NEGOTIATION

WE LEARN TO NEGOTIATE AS KIDS

We sometimes have to unlearn the habits we pick up such as shouting until we get what we want or walking away in defiance.

As adults, this shows itself as rigidly held non-negotiable positions.

Gradually we learn to identify each others interests in order to create value-adding agreement.

Learning to evolve from positional negotiating isn’t always easy. The behaviour is triggered by our more primitive minds.

We need negotiation skills in our personal lives and as leaders, professional and managers

  • to make commercial agreements
  • to settle disagreements
  • to collaborate with others up, down, across our organisations and with external stakeholders
  • to manage our careers
  • to act on the interplay between our personal and work commitments
  • to help us become competent negotiators of our family and social life

We are especially interested in understanding the components and dynamics of key relationships and how they interplay with substance and content.

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CONTEXT

CAN BE A CONTINUALLY CHANGING KALEIDESCOPE DETERMINED BY

  • sector, strategy, economics, cultures, roles, relationships, status, boundaries, commitments
  • some factors are relatively fixed while others seem to be in a constant state of flux

“the exchange rate has collapsed, their chief negotiator has suddenly left the company, two project teams in our own business are telling me completely different stories and they claim their CEO has just told their team to find a cheaper solution.”

MUTUAL ADJUSTMENT

WE REACH OUT TO EACH OTHER EMOTIONALLY AND IRRATIONALLY AS WELL AS THROUGH REASON SO WE NEED

  • to be savvy about ourselves and the nature of ‘relating’
  • to be present and focussing our attention
  • to develop our interpersonal and communication skills beginning with listening and feedback
  • to harness our emotional behaviour, integrating it with the substance of the deal, policy, agreement

INTERNATIONAL TEAMS AND DIVERSITY

ORGANISATION OFTEN CHAMPION LOCALISM IN WORDS BUT IN ACTION MANY SEEM TO PREFER A STANDARD MODEL SO WE MUST ENGAGE WITH DIFFERENT ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT

  • status, hierarchy, power, authority, hierarchy
  • formality and informality
  • groups and individuals
  • gender
  • time and space
  • guanxi networks, all our networks
  • language – verbal and non-verbal
  • contracts

TACTICS

WE NEED DYNAMIC TACTICS TO PURSUE OUR OBJECTIVES AND RESPOND TO OTHERS

  • develop a portfolio of influencing styles and tactics so we can negotiate with the good, the bad and the ugly
  • understand and mobilise power relations
  • channel our distinctive style as a leader and negotiatior
  • figure out how to work as a negotiating team
  • be able to deal with gaffes and and the unexpected
  • inspire and respond to transformational change

PLANNING

DIALOGUE AND PRESENCE AT THE TABLE IS MORE LIKELY TO LEAD TO QUALITY AGREEMENTS WHEN SUPPORTED BY PLANNING

  • gives us more control over alignment of goals, issues, relationship factors, data
  • fosters creativity because preparation boosts confidence
  • enables negotiators to be aware of key criteria and options
  • makes us think about the logistical set-up and support
  • helps us identify potential interests and sources of value
  • is essential before engaging with allegedly ‘difficult people’
  • provides a space in which to evaluate complexity
    as with multiple parties and issues
  • helps identify and invoke our best alternatives if things do not pan out

BUILDING CAPABILITY

BUSINESSES AND ORGANISATIONS NEED TO BUILD NEGOTIATING COMPETENCY SO

  • What does capability look like?
  • Who needs to be a strong negotiator?
  • What are the individual strengths, styles and where are the gaps?
  • How many need to develop as negotiation leaders by function, geography, expertise and experience?
  • What are our needs for negotiating teams and how easily can we mobilise them?
  • What can we do to develop a strategic cadre of people to develop their negotiating skills for the future?

STORY
BEHIND THE SCENES OF AN AIRLINE MERGER


A global airline was in negotiation to merge a niche player into its operations. The airline assembled a panel of aviation and organisation consultants including GS to predict possible implications of a merger. The panel made recommendations to the main board’s negotiators on a daily basis. At the time the niche airline recorded higher levels of customer satisfaction than its larger competitor. How would this public knowledge play out? And would the ratio of pilots and first officers from each airline be managed in a fair and equitable way? This latter issue was critical to determining the terms of the merger.


 

COMMENT: It can be helpful to have a sounding-board to evaluate scenarios ‘away from the table’ in a way that informs tactics ‘at the table’.
This support can be just as useful to an SME entrepreneur, freelancer or professional partner as to a multinational team.
We do not represent our clients directly at a negotiation.
We offer assistance which helps operationally and promotes development.

STORY
MATRIX MANAGER INVESTMENT BANK


My role involved negotiation with multiple stakeholders, within a matrix environment and I needed to improve my negotiation skills. Greg’s program no only provided insight into the academic theory of interest-led negotiation, but also helped through role-play and support in the Asia time zone for real issues. I found Greg’s experience of large multi national corporations to be invaluable, especially his understanding of matrix organizations, politics and cultural differences. Investment Banking culture can be highly parochial and sometimes idiosyncratic, so I was surprised at how effectively I was able to leverage Greg’s insights. Indeed, his analytical and empathetic approach made him my go-to contact for talking through the best course of action.


 

COMMENT: We are often consulted about this type of scenario in which a large company or an SME has a hybrid structure involving some hierarchy and much lateral negotiation and influence. A world of ambiguity and politics.
Coached negotiation skills above give an executive a confidential forum in which live issues can be assessed and discussed while growing a skills base for now and the future.

STORY
ROLE OVERLAP


Two directors, Clare and Roberta, have founded a health care charity. Clare runs the business and Roberta the clinical side. Over time they experience unforeseen role overlap, occasionally causing a flare-up between the two. Privately each knows there is some genuine ambiguity. Recently some clinicians disclosed that the volunteer teams were unhappy about perceived tension between the directors.

They asked Greg to help them address their differences.  They re-defined their roles and responsibilities while bringing more understanding and appreciation of what each brings to the party.

COMMENT: Both directors held strongly defended positions at the outset and tended to blame each other for problems. By learning to focus on each others needs, interests and strengths they were able to finesse their roles and manage the overlap better for the benefit of the charity.

 


 

COMMENT: Another example of how negotiating skills can be developed within a coaching framework. In this case the client was the individual manager, not her company.

CAREER RE-POSITIONING

Having a degree in accounting and finance and being a bit of a geek I had attracted a series of technical roles. At last year’s performance review I flagged up my desire to become more of a team manager with a wider business remit. My manager listened while giving me an ‘excellent’ rating and reminding me that my credibility and value arose from my technical ‘brilliance’. So not much has happened and I’ve got another review in three months.

I took the unusual step of hiring Greg, an external coach, for a few sessions. He has helped me realise that my manager isn’t the only significant other at work. I have analysed my network in detail and am buidling coalitions so that my need to reposition is expressed to my manager and HR by several influencers. At the same time I have been building up my advocacy and negotiation skills which I see as being essential for the ideal future role.

COMMENT: Another example of how negotiating skills can be developed within a coaching framework. In this case the client was the individual manager and not her company. Below are two examples of how individuals were able to graft the skills on to their roles following a course.

Cory Kizielwicz MBA graduate and President of  ________.

“With Greg’s help, I learned a new approach to negotiation that I never would have found without professional training.  Tips on structuring my pre-negotiation due diligence.  Creating a fair negotiation environment.  Negotiating with someone, not against them.  Through a great mix of study, role play and lecture, Greg sharpened and polished my negotiation skills by teaching techniques for working with power dynamics, accounting for emotions (in both parties), and overcoming anchoring tactics.

In one way or another, I use Greg’s techniques nearly every week, and they have literally saved me tens of thousands of dollars.  Leaving his tutorial with tried-and-true negotiation best practices and a great friend, mentor and advisor… I definitely came out ahead!”

 

NEGOTIATION ASSISTANCE – COACHING – WORKSHOPS

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