Key Competencies

SPANS education and training services aim to develop the level of client knowledge and skill to master the following key negotiation competencies:

  • Communication: Understanding different theories and approaches to communication, differing types of ‘noise’ and its impact upon communication and negotiation
  • Understanding and managing the two dimensions of the negotiation: the objective, rational (content) and emotional (psychological) processes of negotiation
  • Understanding and applying different models of negotiation: Different models of negotiation include positional bargaining, principled bargaining or negotiating on merits, and strategic negotiation. Negotiators must be adaptable enough to apply situational negotiation styles on the understanding that each negotiation model has equal merit when applied to the relevant context and complexity of negotiations
  • Understanding your own negotiation style and the style of counter parties/negotiators: Adapting your style to suit that of the counter party and to manage the particular context of negotiation
  • Investigation and diagnosis: Proper research and fact finding prior to and during negotiations to identify substantive needs to be met, negotiation strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This competency involves understanding and applying appropriate interview techniques to elicit underlying information, agendas and motivation
  • Preparation and Planning: Planning and preparation is an essential requirement of successful negotiations as it accounts for at least 60 to 80 percent of negotiation success. The words ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ are a true assessment of the value of preparing and planning for negotiation. Preparation and planning facilitates a transformational rather than transactional process of negotiation.
  • Dealing with difficult situations and people: How to manage a hard negotiator or negotiation climate that has the potential to present an impasse to reaching a negotiated agreement. Managing conflict, emotions and the balance of power.
  • Identification and application of negotiation codes: Negotiation codes are the messages we construct to convey the information we intend our audience to understand. If our code differs to that used by the other party, miscommunication and misunderstanding is bound to occur, resulting in little negotiation of meaning let alone agreement
  • Managing Negotiation Power: Negotiators are often intimidated and influenced to compromise or concede to the demands of more powerful negotiators. Negotiation techniques/skills are employed to address power imbalances that occur in negotiations, placing negotiators in a stronger position to negotiate and achieve their objectives
  • Identifying and capitalizing upon commonalities: Commonalities in negotiation codes, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, likes and dislikes are identified and highlighted to build and strengthen collaborative relationships with negotiation partners
  • Integrated Diversity: Employing the notion of ‘integrated diversity’ to recognize the differing yet complementary needs of negotiators that have the potential to create more valuable outcomes
  • Identification of the Best Alternatives to Negotiation Agreement (BATNA): The BATNA provides negotiators with an alternative to accepting an unfavorable negotiated outcome and helps to balance negotiation power
  • Separating People (emotional) issues from Problem (substantive) issues: People or relationships issues often become so entangled with the problem that they become the problem. Learn how to deal with the people issues separately to the problem, preserving long term relationships by being soft on the people but hard on the problem.
  • Balance the tension between claiming (distributing) and creating value: Learn how to expand and then divide the pie so that you reach a fair but more favorable outcome.
  • Focusing upon interests and not positions: Negotiators often become so narrowly focused and committed to their argument or position that they lose sight of their interest. As a result many negotiators often become entrapped by their positions even when they work against their own interests.
  • Generating options for mutual gain: This skill explores and employs techniques to highlight commonalities and integrate diversity to create added value to negotiated outcomes. Learn how to ‘package’ deals that expand the pie.
  • Using Objective Criteria: Employing fair and acceptable standards to counter unreasonable claims. Objective criteria ensures negotiations are based upon rational and reasonable standards rather than emotional or positional claims
  • Engaging, connecting and working effective with diverse business or organisational partners: Important for organisational members to manage working relationships in the modern networked organisation, both within and across professional, organisational and international boundaries.
  • Negotiation Mapping: Developing a road map to guide you through the negotiation process
  • Negotiation modelling: Simulating the negotiation plan to test, practice and strengthen the theories and strategies you have developed to manage the negotiation process
  • Closure: Completing the agreement

The key to success

SPANS will provide you with the key to negotiation success by helping you to become a more proficient negotiator, assist you to achieve better outcomes from your negotiations and strengthen your relationship network.

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