Negotiation Skills Training Seminars
With over twenty-five years of proven industry experience, the Negotiations Training Institute of America is the recognized leader in negotiations training, consulting and performance coaching. Through public open enrollment seminars and private on-session training sessions, we have helped leading corporations, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies improve their ability to negotiate better outcomes for their constituencies. First-time negotiators as well as those with the greatest competitive drive and amount of first-hand experience and negotiations wisdom can benefit from our time-tested seminars. Whether focusing on negotiating a contract with a vendor or jumping in to the often-stressful car buying process to deal with a dealership, our classes provide useful skills, proven techniques and various classroom role plays to help you become more aware of negotiations that you must face on a daily basis.
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When the Other Party is a Co-Worker: Internal Negotiation Tips
It seems as if a majority of those who plan on learning how to become better negotiators generally focus on external negotiations - those that take place with customers, suppliers, business partners and other outside firms. What many forget is that a majority of negotiations take place internally. Whether taking part in cross-departmental negotiations to request additional resources for a project or working with management to budget for the coming fiscal year, internal negotiations take part on a regular basis. Their frequency and importance cannot be overstated.
At stake during internal negotiations are not only those issues being discussed but also the relationships that one must deal with from day-to-day. Failing to take into account working relationships can lead to grudges, backbiting and strained internal politics that can come back to haunt you. Ultimately, when dealing with colleagues, you are negotiating with individuals on the same team. While a win-win approach should be the goal of an external negotiation, internally, it is an absolute necessity.
To begin with, when dealing with internal colleagues, feeling and emotions should not be brought to the negotiating table. Some individuals are all too quick to take an internal negotiation personally. Rather than focusing on the issues involved, they make a mental "black list" of those who may have been overly aggressive or had competing interests. This is a dangerous approach. Resentment is just as likely to be more damaging to the person holding the grudge than the other party. Even if a past relationship has been less than cordial, by focusing on the issues and hand and looking to come to terms amicably, you stand a greater chance of success. Given that you are likely to pass this person in the halls on a regular basis, dealing with them in a principled manner is much more likely to pay dividends. It may even heal previously strained relationships.
Taking personal issues out of the way is only the first step towards a successful internal negotiation. The following principles are designed to increase your chances of success when the person on the other side of the negotiating table is a coworker:
* Whenever Possible, Meet in Person - Meeting in person is the best way to get a negotiation started on the right foot. Rather than dealing with your colleagues in an impersonal manner via e-mail or telephone, try to arrange a personal meeting first. Of course, in some cases, distance may make face-to-face meetings impractical. Even the most difficult negotiations can be "softened" when handled personally.
* Do Your Homework - This is no different than what we advise with external negotiations. Take the time to understand the other party's needs and concerns as well as how you may be able to meet those needs during a negotiation. Simply because you're dealing with a colleague does not negate the need to practice basic negotiation principles.
* Avoid Killer Assumptions - Leave preconceived notions or assumptions about the other party away from the negotiating table. Test assumptions and try to uncover motivations behind particular requests or issues. Failing to test assumptions can leave to dangerous misunderstandings and lack of agreement.
* Don't Exert Too Much Pressure - One of the most dangerous things you can do to your colleagues is to place them behind the eight ball by negotiating too aggressively. Even when deadlines are an issue, placing undue pressure on a colleague can be damaging to relationships. Give the other party time to respond to particular requests or potential areas of agreement.
* Include Stakeholders - If other people will be affected by the outcome of your negotiation, it may be a good idea to involve them in a negotiation. This generally applies to key individuals, not necessarily all parties. For example, if you are negotiating with another department to receive additional personnel for an internal project, it may be wise to include your project manager as well as a team leader to represent the personnel required.
* Play Fair and by the Rules - We recommend that all negotiations take place in an ethical manner. This is even more important internally. Unethical tactics and dirty tricks can leave you out on the street. Double-crossing your colleagues is like playing with fire... chances are you'll get burned and burned badly.
* Consider the Long-Term - Obviously, this advice is the most crucial of all. Whatever you do, think about the long-term implications. Will your unreasonable yet "victorious" negotiation alienate the other party? Will your good-faith effort enable you to make additional requests down the road? Focus on the long-term, not just the here and now.
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Related: Negotiation Course
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- Negotiating Contracts Seminar
- Essential Negotiations Skills
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