The only way an organization and its staff will truly understand how to properly negotiate is through constant training. Organizations around the world spend billions of dollars a year on negotiation training for its staff. This training can often be in-house, either led by employees themselves, consultants, and others, or teams can travel to other training venues. Regardless of where the negotiation training takes place, it is essential to have a solid understanding of what negotiation is and how it can be handled.
In real life, most negotiations are handled by the "defense lawyer" or "ambulance chaser." The purpose of these professionals is to make sure that everyone involved in the transaction appears happy with the outcome, while keeping the other side happy so they will agree to do or not do something else. These types of negotiators rarely, if ever, have any skills in real world Negotiation. Negotiation Training is not always the same for every organization, but there are certain skills and tactics that are important regardless.
A good Negotiation Training course teaches negotiators, how to ask questions. Asking questions is a skill that is natural to most people, yet few negotiators are good at asking questions and knowing what to say. Because negotiations are usually a two-way street, it is critical that negotiators, as well as all other parties involved, have an understanding of how to ask questions to get the best possible outcome from the negotiations. Asking questions shows your interest in the situation and shows you are willing to listen to your partner's views and needs.
Communication is a key element to Negotiation Training. Communicating effectively is crucial when trying to reach agreement with others. While in real life most discussions occur between individuals, in negotiation skills training you learn how to communicate professionally with others, which can sometimes include team members or corporate executives.
Another skill taught in Negotiation Training is conflict management. The ability to recognize and manage conflict is critical to any career as a commercial negotiator. The more effective you are at managing conflict, the better your outcomes will be as a negotiator. Learning how to recognize and respond to conflict is more about mental acuity than actual skill, but many successful business people are indeed skilled in this area.
Communication is an essential part of Negotiation Training and the ability to communicate well is absolutely essential to negotiations. Communicating with others requires both listening and speaking clearly. Your body language needs to be professional and your speech needs to be clear and straight. Your negotiating skills will need to allow you to effectively communicate with all areas of the negotiations process with ease.
One of the final areas of Negotiation Training focused on during training programs is the "12 delegate ratio." In many negotiations, there will be a number of different parties that are involved, each with a number of different objectives and concerns. The number of individuals who will need to be engaged in negotiations, depending on the nature of the issues involved, will vary. This ratio is usually discussed in the fine arts training program that you choose to complete.
The final area of focus covered in Negotiation Training is presenting options to your counterpart. At the end of the negotiation, there will inevitably be a number of different options presented to you by your counterpart. As a commercial negotiator looking to improve your skills, presenting your options is crucial to getting your point across. For example, if you're involved in negotiations with a food service company, there will likely be several different commercial fryers available to purchase, each with their own specific features, efficiency, etc... Having all of this information available at your fingertips at all times during the day will help you to quickly find and utilize the best option.