I was mostly aware of the energy flows in the room. It was interesting to observe the ritual of gauging the opposing side by
their demeanor, their tone of voice, eye contact, sense of humor, and ability to articulate points in a logically convincing way. On one level, it seemed there was a lot of straight forward stuff, given that there are precedents for many of the contract points discussed, so that the process became more of a reasonable exchange (compromise) on both parts to arrive at the middle, where some things may be granted and others withheld given the particular atmosphere in the room that day. By that I mean that, everything else being equal (the precedent of other contracts), our presence in the room or the perception of it by management may tip the scale. So, while some things did seem more difficult to pass and were deferred, others seemed to respond more easily to the atmosphere and presence that we may have in the room either as articulate, intelligent, and able to counter back arguments or as an incompetent and easily tricked bunch of people. Alyssa--our lead negotiator--seems to handle them (and their egos) beautifully. So, it seems that, at least on one level, management?s perception of a strong will (ours) and controlled egos (ours) does play a role in our favor.