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George Masrua

  • Programme: Negotiating and Influencing Skills for Leaders
  • Nationality: American
  • Job Post-programme: SeniorVice President for Development, Miral Asset Management

Professional background

George joined Miral Asset Management in 2011, where in his current role he is part of a team that manages a portfolio of key government-owned assets. Previously he worked as a Senior Associate at Gulf Related and a Business Associate, based in New York with Related. 

Through my current position at Miral Asset Management, I have gained some experience negotiating with third parties; however my upcoming role will require me to go out to market to negotiate deals and partnerships on a more regular basis. In anticipation of this, I wanted to attend a negotiation training programme and fine tune my own approach to negotiations. I chose London Business School for a number of reasons, in particular the practical nature of the curriculum and the diversity of the participants.

I was attracted to the programme’s focus on understanding and becoming comfortable with my own personal negotiation style and I feel I achieved exactly that. The superb faculty provided the theory, including the psychology of negotiating and specific ways to tackle issues that may arise. It’s up to you to then take what you’ve learnt and implement it in practical simulations. This provides a unique and safe environment where you can test the range of different approaches to negotiating in both one-on-one and group situations. I was able to push the boundaries in terms of what I would usually be comfortable with or do in a real life situation, knowing that there would not be any negative consequences.

During one of the practical simulations, I was trying to see how far I could go with a negotiation and the other participant ended up shutting down and essentially walking away. It was fantastic for giving me a gauge of how hard I can go from a psychological point of view and how people react to different ways of negotiating. I was testing the approach, and I would never usually have had the chance to do that for risk of failure. As a result, I am now far more confident in knowing my boundaries when negotiating deals for Miral.

Most of the negotiations are filmed and then reviewed with a coach, which was an extremely beneficial process. The invaluable feedback I received on my negotiation style, approach, and body language provided me with many tips and tools that I have implemented when negotiating with other people.

It was also important to me to get exposure not just to the American way of thinking and negotiating, but also to people from other parts of the world. I was very happy that the participants weren’t just diverse in the sense of nationality but also their backgrounds. Not everyone was from pure commercial backgrounds and both the public and private sectors were represented. It was really interesting to interact, learn and share with all those people as their style and way of conducting themselves was very different to what I was used to. As a result of the programme I have a new angle and view of how different people operate and this has changed the way that I approach and interact with them in real life negotiations.

In fact, the programme has helped with the way that I approach things generally. It shows and teaches you how to read other people in a more scientific way and I have found that really helps with how people react to you. It has had a very positive impact for me in self awareness and being more confident in how I can get my way. Thinking about potential future negotiations with future parties, I know that I will use what I have learnt on the programme. It has shown me that I can be more assertive than I have been, taught me how to remove myself from the details and how to accelerate in my level of thinking. I would absolutely recommend NISM to anyone that needs to brush up on negotiating skills and wants to gain in self– confidence when negotiating with others.