Coaches, as you know, we are constantly negotiating. Whether it’s with individuals, teams, or management. We need to be able to get what we want from a negotiation. However, the art of negotiation has changed in recent years, and there are new tactics that we need to be aware of. This blog post will outline some of the most important tactics and strategies for the modern coach. So whether you’re just starting out or have been coaching for years, make sure to read on!
Negotiation is the process of settling disagreements. In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps an organization they represent). However, as a coach, principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship for a successful outcome require analytical skills.
For Coaches, useful skills and behaviors in Negotiations include analyzing the situation, focusing on interests, and making concessions. Of course, these negotiation skills are needed for any successful professional, as a tool on their own and as a tool to manage conflict. But, it becomes more crucial, especially if you are acting as a coach. Because you have to aim for a win-win situation, not win or lose.
There is no option to ignore or run away because almost every issue of significance while working with others will likely require varying degrees of negotiation techniques for resolution. Good negotiation involves lots of homework and teamwork. At the core, there are four stages in Negotiation: Preparation, Exchanging Information, Bargaining, and Closing and Commitment.
- Analyze the situation: What do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants?
- Differentiate between wants and needs: What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away?
- Focus on interests: What do we have in common?
- Alternatives: Ask high and offer low but be realistic
- Concessions: if you need to give in or make allowances, act as if you are yielding some value.
- Listen attentively and carefully: I’m here to understand your point.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge the other person’s assumptions respectfully: Why do you think that?
- Propose solutions that create value: What can we do that would make this work for both of us?
- Be prepared to walk away: If we can’t agree on something that works for both of us, then let’s agree to disagree.
Closing and Commitment:
- Get everything in writing: This is what we agreed to, correct?
- Thank the other person for their time and effort: I appreciate your willingness to work with me on this.
Negotiation sounds tricky, but it can be used in any situation where two or more people have differing opinions. The key to a successful negotiation is understanding the other person’s point of view and working together towards an agreed-upon solution that both parties will benefit from. With careful preparation and using the skills I’ve outlined above (and maybe some good old-fashioned empathy!), you’ll find yourself becoming better at this important life skill sooner than later!
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