This is my first post on the GoodSense blog, firstly I would like to introduce myself, my name is Darren Good and I am the founder of GoodSense Conflict Resolution Training, which is a specialist in resolving and managing conflicts. We have launched this blog to discuss our subject area in a bit more detail, to bring it to life, and of course to hear your opinions. Hopefully, I will be able to share some useful/interesting tips on how to avoid or resolve conflict and how you can leave seriously heated situations with a win for both parties.

As this is my first post I thought I would write about something close to my heart which is my football club, Liverpool FC. I have followed Liverpool since the heady days of Kenny Dalglish. However, more recently my favourite club has been in the media for something other than football and that is for its captain Steven Gerrard. In case you didn’t know Steven Gerrard was involved in fight in a Liverpool pub.

The argument was allegedly over the music in that pub, Gerrard wanted to be able to choose what was played and the man in charge of the music refused to play what he wanted and the result was that Gerrard and one of his friends beating up Marcus Maghee.

Here is the video of the Steven Gerrard fight in case you haven’t seen it.

Now in my opinion, I think

Gerrard was quite a lucky man here, firstly he was tried in Liverpool which may have worked in his favour as he is adored in the red half of his local area. Secondly, he wasn’t charged with assault, he was charged with affray which is a public order offence.

When you watch the video clip it is very grainy and difficult to be able to see clearly what actually happened. What you can see is Gerrard going over to Mr Maghee and then after a short while Mr Maghee being elbowed in the head, by one of Gerrard’s friends, and then several punches coming from the footballer. Steven Gerrard said in court that he didn’t see his friend elbow Mr Maghee and therefore he felt Mr Maghee was going to hit him.

Was Gerrard scared? I am not so sure as he was surrounded by several of his friends and in my opinion must have felt pretty safe. In the eyes of British law if you act in self defence you can hit somebody and you can even hit them pre-emptively, as long as they are coming towards you, and you fear for your safety.

Negotiation tips

  1. The first key in negotiation is to build as much rapport as possible with the person you are negotiating with. Don’t just rush over and make strong demands. Steven could have tried something along the lines of: “Hi, how is it going? Are you having a good night? I wondered if you would be able to help me…..”
  2. Secondly, Steven Covey, a man I admire greatly, regularly discusses using assertive behaviour to create a win/win situation for both parties and this is what Gerrard should have looked for here. He could have said something along lines of the following: “ Please can you play some of these tracks? If you can’t play all of them, please play one or two of them for my friends.”
  3. Thirdly, he could have gone to another bar where they would have played his music.
  4. Lastly, if you want to win a negotiation, you need to be aware that it’s best to not negotiate at all after consuming alcohol because your skills as a negotiator are reduced greatly.

I hope that now that this episode has concluded Steven Gerrard will get back to what he does best, playing great football and scoring lots of goals for Liverpool and hopefully England too.

What do you think? Should he have been found guilty for this?