Negotiation Skills

TLBS - Just Saying

Although people often think of boardrooms, suits, and million dollar deals when they hear the word “negotiation,” the truth is that we us negotiation skills all the time. For example, have you ever:

  • Decided where to eat with a group of friends?
  • Decided on chore assignments with your family?
  • Asked your boss for a raise?

These are all situations that involve negotiating! This workshop will give participants an understanding of the phases of negotiation, tools to use during a negotiation, and ways to build win-win solutions for all those involved.

Like any challenging task, negotiation requires preparation. Before you begin a negotiation, you need to define what you hope to get out of it, what you will settle for, and what you consider unacceptable. You also need to prepare yourself personally. The key to personal preparation is to approach the negotiation with self-confidence and a positive attitude.

Without this preparation, you will end up giving more than you get from negotiations. It may be unavoidable that you will have to give up more than you would ordinarily be willing to, but finding the balance between acceptable concessions and getting the best deal for yourself relies on you being ready to go into negotiations with the strongest bargaining position you can.

Before starting negotiations, it is essential to agree on which issues are up for negotiation and which are non-negotiable. Those issues which are non-negotiable are taken off the negotiating table and the parties endeavor to move forward with what they can negotiate on. It can also be decided what form of words will be used in the program for negotiations – making clear to both sides what matters are off limits, and why.

Without establishing a framework, negotiations can be extremely disorganized and lack direction. It helps to remember that trying to get a negotiated settlement between two parties who have their differences calls for a great deal of patience and acceptance on both sides that there will be some “medicine” to take – you don’t want to take it, but it is necessary – and therefore it is important to make the pill as sweet as possible. Setting a positive framework for negotiations is all about sweetening the pill.

We have more information regarding Negotiation Skills available in our Resource Centre

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