Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Solving the Big Political Problems of 2023

Alpesh Patel Wednesday 04th January 2023 06:18 EST

We enter 2023 with hope yet see political divisions and problems everywhere. From major ones such as the war in Ukraine to perennial ones such as in the Middle East and with China.

My top tips for resolving difficult political negotiations where both sides seem poles apart would be to focus on finding common ground and building a mutually beneficial solution.

It can be helpful to identify the underlying interests and concerns of each party and look for ways to address them in the negotiation.

Additionally, it can be helpful to involve a neutral third party, such as a mediator, to facilitate the negotiation and help to build trust between the parties, as the US was in Northern Ireland.

Finally, it is crucial to maintain clear and respectful communication throughout the negotiation process in order to build a foundation of understanding and cooperation.

  1. Avoid getting stuck on small details and try to keep the big picture in mind.
  2. Use active listening skills to fully understand the other party's position.
  3. Stay patient and persistent, as resolving difficult negotiations can often take time and require compromise from both sides.
  4. Consider using interest-based negotiation strategies, which focus on finding solutions that address the needs and interests of all parties involved, rather than just their positions.
  5. Look for creative options that might not have been considered before, as these can often lead to more innovative and mutually beneficial solutions.
  6. Avoid taking a hardline stance and try to be open to finding middle ground.
  7. Set clear goals and priorities for the negotiation, but be prepared to adjust them as needed.
  8. Keep an open mind and be willing to change your own position if a better solution is presented.
  9. Use diplomacy and tact in your communication, as this can help to de-escalate tension and build rapport.
  10. Try to find ways to build trust with the other party, as this can help to create a more positive and productive negotiating environment.
  11. Take breaks as needed to regroup and recharge, as negotiating can be mentally and emotionally taxing.
  12. Stay focused on the negotiation and avoid getting sidetracked by unrelated issues.


Yes, I know, as little Bhutto likens the PM of the world’s largest democracy to Osama Bin Laden, there is not much point talking. And that is an element of negotiation. The climate and time has to be right. And not talking is also negotiating.

Equally, with China, India clearly is talking at the border and deescalating each time. The UK, with Brexit and the Northern Ireland protocol will find it easier I think in 2023 as the two Indian origin PMs of UK and Ireland negotiate!


Wishing us all a peaceful happy 2023.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter