What Is Negotiation Training and How Can It Help You?

Albert Howard

Regardless of someone’s position in a company, that person could benefit from receiving negotiation training in the workplace. Contrary to what many managers or leaders might assume, these skills aren’t just useful for the sales team. Negotiation (as well as the communication and the interpersonal skills it involves) plays a role in all business areas. This includes both internal negotiations and external negotiations. 

Considering negotiation is such a critical skill in business settings, having a team with poor negotiation abilities can be disastrous to productivity. If you’d like to improve your company’s overall negotiating prowess, you can start by establishing negotiation training. 

What Does Negotiation Actually Mean?

First, let’s take a step back. When we talk about “negotiation skills,” what are we referring to? 

Negotiation isn’t just the kind of back-and-forth you’d see in a sales setting. Every day in the workplace, managers and other team members negotiate with those inside and outside the company. Maybe you’re collaborating with a colleague to complete several important tasks or projects. As you discuss and suggest ways to get everything done on time, you’re using negotiation skills.

On the other hand, if an employee asks their employer for a raise, the ensuing conversation will involve negotiations. You may even need to negotiate while on the phone with a customer if they’re requesting a discount. But, of course, these are just a few examples—negotiation is everywhere in a business environment. 

A team of highly skilled negotiators often boosts the company’s bottom line. Additionally, when the members of a workplace understand how to negotiate and communicate with one another, this typically leads to a more harmonious work environment. 

What Is Negotiation Training?

As the name implies, negotiation training improves company members’ negotiating capabilities. 

Don’t forget that negotiation is a learned skill, so training and practice are necessary. Even if some people are more inclined to become great negotiators, and others may struggle to master negotiation, no one has this ability from birth. At the end of the day, the only way to learn negotiation strategies is through education, practice, and experience. Negotiation training can make this education far more accessible for your team. 

For negotiation training to be at its most successful, the attendees shouldn’t be taught to detach from their emotions and use an entirely rational approach. Instead, negotiation training teaches workers to find the balance between rational logic and empathizing with the other party’s goals. Without empathy, it can be nearly impossible to receive honest responses from your negotiation partner. If you’re not getting honest responses, it will be impossible to understand your partner and have a productive conversation. 

Getting the most out of negotiation training takes far more than listening to the instructor’s points and taking notes. Instead, attendees should consider how these points apply to their own work and the negotiations they face. Listen carefully to the ideas you’re being given during training, and then think about the real-world implications of what’s being discussed. And if you’re ever finding it difficult to make these connections, you can always ask the instructor for an example or clarification—because negotiation training is a conversation, not a lecture. 

What You Learn During Negotiation Training

Different negotiation training courses may take different approaches to their curriculum. However, a reliable way to start a course is through a skills self-assessment. Performing this kind of assessment lets the attendees know where they can improve. Then, during training, they’ll be able to concentrate on the aspects of negotiation that cause them the most difficulties. 

During training, the art of negotiating will be broken down into several steps. For example, a negotiation model could include tiers such as preparation, research, brainstorming ideas or alternatives, making concessions, and closing the deal in a way that leads to positive business relationships in the long run. 

Negotiation doesn’t begin when you’re greeting the other party. When you attend training, you’ll learn the importance of preparing for negotiations in advance. This includes doing in-depth research on your negotiation partner, allowing you to get a head start on determining their goals and wants. The better you understand the other party, the easier it is to ask the right questions and get the best value out of an agreement. 

How Can I Get the Most Out of a Negotiation Class?

If you’re not putting in the effort and applying what you learn, you probably won’t gain much from negotiation training. However, if you’re determined to succeed during your negotiation training course, make sure that you’re following these tips:

  • Stay proactive.
  • Realize that it’s okay to make mistakes; this is precisely how you learn and grow.
  • Use simulations as a learning experience.
  • Put in a conscious effort to practice the skills you’ve learned.
  • Make sure you’re working with a credible negotiation coach. 

Who Could Benefit From Negotiation Classes?

As we’ve mentioned, it’s possible to benefit from negotiation training no matter who you are. Of course, this is true in a workplace environment, but negotiation can also help individuals grow and become more confident in their personal lives. In addition, strong negotiation skills allow someone to improve their interpersonal communication, even if they’re speaking with a stranger on the street. 

Through business negotiation training, participants work on their own skills while boosting their entire team’s bottom line and productivity. If you’re on the fence about negotiation training in your business, then now’s the time to give it a go—it won’t take long to see the positive impact on your work environment.