Negotiation Showcase with The Gap Partnership

The Gap Partnership were very pleased to hold what turned out to be a very interactive session with the Young MCA on the 19th October. This was very appropriate as the outcomes in negotiation are very often a direct of what you do and what you say rather than just an inherent knowledge of your own position.

Whilst Negotiation is an incredibly broad and, from my point of view, interesting field, a number of key concepts are at the core of negotiating successfully: during this relatively short one and half hour session, we designed a format so that the audience could not only be introduced to these, but also get a chance to play with them in a Negotiation environment.

As core objectives, we wanted the delegates to leave having an understanding of how to make better deals, to increase value whilst maintaining relationships and to build satisfaction with less investment; as well as having 7 key elements to take away and try immediately.

The first concept we discussed is how people often feel approaching a negotiation and the possible discomfort they feel. These feelings can lead to behaviours that ultimately work against them in trying to achieve an optimal result. We discussed that they may be approaching those discussions with either a collaborative or competitive mind-set, neither of which may be good or bad but could be inappropriate to that optimal result. The delegates undertook activities which highlighted the mind-set they approached the exercise with and showed them how it ultimately affected their outcome.

We also discussed the role of selling in Negotiation and how it becomes inappropriate and concentrated more on how we want the other party to feel. We then moved on to how you can take control of negotiations within this context. The delegates then undertook a further exercise that examined the difference in people’s positions to their interests and that if we can understand the difference we can unlock more value in negotiation.

This then heralded another aspect of negotiation, that of power. How to get it, how to assess it, how to influence it and how to use it appropriately.

Lastly, we looked at the seemingly mysterious art of creating value out of seemingly nowhere in negotiation. How two parties can both achieve their outcome, when presented with seemingly apposed positions.

All of the above was done against the background of what The Gap Partnership describe as the Negotiation Clockface, which helps us understand the many types of negotiating environment as well as the most appropriate behaviours in each of those environments.

The outcomes the group came away with to try immediately were:

  • Negotiators do not sell
  • Negotiators leave the other party satisfied
  • Negotiators are not their feelings
  • Negotiators assess and exercise power
  • Negotiators are in charge
  • Negotiators adapt behaviour to circumstances
  • Negotiators are able to build trust
  • Negotiators seek out low-cost / high-value trades

Now if his piece has raised more questions than it has answered, that is understandable, so feel free to get advice on how The Gap Partnership can help you achieve better outcomes in your negotiations. The Gap Partnership are the world’s leading consultancy in Negotiation and create the world’s best Negotiators. If you wish to know more you can visit their website, or contact Chris Watkins.