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Tim - Nice summary. I can't agree more with the approach - and as you know I have witnessed success!
I think you hit the nail on the head. After participating in several negoations, there is a stark contrast of success between facilities where there is trust and ones where trust is lacking. Credibility goes a long way in making change and the number one way to build credibility is to show that you've taken time to understand the business and processes. This not only pertains to negotiations but building effective relationships as well.
Having worked with Tim I know this approach is successful whether in US or Europe.