Employees put the true force in your workforce. They are the greatest asset to your organization, and dedicating resources for their improvement is a wise investment. Successful negotiation is one of the key ingredients for a profitable business. If the employees of an organization are given adequate negotiation training, it will lead to their career advancement and the overall benefit. From negotiating favorable timelines, budgets, and deals with customers to negotiating with teams about their position and viewpoints, competent negotiation training can be a game-changer for organizations.
In this article, we will talk about the important negotiation skills that you need to impart within your organization and how to optimize the negotiation training exercise to provide better long-term results.
Important Prerequisites for Negotiation Training
- Get everyone on the same page about the negotiation training: Companies worldwide spend a lot of money every year to provide proper negotiation training to their employees. But in many cases, this does not work effectively because of a lack of understanding of why they’re doing it or due to insufficient interest. This can be tackled by clarifying your employees why this training is important and answering the simple question of “why they should care.”
Indulging the employees with instances of popular high-stakes negotiations of the past can increase the training’s appeal and help you deal with the above problems. Including famous news-worthy negotiations within your lessons with some error-strewn or legendarily successful negotiation of the past can get them hooked. An example of this will be Steven Davidoff’s ‘DealBook,’ where he talks about how the US government erred in the Chrysler negotiation of 2009.
- Balance the Training Frequency: In many cases, employees abandon their training sessions or their learnings because managers tend to pack their schedules too much. A comfortable two days a week often works well to avoid such situations.
Essential Negotiation Skills that you can teach to your employees
- Bargaining skills: Bargaining skills are one of the most important resources in negotiation training. You must ensure that your professionals are prepared for the hard-bargaining skills of their counterparts, as well as come up with innovative strategies of their own.
- Leveraging and controlling emotions: To be a successful negotiator, your employees must learn to control and use their emotions. They must not let irrational emotions cloud their judgment but can also use their emotional trigger-points to appeal to their counterparts. As Jack Cambria, former head of New York City’s hostage negotiation team, pointed out, “The very good negotiators, I think, are the ones with the life stories.”
- Building relationships: You must teach your employees not to antagonize their opponents unnecessarily. If they can build up an empathetic relationship with their counterpart during a negotiation process, they are likely to get honest and sympathetic responses that would smoothen the negotiation.
Exercises that can be used to impart negotiation training
- Role-playing: Negotiation training can be made more engaging by putting participants in hypothetical situations to come up with their solutions to encounter challenging negotiation problems. This would increase the flexibility of their training and boost the learning of both the individual and the collective.
- Grading the performances of the trainees: Research shows that trainees grasp their lessons better if they can apply the concepts they have learned within experimental learning environments. This builds up their improvisational powers, and grading their performance in simulative scenarios will allow them to learn from their mistakes and build up their confidence.
Negotiation Training is a long but fruitful process where everyone must work together to gain the best results. With the above guidelines for conducting your negotiation training, you will avoid the general pitfalls that organizations often end up falling into and get the most out of the whole process.