Negotiation Skills

Duration: 1 day

Learn how to thoroughly plan, prepare for and conduct a negotiation or mediation

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Negotiation Skills


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This 1 day course is designed to enhance the skills of staff required to conduct or participate in a negotiation.

There will be an exploration of different negotiating models, and assessment of which will be most suitable in a given circumstance. In particular, staff will learn the strengths and weakness of positional, principled and co-operative negotiation.  Delegates will learn how to plan and prepare for an effective negotiation by assessing the respective merits of an issue, and prioritising major points over matters which can be conceded. Delegates will have the opportunity to calculate a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) and WATNA (Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).

The importance of the considering perspective of each party will be explored, and techniques to diffuse tension, whilst at the same time progressing the discussion by persuasive means will be practiced.  Delegates will learn how to use concessions tactically, and they will consider strategies to employ when conversations become deadlocked and stall. There will be practice of a negotiation as part of role-play exercises, allowing staff to use or observe different styles and tactics. The skills and knowledge which will be imparted to delegates following this training will enhance their confidence when it comes to conducting negotiations and will enable them to tailor their approach effectively.

Learning Outcomes and Outline delivery:

By the end of this course on negotiation delegates will understand:

How to recognise the preconditions for there to be a successful negotiation

  • Understand the limits of the authority to ‘settle’, the importance of the absence of pre-assumptions, understand the concepts of mutual power and levers
  • Recognition of potential interests beyond the issue itself
  • The importance of relationships

How to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the different styles of negotiation

  • The differences between and application of positional and competitive negotiation, co-operative negotiation, principled or collaborative negotiation
  • Preparation for the use of multiple tactics during the course of a negotiation including sequencing, parallelism, negotiation by list

How to prepare for an effective negotiation

  • Assembly of materials, constructing arguments based on issues and identification of persuasive arguments
  • How to plan for demands/challenges and responses to these, how to plan  
  • Develop a best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)
  • Develop a worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (WATNA)
  • Assessment of your authority to concede and its limits
  • Walk away – do you really mean it?

Negotiation from the perspective of the other party

  • Understand parties’ need to vent, how to present empathy, without concession, how to demonstrate neutrality
  • Use of appropriate non-technical language 

How to make appropriate use of concessions and offers

  • How concessions are used, hidden tactics of confessions, conditional or linked concessions, positioning of offers and evolving offers

Deflect pressure and understand tactics used during a negotiation

  • Utilise open and closed questions appropriately, deploy active listening, read body language, pick up on subtleties in words and phrases 
  • Understand and respond to hostility and aggression when negotiating, silences, the use of ultimatums

Break deadlock in a negotiation

  • How to pick the ‘low hanging fruit’, parking issues, staying cool and polite, avoiding reaction or emotion

What to expect on the day

This competency-based course is practical and through role-play delegates will learn how to conduct a negotiation or mediation and how to participate more effectively in a negotiation or mediation. It includes:

  • Trainer presentations
  • Exercises
  • Group work
  • Case Studies
  • Role Play
  • Plenary sessions

Delegate Pre-Course Preparation: None

Specific Course Materials for Exercises, Case Studies: 

We will work with your organisation to produce tailored scenarios to be used during the course.