A lesson in how to negotiate like a gentleman from Jenson Button

Jenson Button McLaren
It’s not been an easy season for F1 driver Jenson Button.
Once again the former world champion has found himself lumbered with a sub-standard Honda engine. Whilst his former team mate Lewis Hamilton has been relentlessly grabbing championship points and celebrity selfies, Mr Button has been steadily helping rebuild his team.

Last year the team managers at McLaren dragged their decision to retain Jenson out for months, leaving Button unsure if his F1 career was over. As the 2015 season entered its final few races, the subject of Button’s contract once again become a hot topic around the sport.

This time around Jenson Button approached the situation differently and displayed a cool ambivalence towards retiring in front of the media. He made it publicly known that if a contract from McLaren was not offered quickly and to his requirements, then he would be happy to walk away, thereby forcing the issue for McLaren. Without ever being blunt he made it clear that the team needed him to stay, more than he needed to stay at the team. Sky Sports pundit called it “brinkmanship“. Throughout the negotiations Button never said anything negative about McLaren, never discussed money and never complained publicly (take note Mr Alonso). Jenson showed confidence and gentlemanly behaviour rarely found in modern sports.

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