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Of the many skills today’s leadership-level staff members need to possess, negotiation, conflict resolution and influence are likely among the most critical, especially given the speed with which the workforce is evolving. Unfortunately, some experts and researchers have argued that these areas might be the weakest with respect to modern leaders and managers, indicating that negotiation training is increasingly important to keep companies moving in the right direction.

Negotiation skills will come in myriad situations, ranging from simply trying to help an employee improve and forming stronger relationships with partners to engaging clientele and beyond. As such, companies that have not evaluated their managers’ negotiation skills or deployed relevant training programs recently should seriously consider doing so soon, as this knowledge will be invaluable in the coming years.

Slow starts
Businessweek recently argued that the average business administration graduate is not likely to have strong negotiation skills at the time he or she enters the workforce given the general lack of relative coursework that is delivered in most universities and colleges. Now, as an important reminder here, companies should never be entirely reliant upon the teachings and coursework of the schools their managers attended, but should instead work to ensure that they are delivering training to align skills with corporate missions and objectives.

The best training programs will always be closely aligned with the organization’s values and goals, and failure to do so will inherently lead to more problematic issues regarding culture and general leadership. According to the news provider, one of the fundamental problems in the average college’s coursework related to negotiation is the teaching that compromise should always be an option, and that striking a deal that is less desirable to the business is inherently preferable compared to the agreement not being met.

As such, the source suggested that companies begin to incorporate certain tactics and teachings into their own negotiation training courses, such as instructing managers in the importance of not making any assumptions, fully comprehending how good decisions are made and knowing the right questions to ask during a meeting. Businesses that put a bit more stock into comprehensively training their managers and leaders are almost always going to be better positioned to excel over time, and these types of skills can go a long way in the modern market.

Optimizing negotiation training
Now, it is worth noting that there is no such thing as a silver-bullet negotiation training course that will help all companies achieve their goals regardless of what those objectives might be. Rather, businesses need to identify the specific programs that will have the strongest, most positive impact on their managers’ abilities to negotiate. One of the biggest gaps is that the participants do not have the influence skills to help them implement a negotiation process or strategy.

By first running a thorough evaluation of the negotiation skills managers currently have and then seeking out the types of solutions and programs that will fill the void most efficiently, these types of pursuits can be both financially and operationally advantageous.