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Negotiation Skills Training Course Outline

Negotiation is the art of gaining an agreement that balances three conflicting needs: 1. Your needs; 2. The other persons needs; and 3. What is logically possible. Negotiations can be complex and so you need to be highly skilled. This informative course will develop your skills.

Available as an In-House Course

The training course provided valuable information and relevant to our working environment. Very useful indeed. The trainer's presentation was very clear and will explained. Top marks!

Customer Reviews

Negotiation Skills Training - Morning

Personal Introductions

What is negotiation?

Negotiation skills are a specialised form of thought and communication.
There are specific circumstances where you are likely to need negotiation skills:

  1. With suppliers
  2. With purchasers
  3. With colleagues
  4. In some conflict situations
Optimum Zone

In any negotiation, there are three realms to consider

  1. What you want, from the situation
  2. What the other wants
  3. What is logically possible

The intersection of these three fields, (i.e. all the solutions that are mutually desirable and that are also logically possible), we will call The Optimum Zone.

  1. Your task is to find the optimum zone
  2. Notice that the Optimum Zone is very small, in relation to the whole field of negotiation activity
  3. This explains why finding a negotiated solution is sometimes difficult

What negotiation is

Negotiation is a specialised form of thought process and a set of communication skills.
Negotiation involves two or more individuals or groups, each acting in their own perceived self-interest, and each recognising that, to achieve their own self-interest, they need to negotiate with others, and therefore, must be able to create and sustain a long term, mutually beneficial agreement.
Negotiation is a transaction over which each of the parties has a veto over the final outcome.
In a business context, negotiation requires voluntary consent on all sides.
Negotiation is a process by which all parties should achieve a practical benefit.

What negotiation IS NOT?

Negotiation is not the act of appeasement and surrender:
Negotiation is not the act of continuing to give multiple concessions to the other person until he-she is happy and has everything he-she wants.

Negotiation is not the act of mental intransigence:
Negotiation is not the act of saying “Take it or leave it”.

Negotiation is about trading concessions, not giving them away.

Rookie negotiators engage in the bad habit of “goodwill conceding”, Giving too much ground, too soon, in the hope of building “good will”.
The rule is: Don’t give concessions, instead, trade them.
We will show you how.

Your negotiations take place within an ongoing cyclical process

All negotiations follow the following basic pattern.

Decide Your Goals. Plan Your Strategy. Communicate Your Proposal. Observe Their Reaction. Trade Concessions.

Negotiations fit within the context of a continuous process that can be summarised in the above diagram. We need to understand the details of each part of the process.

Negotiation Skills Training - Afternoon

Tools of Negotiation

If you want to improve your negotiation skills, memorise and apply this list of principles.

1. Be clear what you want

Write down your desired outcome for this negotiation. This is your best possible result.
Write down your “At least list”. This is the minimum level that you can accept as a good result.
Know what you do not want. Recognise and identify what is not good enough for you.
Knowing what you want is the critical step. Be specific.
Know why you want it.
Prepare your entry and exit points.

2. Try to predict what the other party wants. Think Win / Win

If the final agreement is to be sustainable, then, there has to be genuine value for both parties.
Both parties must win something from the negotiation.
This has become known as a Win / Win solution.

3. Always prepare a list of your “Negotiable variables”

Prepare a list of negotiable variables. A negotiable variable is a factor that you can add into the equation or one that you can remove in order make your proposition more attractive to the other person without damaging your self-interest.
The ideal is to have negotiable variables that are perceived as high value to the other person, but they are easy/ cheap for you to provide.

4. Don’t automatically agree to their first proposal

Develop the emotional strength to say NO to a bad idea.
Saying “Yes” to their opening proposal may leave you open to a You Lose/ They Win solution.
Ask for their practical alternative.

5. Maintain your good business ethics and moral principles

Be professional.
Maintain best practice.
You are at work to ADD value to the marketplace whilst simultaneously protecting and improving upon your current situation.
Never engage in sharp practices to gain an unearned advantage.
If you engage in sharp practices, in the long run, you will lose more than you gain.
Maintain high levels of integrity in everything you do and say.

Watch for bargaining activity just before a deadline

6. Watch for bargaining activity just before a deadline

Deadlines can produce extra leverage, which can be used to gain a concession. So be emotionally prepared to use this fact, or resist it.

7. Avoid trying to “drive a hard bargain” by unnecessary tough talk

Tough, aggressive talking is not good practice; aggressive talking may be seen by the other side, as a sign of stupidity, crassness, and intransigence.
“Tough talk” in the sense of needless aggressiveness is bad.
Take a tough position but keep your communication style professional and relaxed.

8. Improve your communication skills.

There are five communication skills for you to develop:

  1. Your use of language. Improve the clarity of whatever you say and write
  2. Your listening skills: How well do you listen, understand and remember?
  3. Your questioning skills. Improve your ability to ask incisive questions
  4. Voice tones. Your levels of confidence (and other emotional states) are revealed by your voice tones
  5. Body language. How you appear, can either help or hinder your efforts

9. Understand the two meanings of the word “Compromise”

Compromise has two meanings, one positive and one negative:

  1. To compromise your values, standards or ethical principles is no good. You should not do it
  2. To mutual compromise on initial negotiation positions, by means of trading concessions is good. You should do it

10. Once agreed, stick to the agreement

If the other person wants to change the package, that is fine, but only if the terms change too.
Use the magic phrase, “Yes. we can do that for you .... but only if .... ”
Ensure you have a list of your negotiable variables.

11. Keep your own emotional state

Stay relaxed, focused and adaptable.
Don’t go into a negotiation in a bad mood.
Don’t go into a negotiation situation in a tired state.

12. What preparations should you make before the negotiation?

Written preparations for the negotiation meeting.
Emotional preparations you should make.

13. What are the common tricks, or POWER PLAYS used by negotiators; what are the best responses to these power plays?

Here are the ‘Power play’ tactics you need to prepare for:

  1. The claim that their first offer is also their final offer. (Take it or leave it)
  2. They suggest that you “split the difference”. (Meet me half way)
  3. To appeal to their Need. (Help me out, I really need it)
  4. To appeal to your “better nature”. (Be a good fellow)
  5. Appeal to anger. (Do it or there will be trouble!”)
  6. Appeal to friendship, (Do it because we are friends, aren’t we?)
  7. Appeal to a higher authority (I do not have the authority to authorise that)
  8. Appeal for a “loss leader” (Let it go just this one time...)

14. Exercises to put these skills into practice.

Summary and final action plans.

The training course provided valuable information and relevant to our working environment. Very useful indeed. The trainer's presentation was very clear and will explained. Top marks!

Customer Reviews