Most of us get up in the morning, go through our morning rituals, that include getting dressed, and head off to the office. Depending on where we work, and our position, what we wear may be determined by specific rules implemented by our employer.
In other situations we may be the one deciding the dress code, and in others we may wear whatever we choose. Regardless of where you fall in the above categories, the choices you make when getting dressed can affect negotiations skills training.
I started thinking about this the other day as I prepared for the day and recognized that I had a meeting scheduled for that afternoon. This meeting was to be the first time I met with the opposing party I would be negotiating with over a construction job. My client was in California and I was meeting with a couple of contractors to discuss certain parts of the job that my client believed were not satisfactory and some issues with what was being invoiced. My client hoped that with my help we could resolve the differences without resorting to further negotiations skills training.
Your personal dress and appearance affect the image you project, how others react to you, and may affect negotiations. Choosing the image you wish to project can influence your effectiveness as an advocate for your client, your effectiveness as a negotiator, and the outcome of your negotiations skills training.
A simple example would be at a car dealership. If you drive in with an expensive car wearing a suit and watch that are worth more than many people's houses, you may have a difficult time convincing the salesperson that you can't afford the price he has set on the car you wish to purchase. There may be other negotiating factors, but saying, "I just can't afford that much," will not be a credible negotiating position. Another example is when interviewing for negotiations skills training.
The clothing you wear should make you look like you will fit in at the prospective employer's office. Even if the company is more business casual, for the interview is recommended to dress more formally.
In some situations, you may wish to enter a room dressed in the most expensive suit in your closet to project an image of an affluent attorney. Other times it may be beneficial to take the Columbo approach by being a little unorganized and disheveled. It really depends on the situation and your goals. The important thing to remember is your appearance can make a difference in negotiations skills training.
With all of that said, appearance will not make up for a lack of knowledge or preparation. I believe appearance is important, and in some situations it is extremely important, but it is not the only thing. In the Wall Street Journal, Christina Binkley talked to Colony Capital LLC chairman Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. about his choice of clothes when attending international negotiations skills training. After giving some fashion advice, Mr. Barrack says that he disregards all the fashion advice he just gave if the people he is dealing with show that they have intellectual depth.
Regardless of what you are wearing, you must know what you are talking about and be prepared when you sit down in negotiations skills training. If you do not have any substance behind that Brioni suit you will not be taken seriously and your negotiations skills training will suffer.
The bottom line in any negotiation is to be prepared. But you must also recognize that there are many factors that may affect negotiations skills training. Your appearance and the image you project are important. Recognize this and the clothes you put on will be one more factor in being completely prepared.