International Negotiation Workshop Summary

We wound up our second international negotiation workshop here in Tartu last Thusday. Yesterday, I was still in teaching mode, as one student had missed a day, and I sat with him one on one to help him catch up. So today, I can finally reflect for a moment on what we have learned.

First, everyone who comes through this course agrees that approaching negotiation skills with a model in hand enables people to learn skills faster. That is what we offer here, and each time we offer this course, I believe in this approach more.

Second, people often think that because they are confident speakers, they have a leg up in negotiating. In fact, their confidence in speaking may be a hindrance to seeing the “negotiation meaning” in given situations. Seeing the strategic element is a mental rather than verbal challenge.

Third, with higher level negotiation skills, people get better at teamwork. The spillover effect is immediate. And given the ever growing importance of working in teams — whether in a single geographic setting or distributed across the globe — this  is great to know.

Fourth, leadership is more and more seen as ongoing dialogue rather than decision/ifnormingroutine. That ongoing dialogue is a type of negotiation that stretches out over years. For that reason, negotiation skills and leadership skills are intertwined.

As always, transferring ideas in a classroom remains our main obsession. We are getting pretty good at it, and I took away lots of thoughts about how we can do it better in the next cycle.


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