What Are The 5 Skills That Every Negotiation Team Needs To Have?

Negotiators need to make sure that their teams have the right set of skills
Negotiators need to make sure that their teams have the right set of skills
Image Credit: gdsteam

Every negotiator knows that they can only be as good as the team that they have backing them up. In order to have the best team possible, we need to find ways to increase the odds that our team has the training and the skills that will be required in order use their negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make our next negotiation successful. This all leads to the question: what skills do our negotiating teams need to have?

Everyone Has To Agree About Negotiation Training

Hopefully we can all agree that there is only one way that we can get our team to know how best to negotiate: that is by training them. The training that your team gets can be in-house, led by consultants and other experts, or employees can travel to training programs at universities and elsewhere. Once your team has been trained they will return to the office and attempt to apply what they learned.

The problem that we often run into is that their new knowledge often fails to “stick”. Your team quickly abandons the best practices they learned during negotiation training and replaces them with their ineffective old habits. As negotiators, if we want our teams to get better, then we need to find ways to help our teams to get the training that they have received to stick for the long term.

Teach The Mistakes Of Your Past Negotiations To Your Team

Good negotiators know that we can learn from both our successes as well as our failures. What this means for our teams is that we need to make sure that we teach them about our failures so that they can also learn. What we are going to want to teach our teams is what our plans were when we went into a negotiation. As we all know things can change. When a negotiation fails, it fails because something changed that we were not anticipating and we didn’t have a good response to it.

What we are going to want to have our teams learn from our past mistakes is both what caused them and how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future. When we are teaching our teams about our mistakes, it will be important to get their inputs regarding what was done, why it was done, and what other options existed. We’ll need to make sure that they fully understand the context in which decisions were made and why they were made. It’s only by understanding why things went wrong that we can make things go right in the future.

Teach Your Team Hard-Bargaining Skills

Being a good negotiator is all about showing up at your next negotiation with the right skills. Likewise you need to make sure that your team also has the right set of skills that it’s going to take to be successful during your next negotiation. We understand that negotiating skills for dealing with situations as they arise at the bargaining table are always in high demand.

Strategies prepared before coming to the bargaining table are one way negotiators anticipate events during negotiations. However, expert negotiators know that the bargaining style of their counterpart will impact, positively or negatively, even the best-laid plans. It is going to be your responsibility to not let anyone in your organization be caught unprepared by hard bargainers on the other side of the table.

Understand That Conflicts Of Interest Can Affect Your Next Negotiation

One of the toughest requirements of being a negotiator is finding a way to keep your mixed set of emotions separate from each other. Both negotiators and other decision-makers have the difficult task of remaining impartial when facing a conflict of interest. Everyone comes to the table with their own set of world views and the issues that are being negotiated may be in conflict with one or more of those views. However, we need to teach our teams how to put those conflicts of interest to the side and focus on getting the best deal from the current negotiation.

Teach Your Team How Best To Leverage Their Emotions

All too often negotiators are taught that emotions are a bad thing to bring to the negotiating table. In a typical negotiation training, we are taught to try to get beyond our emotions and look at situations rationally. This kind of thinking does have its own merit. The reason is because feelings can cloud our judgment. However, successful negotiators must know what joy is in order to understand what it means to have been hurt in happiness at one point in their life. They have to have known success and, perhaps most important, to know what it means to know failure. What all of this means is that it is the negotiators who have life stories and who can bring their emotions to a negotiation are the ones who make the best negotiators.

What All Of This Means For You

Every negotiator is only as good as the team that they have supporting them. You want your team to be as good as it can be. In order to make your team better, you need to ensure that they are well trained. In order to make this happen, you need to make sure that you have a good understanding of the types of training that they will have to receive.

Your team has to agree on the importance of training. It can be all too easy for them to go off and get trained and then after they return home to forget what they have learned and revert to their old ways of doing business. In order for your team to get better, they need to understand the failures that you’ve had in the past. It is only by understanding what went wrong that they will be able to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. When you go into a principled negotiation you will want your team to have the hard bargaining skills that the negotiations will require. Every negotiation can unfold differently and it’s going to be up to you to make sure that your team is prepared. We all have our own views of the world and we need to learn how to manage our conflicts of interest during a negotiation. Our emotions are powerful forces. Instead of trying to keep them out of our next negotiation, we need to understand how they can used to help move the negotiations along.

In addition to getting ready for your next negotiation, you have the additional responsibility of making sure that your team is ready to support you. In order to ensure that they will have the skills that will be needed to do this, you have to make sure that they have received the training that they will need. You have to understand what types of training they require in order to support you. Once you know this, you can make sure that they get the training that is needed. With a well-trained team, you’ll be able to negotiate the deals that you are trying to create.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that everyone on your team has to have the same level of training?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As negotiations we understand that in order to get what we want out of a principled negotiation no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we are using we are going to have to make concessions to the other side. What we need to understand is how best to make concessions in order to allow us to get the deal that we are working towards in our next negotiation. Making strategic concessions at the right time can be an effective tactic in a negotiation. Here are four ways to make your concessions work to your best advantage in your next negotiation.