Continue Reading Article
Industry Week

How To Power Bargain When Negotiations Get Tough

  By Keld Jensen
It's no longer enough for industry leaders to follow the footsteps that the traditional procurement process takes. When negotiations get tough, procurement masters must take the road less traveled and learn to Power Bargain... Continue Reading Article
Be Assertive to Get What You Want
  By Keld Jensen
Assertiveness is the ability to be aware of your personal strength, advocate your point of view, and take responsibility for your actions. It is this trait that allows business pros to find the perfect balance between being the overly aggressive used-car dealer stereotype and being introverted, too polite, and easily persuaded... Continue Reading Article
Engage Your Website Viewers
  By Keld Jensen
People's opinions and memories are controlled by representational systems or the use of their most preferred sense to interpret the world around them... Here are three tips to keep in mind to maximize your website's engagement potential... Continue Reading Article
Get Face-to-Face to See Eye-to-Eye
  By Keld Jensen
Only 20 percent of a message's impact actually comes from the content of words. Another 25 percent comes from the use of your voice, and a resounding 55 percent comes from the impression made by your physical presence and surroundings... Continue Reading Article
How to Sell More of Everything
  By Keld Jensen
Whether you're selling products, services, or ideas, every small business owner wants to sell more. The three most effective ways to do this are... Continue Reading Article
Also published in The Atlanta Post.
Win Over Difficult or Combative Customers
  By Keld Jensen
Eventually, all small business owners are faced with a customer who's ready for conversational battle... Continue Reading Article
Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
  By Keld Jensen
You could have a high intellect and prestigious education. Without emotional intelligence, however, your business will fail... Continue Reading Article
Use Body Language to Build Rapport
  By Keld Jensen
People don't buy your products, your services, or your brand. They buy you. Whether you're negotiating with suppliers, managing staff, or speaking directly with customers, it's vital that you create congruency between your words, your body language, and your message... Continue Reading Article
Business Ethics

Globalizing Your Moral Compass

  By Keld Jensen
"Relativity applies to physics, not ethics."
It's quite possible that when Albert Einstein first made this statement he intended to refer only to personal ethics. At the time he said it, most people probably would have agreed that the principle applied to business as well. However, times have changed. As businesses operate in an increasingly globalized world, ethical conduct is no longer an absolute standard... Continue Reading Article
Producers eSource
Four Ways Advisors Can Build Trust
  By Keld Jensen
Think your clients trust you? Statistically speaking, they probably don't. In a recent study by Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) looking at over 1,800 adults with household incomes of $50,000 or more, 85 percent said they find it more difficult to trust financial professionals than they did five years ago... Continue Reading Article
When It Comes to Planning with Annuities, Trust Is Money
  By Keld Jensen
In today's shaken financial services industry, the one phrase that should be on your mind is: "Trust is money." The financial crisis left a lot of investors with deep wounds and empty pockets. But as the market shows signs of recovery, a major roadblock will be investors' unease with putting their faith - or dollars - back in your hands... Continue Reading Article
Hartford Business Journal

Pro football bargaining show how not to deal

  By Keld Jensen
Amid mounting distrust, this year's negotiation between the NFL and the players' union is set to make the Super Bowl look like a Pop Warner exhibition match... Continue Reading Article
Accountability Central
In Denmark We Trust: What Leaders Can Learn From The Nation
With The World's Confidence

  By Keld Jensen
The global perception of the image of the United States has slid into further decline according to recent results reported by Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index. This year's index, which surveys global perceptions of corruption throughout the world, showed that the image of the United States deteriorated to a score of 7.3 (the lowest score since the survey began in 1995). Denmark retained the top score of 9.3...
The results raise a number of questions. How did Denmark achieve such a high rating? Why did the U.S. score drop? Continue Reading Article
It All Starts With You: Closing the Wounds of Distrust
  By Keld Jensen
In the aftermath of the financial panic of 2008, Congress recently passed the Dodd-Frank bill to overhaul financial regulations and prevent future crises from developing. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), one of the bill's architects, said a primary objective was to " and confidence" in the American financial system. It will take more than legislation to restore trust in the marketplace... Continue Reading Article
The Christian Science Monitor

Top 5 business deals of 2010 that hit your pocketbook

  By Keld Jensen
The past year has produced some of the most intriguing business deals of the decade, which boosted (or sunk) the fortunes of CEOs and shareholders alike. Perhaps the most relevant question, however, is what impact these transactions will have on consumers? Here are the Top 5 deals of 2010 that, for better or worse, will change the way you spend your money... Continue Reading Article
Life and Health Advisor

Trust is money

The "X" factor in producer performance

  By Keld Jensen
The financial crisis left a lot of investors with deep wounds and empty pockets. But as the market flirts with signs of recovery, a major roadblock for the financial advisor is investor unwillingness to put their faith, or their dollars, back in the hands of the professional... Continue Reading Article
Inside Business

Capping the Leak of Faith

The devastating economic effects of corporate irresponsibility

  By Keld Jensen
In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, hundreds of millions of gallons of crude oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. But that is not the only thing leaking right now; the business community is watching trust and credibility slowly seep away... Continue Reading Article (appears on page 7)
   Corp! Magazine

Two Plus Two Equals Forty-Two

Driving Your Bargain on the Road Less Traveled

  By Keld Jensen
You enter the conference room and take your seat across the table from a guy who has something you want. It could be money, or services, or widgets. Based on past experience you have an expectation of the probable outcome; you’re pretty clear as to what you will leave the table with, give or take a percentage point or two... Continue Reading Article
Download PDF