The idea of a negotiation skills training course fills many of us with fear.
We tell ourselves that some people are ‘naturals’.
I, for one, fully believed that.
If you’d asked me a few months ago if I considered myself a negotiator, it would’ve been a firm no.
I believed there were two types of people: those with negotiation skills and those without.
My dad, for example, believes everything is negotiable.
He easily walks into a car showroom and considers it fun to haggle with the salespeople.
On the other hand, my sister breaks into a cold sweat at the slightest mention of Arnold Clark.
The mere possibility of a negotiation sends her into a state of panic.
I was as surprised as anyone to discover that these skills are, in fact, a science rather than an art.
While sitting in on my first negotiation skills course, I was stunned to learn that this could be taught.
The art of the haggle was turned into a step-by-step process.
Leading the course was former Police Scotland operational lead Colin Harper.
Colin has decades of experience dealing with real-life hostage and crisis situations.
If there was a way to make the day-to-day negotiations seem less daunting, it would certainly be imagining those very situations.
So, what was my biggest takeaway from the negotiation skills training course?
The key is simple: we must first seek to understand.
Whether you’re dealing with a testing toddler, an uncooperative colleague, or a stubborn manager, we need to put ourselves in their shoes.
Our points are important, and we spend such a long time perfecting our arguments that we often forget about the other party.
Before any negotiation can truly begin, we must first seek to understand and answer these questions.
This is key to finding the common ground between you both.
I promise you, it will be there even if it takes a little digging.
Doing this may take our argument onto a different track and it may bring us to a conclusion that surprises us.
But this is the first and most basic of the negotiation skills for a reason.
That’s because it helps us lay our foundation.
From this point, we can move forward with clear knowledge of how to best achieve our goals as well as those of the other party.
Is it a simple technique? Yes.
But that’s the beauty of negotiation skills because many of them are such simple, yet, often overlooked techniques.
For more help on how to improve your negotiation skills, contact us today.
We’d be delighted to help you out.
Maxine Montgomery is a Media & Communications Trainer at Pink Elephant.
Read more about her here.
Photos in negotiation skills training course blog by Pink Elephant Communications and Pixabay.
Negotiation skills training course blog written by Maxine Montgomery.
Negotiation skills training course blog edited by Colin Stone.
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