“Leaders lead through coaching. And as leaders coach, they help create and become better leaders.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Leaders Coaches -This Is New – How To Quickly Plan More Successful Negotiation Strategies Better”
People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.
Enhanced negotiation skills are vital for leaders and coaches seeking successful outcomes. Because coaches deliver insights to others about achieving elevated success, and leaders have to motivate others so the leader’s efforts can become magnified, knowing how to create and implement better negotiation strategies in both cases leads to more successful outcomes. And I suggest a paradigm shift to leaders and coaches who do not consider themselves negotiating in such situations because you’re always negotiating!
Yes, effective negotiation strategies, whether closing a business deal, resolving conflicts, or managing team dynamics, are crucial for success. However, planning for negotiations can be daunting, especially when a coach or leader is unsure what to include in their negotiation plan.
In this article, I highlight what leaders and coaches should consider in planning successful negotiation strategies and the key considerations that can enhance their plans.
Define Goals Clearly
In planning a negotiation strategy, clearly defining your goals is essential. In so doing, you create the roadmap per how you will engage those with whom you will interact.
To that end, coaches and leaders must know what they wish to achieve through the negotiation. They should also consider the power dynamics of the parties involved, regardless of a leader or coach’s position; some people may become defiant when confronted with a request, or worse, demand, that they wish not to accept.
Whether securing a favorable contract, resolving a dispute, or reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, defining objectives sets the foundation for negotiation strategies. By having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, leaders and coaches can focus their efforts on the essential elements that will lead to a successful engagement and outcome.
Understand Interests And Priorities
In every negotiation, it is vital to understand the interests and priorities of all parties involved; that is true of leaders and coaches and those they seek to influence.
By understanding someone’s interests and priorities, along with their underlying needs and concerns, leaders and coaches gain insight into the sources of motivation they can apply to move someone in one direction versus another. It also becomes easier for a leader or coach to predict how someone might respond and prepare appropriately.
To accomplish this feat, leaders and coaches should gather pertinent information beforehand. Do not overlook sources that may initially appear to be of little value. Depending on the level of engagement and the outcome sought, the most mundane information may be the key that unlocks an otherwise untenable conclusion.
Plan For Detours In Negotiation
No matter how thorough a leader or coach’s plans are, they should not become lax by believing it is impenetrable. Successful negotiators know the importance of having backups (e.g., plans a, b, c, etc.)
As leaders and coaches map out their strategy, they should consider the following:
a.) potential negotiation plans of the other party and their walkaway point
b.) what the triggering occurrences of a new plan might be
c.) course of action if an agreement is not reached
d.) how possible withdrawal from negotiations will occur
e.) how negotiations will resume if need be
By preparing for multiple scenarios, leaders and coaches can evaluate their options during negotiations and make quick and knowledgeable course adjustments.
Determine Bargaining Positions
When leaders and coaches can anticipate what the other party will do, based on the leader or coach’s actions, they have a more powerful bargaining position. Thus, one aspect of negotiation planning involves assessing bargaining positions. Points to consider are:
a.) determining boundaries and non-negotiables
b.) how much either side is willing to concede or compromise
c.) the tone used to respond effectively
d.) how the perception of control will be conveyed (control is perceptional in negotiations – one can use it to signal strength or acquiescence)
Create Persuasive Rebuttals
In any negotiation, leaders and coaches must use the power of persuasion; they cannot underestimate that. As part of the negotiation planning phase, I suggest leaders and coaches develop compelling arguments with supporting evidence to strengthen their position.
They can accomplish that by considering key benefits and value propositions they bring to the discussion and how they align with the other party’s interests. Leaders and coaches should make an estimated account of the other party’s rebuttals and prepare for them. That will boost the chances of being more influential in favorably altering the negotiation dynamics.
Plan Communication Style
Communication is the lifeblood of successful negotiations because people react differently based on the communication style used during negotiations. A softer or moderate tone might be warranted if the leader or coach negotiates with a go-along-to-get-along personality type. Contrast that against someone that acts surly. A more forceful or strident demeanor might be best in those situations.
Consider how you will effectively communicate your position in every negotiation, actively listen to the other party, and foster open dialogue. Think about the most suitable communication channels: face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or written proposals.
Additionally, prepare for potential challenges or conflicts in communication, the emotions you will evoke, and develop strategies to overcome them.
Leaders and coaches who effectively use negotiation strategies possess a valuable skillset that can positively impact their organizations and teams. Accordingly, by using the negotiation strategies presented, following a systematic approach to negotiations, and considering key factors such as
- defining goals clearly
- understanding interests and priorities
- planning for negotiation detours
- determining bargaining positions
- creating persuasive rebuttals
- knowing how and when to use the correct style of communication
leaders and coaches will become more persuasive and influential. They will have people eagerly willing to follow their lead. And everything will be right with the world.
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Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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