In many aspects of life one of the most important aspects is, wait for it, timing.
A good gag, the perfect time to hit a volley, the lightest of soufflés, all require a mixture of patience, confidence and skill to get the best reaction from your audience, competitor or diners.
Seems you need to also keep your eye on the clock or calendar if you are negotiating.
This week is the 5th November. The time when we in the UK remember the foiling of the Gunpowder plot to destroy the House of Lords thus assassinating King James 1st. This happened in 1605 and since then an annual ritual has been to celebrate the reprieve by burning bonfires and letting off fireworks, and rather unpleasantly, burning an effigy of the main protagonist, Guy Fawkes.
It is also the time when the UK Fire Service have decided to call a number of limited strikes to protest against the Government’s decision to allow Firemen and women to be forcibly retired once they reach 55, if they fail a rigorous fitness test.
Traditionally a busy time for fire services, it seems the decision to strike has been timed to make the maximum impact, and as the dispute has been rumbling for some time, to bring the issue to a head.
Now I am not here to argue the toss about the fitness of our fire fighters, it does seem to me that a degree of fitness is essential. But that is not my point here.
Deciding when to negotiate, when to block and when to force the other sides hand is integral to understanding how the balance of power switches and making the most of your own position.
The trouble of course with time is that it constantly marches on. When the fires go out it will be interesting to see what effect, if any the fireworks have had.