Collaborative skills & strategies

Negotiation Framework

Negotiation is a deep ocean of learning, and we have developed a set of essentials that even those with years of negotiation experience will discover to be highly insightful, and applicable in negotiations from the simple to the complex.
Negotiation Strategy

What are the signals you are sending as a negotiator? Are they aligned with your strategy? Is it working & how do you know? What is the best strategy for the situation & how do you adjust? These are just a few of questions we unlock the answers to in Negotiation Strategy.

Effective Preparation

How do you prepare? What are the key pillars of negotiation preparation? What if you only have 30 seconds to prepare in an elevator? We deliver a preparation methodology that helps you balance tensions, keep objectives in focus, and be more self-confident, and forward moving.

Conflict Management

Conflicts are often rife with emotions, biases, and lack of trust. How are you building or re-building trust? Is there a sequence approach to the issues that is wiser than another? Get access to a process in conflict management that is a necessity for any negotiator’s toolbox.

Complex Negotiations

Success principles for complex negotiations do not stray so far from those of simpler negotiations. Yet, the web of differing dynamics, multi-layers, multi-issues, and multi-cultures, require diligence & tact. Discover the right first moves for managing complexity.

The first of many common pitfalls in negotiation is to assume that we only learn through experience, or that there is nothing more to learn about negotiation. Yet, there are great theories & matching skills development available. And we have the package: a proven, results-generating learning process that will help you make rapid improvements. Just grab it, and make some good things happen!

Micro-skills Training

How much you need to improve in the four areas below certainly depends on your situation and existing skill levels. What we have found is that our participants experience it as a highly valuable exercise to spend time practicing each area thoroughly, in order to get one step closer to mastery. "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is..." --Yogi Berra .
Micro-skills training is a 'practice zone' focused on improving at key moments in negotiations.
  • Process Setting

    Our aim here is to provide participants with the skills to not only start negotiations in a good way, but also secure successful implementation. Getting a good process in place generates efficiency, builds trust, and clearer agreements.

  • Indentify Interests & motivations

    Negotiation really is about questioning & listening skills par excellence. Learn new ways identifying, and structuring up critical information in the way of interests & motivations. Find out what makes your counterparts tick.

  • Joint-problem solving

    To create optimal value in a negotiation, often requires facilitating creative & effective problem solving. Develop the ability to invite counterparts to take a same side of the table approaches, in order to maximize mutual gains.

  • Responding to difficult tactics

    Hardball tactics throw us off balance. Options seem to narrow; emotions get triggered. Practice important "game changing" communication skills to remain steady, emotionally composed, and with clear thinking patterns.

Programs & Solutions

Whatever your negotiation needs or challenges, we have a learning solution for you. Whether it is negotiation as an individual set of skills & strategies, or as an organizational core competence, our aim is to support improvement of negotiation outcomes of every participant we interact with. Click through the 4 tabs below to learn more about what is possible.

Powerful, Insightful Learning

The Generact Negotiation Program is an insightful and richly rewarding 4-day program (2 + 2 format) for those wishing to become a more professional & responsible negotiator. Whether you have years of negotiation experience, or you have just discovered the importance of negotiation in your life & career, this program delivers highly relevant learning, new action logic, and easily measured results.

Participants learn in a diverse group of CEO’s, CFO’s, HR, Sourcing, Purchasing & Procurement, Legal, Quality, Project Leaders, Sales Managers, Key Account Managers, Marketing Professionals, and a variety of other organizational functions. This diversity creates a very realistic experience of how differing minds & interests affect internal & external negotiations every day.

Negotiation Framework

Days 1 & 2 build a deep theoretical understanding of negotiation, and provide a powerful Negotiation Framework:

  • Strategy
  • Preparation
  • Conflict Management
  • Complex Negotiations

Framework sessions are focused on experiential learning. Participants prepare and negotiate through instructor selected cases designed to surface instinctive negotiation tendencies. This enables participants to build on strengths and become aware of key weaknesses in their negotiation practices. In other words, learning-by-doing, with each subsequent case an opportunity to implement new and improved strategies, preparations, and processes that improve on outcomes.

Debriefs and Learning Summaries after each negotiation provide a window of opportunity for refinements to be made, approaches to be improved, and negotiation skill portfolios to be expanded. At the end of the first two days, participants have a solid Mutual Gains framework, and the necessary tools to begin implementing in day-to-day negotiations.

Micro-skills Training

Days 3 & 4 loop back to learn how to operationalize the theories & framework at key moments in all negotiations. The focus is Micro-Skills Training:

  • Process Setting (Framing, Re-framing & Agendas)
  • Identifying Interests & Motivations
  • Deal Optimization through Joint-problem Solving
  • Responding to Difficult Tactics
  • Learning Consolidation in a Multi-issue Case

Participants prepare & practice for their own “live cases” in an open & safe environment. This personalizes the training for every participant, and helps them build skills & competence for deployment in real-life situations that are purely relevant to them. It is a rock-solid method to move from theories, principles, models, frameworks and reflection, to action and implementation. As a company investing in this training, you can expect improvements immediately, and near real-time results.

Negotiating Organizations

We built the Generact Negotiation Program and brought it to the market to fill a need for companies to develop high level negotiation skills through a unique methodology. The results have been impressive. Coinciding with that general need for people to improve as individual negotiators, is another; Negotiating Organizations. Many companies still apply the traditional model of sending individuals or small teams for development. This will continue to be the case, as good training is still good training. What we are seeing more & more of, however, are companies looking to develop Negotiation as a Core Competence within their organizations. This requires a more long-term approach, and from an in-house vantage point.

Pre-Work

The work we do with you before any training takes place makes a big difference in outcomes, both during and after the training period. It is not just session content that matters. And believe us when we say we have myriads of that. For us, methodology comes first. It is not only about throwing some roll-plays together and saying “So, there we go…we’re all trained up & ready to go…”. To use an old adage often used by sound engineers from the world of live music world. Input = outputTimely and relevant input up front allows you to orchestrate a more pronounced, measurable, and lasting result.

Pre-work includes the following conversations, and facilitation elements, which help us to tailor solutions that deliver relevant & sustainable impact:

  1. Organization: Establish with leadership, a clear purpose with the improvement initiative, clear goals & objectives, and appropriate communication surrounding it. Also, to understand current & desired outcomes in relation to Negotiation Culture, Skill Levels, Approaches, Measurement, Gaps in Performance. 
  2. Front-line Cross-check; To pursue a credible gap-analysis, we see it as a wise move to engage perspectives from front-line negotiators about their current negotiation instructions, practices & experiences in order to compare those with the organization’s view. Patterns often emerge here, to show where interventions may be needed.
  3. White-paper or Findings Report: A third level conversation surrounds a White Paper, or Findings Report with leadership. Here we structure up a report to show the current and desired situations, obstacles, and methods to overcome.

Tailoring

We can promise you that even a simple drag & drop of out Open Program Model into a company class situation, with the right cross-functional target group, would lead to astounding results. It would aid in building a common negotiation framework & language, and develop essential skills.

While standardized approaches can be helpful, your organization may have more specific areas to target for improvements (HR, Legal, Quality, Supply Chain Management, Customer Service & Claims). Our tailored solutions allow us to integrate a variety of specialized learning experiences that extract important insights on negotiation behaviour focused on differing contexts. These can be pre-written cases, custom-written simulations, or other tailored training exercises.

Say for example, your organization spends a lot of time negotiating across borders with different cultures. We would then look together to incorporate sessions tailored for understanding cultural prototypes, and how to adapt negotiating styles to fit the needs of the situation & differences in cultural approach. If it is negotiations within Quality, Environmental, or Sourcing, or annual Price Negotiations, the same customized approach is possible.

7 Fundamental Steps

What the tailored approach provides is a chance to be in full command over where your improved negotiation outcomes will be coming fromResult = timely improvements with measurable payoffs, helping you to earn back your investment quite quickly. In order to achieve optimal results, and lasting effect, here are a series of steps we would take with you:

  1. Gain an overview of your negotiation culture
  2. Audit methods being used in both internal & external negotiations
  3. Identify gaps in negotiation methods & skills, and possible obstacles in operating procedures, and reward systems for successful negotiation
  4. Establish success criteria for effective negotiations
  5. Develop a common language & philosophy of negotiation
  6. Design and deliver tailored & relevant training and coaching to consistently achieve the measurables of the success criteria
  7. Create effective follow-up measures that add-to sustainability

Engaging in these steps from a process perspective is far more optimal than attempting to achieve a result through training events only.

Face-to-Face or Multi-media?

Be smart, save costs, earn on your training dollars with a smart delivery format!

Companies are set up differently, and each requires its own special solution when it comes to pulling an improvement process together. More and more we see tighter cost focus on travel, meeting efficiency, and using time in a smart way without losing the human touch. Dependent on your needs, we can adapt a variety formats to ensure that people get the learning curve they need, and the result. Here are just a few, and we are not afraid to be creative with you:

  • Face-to-face “In-session” training sessions
  • Full video conference system training sessions (with virtual rooms)
  • Sub-group training at wise geographical locations
  • Multi-person Skype training sessions
  • E-learning supplement & between session negotiation assignments
  • Digital linkage to company processes

Whether you have a head-office nearby as a home base for your people, or a number of satellite offices spread across global regions, it is possible to create powerful results with the right process and a little bit of coordination.

Practice as you Play

As with our Tailored Programs, we offer a tailored opportunity to simulate specific types of negotiations. These can be 3rd Party Role Plays designed to highlight key negotiation challenges in context specific negotiations (HR, Environmental Policy, Cross Cultural, Distributive Bargaining, Buying, Selling, Collective Bargaining, Salary Negotiation, etc.), or they can be tailor-written for specific negotiations you are about to face for “war-gaming” effects.

As we collaborate with educational bodies that research an study negotiation behaviours, we have access to exceptional learning in the negotiation field. This means that readily made cases are within our grasp & we know how to administer them, facilitating rich learning opportunities, and action plans for improvements.

The Power of Role-play & Simulation

We have also seen the power of preparing for & simulating upcoming ‘live’ negotiation cases. There is a little more time involved in creating the right case dynamics for this, and building general & individual role instructions, but the payoffs are substantial. These can be simple two-party, single issue cases, or multi-party, multi issue cases where negotiators learn to anticipate pitfalls and avoid them.

Here is how we approach this:

  1. Meet sponsoring leadership to determine the situation & desired insights 
  2. Selection(s) of appropriate 3rd Party Role Play case options, alt. presentation of 1st Draft of tailor-written Simulation / Role Play 
  3. Establish & agree on timelines for conducting the exercise  
  4. Conduct the training session with appropriate debrief & action planing time
  5. Follow-up with sponsoring leadership to discuss exercise effects (key learnings within the group, and individual performance, skills or knowledge gaps), and make clear recommendations from our observations

As in sports & music, and gardening, negotiation requires practice. If we only rely on instincts, and do not practice, simulate or role-play important cases we are about to enter into, we may be missing important opportunities that can affect outcomes and reputation.

What to Expect

Accelerated Learning & Negotiation Readiness

We go by the philosophy that learning should be fun & it should also stretch the abilities of every participant. From this perspective, we work with you to build an environment that is positive, enjoyable and will require a stretch of the comfort-zone by participants. Expect the following:

  • Preparation time for participants
  • Experiential learning that provokes timely, relevant insights
  • Ample time for debriefing exercises
  • Learning & Toolbox Summaries
  • Individual & (where required) group goal setting for deployment of key learnings into the negotiation in focus
  • Accessibility & support
  • Improved preparation for upcoming cases
  • Team building

Consider this method a way to release further potential & enhance the competence of your negotiation team, and individual negotiators.

Save Time - Get Results

Negotiation is a deep ocean of learning. There are many ways to go about gathering new insights and creating behaviour shifts & actions to affect outcomes for the better.  Our Toolbox Sessions can be helpful. They are not designed to replace the deeper learning of a good Negotiation Framework, and a Accompanying Micro-skills, but more act as a supplement to, or and introduction of good negotiation practices.

There is a bigger picture to consider, but that doesn’t stop us from accelerating learning for specific moments in negotiations. These sessions are ideal for kick-offs, quarterly offsite meetings, or as an introduction to a larger development process. They are time/cost-effective, and still deliver a powerful impact.  

Popular Toolbox Topics

1/2 Day, Full Day, or Multi-day workshop topics include:

  • Strategy – Intentions, Interpretations, Impact
  • Effective Preparation vs. the One-dimensional Negotiation
  • Active Listening & Acquiring a Mandate
  • Framing & Re-framing  
  • Establishing a Productive Agenda
  • Exploring Differences & Find the Trading Zone
  • Identifying Interests & Motivations
  • Indentifying Integrative Potential in Multi-issue Cases
  • Joint-problem Solving & Brainstorming
  • Securing Clear Agreements
  • Responding to Difficult Tactics
  • Negotiation via E-mail
  • Handling Difficult Situations or Behaviours
  • Utilizing Contingency Agreements
  • Multi-Cultural Negotiations
  • Playing the Distributive Game Well
  • Responding to The Most Difficult Questions
  • Salary Negotiations
  • Giving & Receiving Feedback in Negotiation
  • Improving Subjective Value in Negotiations
  • Practical Use of Behaviour Profiles in Negotiation

All workshops are tailored to suit the context of the organization, and to elicit key learnings relevant for improved negotiation outcomes.

Starting in the Right Direction

We hold a steadfast commitment to helping organizations, teams & individuals to attain their goals and improve their negotiation outcomes. It is what makes us tick. This is coupled with nearly 20 years of experience creating logical, result-generating learning sequences that produce sustainable change & improvements.

Leaders come to us with a need to improve negotiation results for their people and organizations. Once we enter a dialogue together about the situation, and peel away the different layers of existing challenges, we discover that it often boils down to a combination of the what, how & why? What needs to be improved? What can we do about it? How will we go about it? How ill it pay-off? Why this way (method) instead of another? Why this sequence instead of that one? As expert facilitators it our job to know these things, and thus we can save a lot of time and energy for you. This, of course, requires trust. If you don’t know us that well, we will gladly earn that trust step-by-step, result-by-result. If you are willing to risk a little, we certainly stand for seeing you reap those rewards.

For us, Toolbox Sessions are great low-risk starting point when you are not quite sure how a larger learning process should look or whether or not you have the resources to facilitate it. We these shorter sessions as no different than entire tailored learning processes, in the sense that we still need to understand situational needs first, as well as desired outcomes in order to ascertain what will best catalyze the desired result.

To get started, we suggest an open, no cost consultation of 60-90 minutes before deciding what to do.

Registered participants access a deeper learning curve through our web-interactive course pages. These are synced with live, face-to-face learning, and feature e-learning video content, downloadable negotiation resources, as well as tests & quizzes to strengthen understanding of concepts & methods.

Our Team

Passionate about people; passionate about negotiation!
Evan Westerlund
Evan Westerlund
Program Design, Trainer, Customer Relations
Professor Alain Lempereur
Professor Alain Lempereur
Program Design, Trainer, Customer Relations
Minna Westerlund
Minna Westerlund
Trainer, Customer Relations

Participant comments

We are honoured to have the opportunity to work with people who are open in their learning style, and consistently hungry to stretch themselves! They really make the dynamics of the program come alive, and we proud to make a difference for them.

Registered participants access a deeper learning curve through our web-interactive course pages. These are synced with live, face-to-face learning, and feature e-learning video content, downloadable negotiation resources, as well as tests & quizzes to strengthen understanding of concepts & methods.

Get in touch!

Courage, Creativity & Collaboration will take us far together...