There are many types and teachers when it comes to negotiation courses. From learning negotiation skills for salary negotiations to courses that help you understand negotiation dynamics for complex conflict resolution, there seems to be a course for most types of negotiation.
Yet the overabundance can lead to people seeking negotiation mastery or even the basics to choose a course that does not offer what they need. Choosing the best course can be daunting, and evaluating whether salary negotiation training from Harvard Business School or the guy who claims to have negotiated a seven-figure salary is the best option.
This article will outline the considerations that should be made and the elements of a successful negotiation course to help you choose the best negotiation course to craft an agile strategy and resolve differences effectively. It will discuss what a negotiation course is, why negotiation is important to understand, why taking a course may be helpful for your career or personal life, and the basic skills and interpersonal techniques that you should look for when looking at negotiation courses.
The goal of this article is to help professionals deal effectively with issues and disputes before they escalate, secure maximum value in their negotiations, and identify the best path for finding a program to help them do just that.
Defining Negotiation Courses
A negotiation course is a class either through a university or independent industry leaders that teaches participants the necessary skills and negotiation strategies to help them prepare for any small or complex negotiations that may come their way. The classes range from a single-day class or longer semester- or degree-length courses.
They can be accessed through many platforms that provide online courses or they may be provided in person at some universities and law schools. In some classes, you may have a final exam, while in others, there may be a small test or paper to demonstrate the abilities you have learned.
One of the major benefits of many classes is the ability to earn a certificate of completion when you complete the course. A course certificate will be helpful in advertising and marketing themselves as negotiators and can signal a specialized skill or something new they bring to the bargaining table. Learning the ins and outs of negotiation mastery prepares students for any negotiation they may need in today’s dynamic workplace or beyond.
The Benefits of the Negotiation Process
One of the first questions one may ask is the value of the negotiation process. This section will briefly outline some of the benefits that come with negotiation and conflict resolution.
Saves Money and Time on Conflict Resolution
When you negotiate through an issue or conflict, you can avoid costly conflicts and the time that accompanies them. If you cannot settle differences before they escalate into costly conflicts, you will likely spend a lot of time and money in litigation and may not end up with the result you had hoped for. By resolving a conflict quickly, you avoid this situation and give yourself more time and money to spend on other things.
Another benefit of using negotiation is the ability to create value for both parties. One of the skills that you will likely learn in a course is value creation, which is how to notice underlying interests that are affecting the positions between the parties and how these interests can be used to influence the outcome in a way that makes both parties happy with the outcome. This can include adding things to the negotiation table that were not present at the beginning and finding creative ways to make all parties feel as though they are getting a good deal.
Whether a dispute arises at work or during your personal life, negotiating effectively will help you preserve these relationships or forge new ones. If you have a way to work through and handle small differences, you will be able to bring opposing parties together and use relationships to achieve success, even in a complex, multi-party negotiation.
The Benefits of a Course
In addition to the various benefits of using negotiation for dispute resolution, many benefits come with taking a course or more and earning a course certificate. This section will consider the reasons you should consider taking a course to learn the key concepts of negotiation.
Learn to Negotiate Effectively
The biggest benefit of negotiation courses is the opportunity to learn how to negotiate effectively. Many people approach negotiations with little to no experience or knowledge of the topic, which can force them into positions that they do not want to be in and cause them to be unsuccessful. By learning both analytical tools and interpersonal techniques, a negotiation course will help you handle any negotiation effectively.
Another benefit of taking a course on negotiation is the ability to participate in practical exercises to practice the new skills that you learn. Most classes will have you participate in hands-on, roleplaying exercises with other students. Each student will take a role in the negotiation process and practice the different aspects of the process. This helps students develop muscle memory for certain negotiation skills and not rely only on the knowledge of the skill.
Focus on New Skills
Another benefit of a negotiation course is the ability to choose one to focus on specific skills or areas of the process. Many schools and negotiation experts will offer specialized courses that focus on a step of the negotiation process, often where each module focuses on a specific skill or technique that is necessary for that step. This allows you to pick and choose areas that need some work and address them directly.
With these benefits in mind, it is clear why choosing the right negotiation courses for your needs and experience will be helpful for your practice.
Negotiation Skills Needed in a Basic Course
When looking for negotiation courses to teach you standard negotiation skills, you should make sure that the course covers the following skills to ensure that upon earning your certificate of completion, you can begin dealing effectively with any dispute that winds up on your bargaining table.
The first essential skill is familiarity with the negotiation process. Understanding how to use this process to resolve differences before they escalate into costly conflicts will ensure that you use the right negotiation techniques to close deals. The process involves each step from identifying a problem that needs to be solved, through negotiation preparation, and to the actual negotiation itself and any possible agreement that may arise. If you are brand new to the idea of negotiation, an online course in the process may be a helpful tool to start your journey.
Another important aspect of negotiation is an understanding of interpersonal communication and how the way we speak with and interact with each other can lead to agreements or get in the way. Therefore, any good negotiation mastery course will ensure that you have an understanding of the interpersonal tools necessary along with the analytical tools. Many courses will offer psychological tools to help you understand how to interact with others throughout the negotiation.
These techniques can range from basic audits of personal behaviors and self-reflection to developing a deeper understanding of body language, speech patterns, and gender differences. Learning more about how and why people work can help reach and resolve differences, avoid uncertainty, learn more about one another, and encourage problem-solving. Even in the most competitive situations, it is important to remember that most people will just want to be treated like a human.
Another essential skill for new negotiators is an understanding of the ethical standards that apply to negotiation. While there is no set of ethical guidelines for negotiators, partially because negotiation touches so many professional and personal areas, there are some basic ethical issues that can pop up when you are negotiating.
Such as disclosing changing circumstances or a demand to change management practices in a negotiation where neither party has the authority to do so. When a program emphasizes the ethical implications of negotiations, it is likely to encourage thorough and well-rounded negotiation skills.
Beneficial Negotiation Strategies to Learn
In addition to the negotiation skills listed above, several strategies and negotiation techniques will further round out your negotiation training. Successful negotiation requires both a knowledge of the basics of negotiation and an understanding and analysis of the overall conversation. This section will explore some of the techniques that can be implemented and learned in negotiations and negotiation courses.
Different Bargaining Styles
Within the world of bargaining, you will likely find a variety of people who come to the table, each bringing their unique style to the task at hand. Some people will approach any negotiation with a sense of competition and seek to secure the most value out of the conversation, no matter what other people request or need.
Others will be too nervous about conflict to stand up for themselves and may give away more than they should. Still, others will approach the deal with a collaborative effort, hoping to close deals with the best scenario for everyone. Learning how to spot these bargaining styles and when to use them strategically is an important technique for negotiations.
Another important technique to help you reach and resolve differences is to learn how to complete a negotiation analysis. This is a process where you outline all of the components of the negotiation and how you will respond. It can be helpful for preparation and set you up for successful negotiations in the future.
Interest-based negotiations is a theory that uses psychological tools to identify the underlying interests that the parties have and use those to create value. Value creation, as discussed above, is a step in and the product of focusing on the parties’ interests. When someone has emotional or mental factors that are influencing their decision-making within a bargaining moment, you can use the interest to identify and add value to the conversation, widening the bargaining pie for the whole group.
It can help the parties reach agreements that were previously impossible and can give each party more of what they need, even if they do not realize it. For this reason, learning about interest-based bargaining through articles or an online course may strengthen your negotiation mastery.
Now that you understand why a course is important to becoming a good negotiator, the next step is to begin looking for one that fits your needs. Both Harvard Business School and ESSEC Business School host a variety of online courses on popular topics. Additionally, many negotiation experts will offer an online course to learn the basics.
Finally, ADR Times has many articles on negotiation skills and techniques, as well as several courses on dispute resolution topics. No matter what you would like or need from a course on negotiations, you are bound to find one out there, and now you know how to look.
To learn more about negotiation courses, negotiation classes, and more, contact ADR Times today!