I think most people that come in the programme are well aware that they have not been effective negotiations, that they leave money on the table. Or they come in the programme because they feel somehow they are either too assertive and they lack empathy, and so negotiators often break down before they even get started properly, or more commonly, because people lack assertiveness. And so they have no difficulty understanding what someone else is about, but when it comes to asserting their own position, they can find it very, very difficult to do.
And so part of what we do in the workshop, because it’s a safe environment, is to allow people to experiment with a different sort of language, to allow them to experiment being a little bit more assertive. Because once you give people examples of what they could say or how they could frame an argument, that can actually just tip people over from being quite reserved in negotiations to people being both empathetic but at the same time able to assert their own interests on behalf of themselves or the organisation they’re part of.
Part of what you pick up are some things that you may not have understood about yourself, how you come across as a negotiator. And only by negotiating you learn about yourself, and as you learn about yourself, you can become that much more effective as a negotiator.
So it’s a workshop that allows for lots of reflection, lots of practice. It’s hugely interactive, but it’s enormously rewarding, particularly for people that may come into the group being actually quite reticent, quite shy, quite uncertain, and actually really coming out of the shells over the two days. The skills you pick up are almost universally useful, and it’s something that is so user friendly, that you can put it to work not only at work but back home.