The art of negotiation

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a negotiation MasterClass held in Paris. I am happy to share some of my key learnings with you.

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a negotiation MasterClass held in Paris. The teachers, Laurent Combalbert and Marwan Mery, are two prestigious negotiators, famous for inspiring the TV show “Ransom”. I had already done some reading (Negociator will be available in English on Amazon very soon!) on the subject and this course has extended my knowledge on this fascinating topic.

I am happy to share some of my key learnings with you:

– I have always perceived conflict as a negative thing, tending to avoid it as much as possible in my personal and professional life. I now understand the difference between conflict and confrontation: conflict is simply the expression of a disagreement and as such lays the ground for a negotiation. Confrontation, however, is more aggressive – which is exactly why I dislike it. From now on I will no longer view conflict as negative !

– A successful negotiation is made of 80% preparation and 20% agility. Needless to say I will never again enter a negotiation without studying beforehand all the issues at stake, especially those that pertain to other party.

– During a negotiation, always be clear on the position, objective, and stake. They are completely different elements. If one focuses only on the position, one might end up losing the negotiation for lack of addressing the other party’s real interest.

This intensive 2-day class made me realize how we all tend to enter a negotiation the way we enter a sports competition i.e. with the belief that “the winner takes it all”. This is actually the reason why so many negotiations fail! Instead, we should all start by thinking about the other party as our “coopetitor” – a competitor with whom we wish to cooperate.

On a more personal level, I have learned that my cooperative attitude and my empathy are valuable assets and tools – as long as I work on managing my emotions and my lack of assertiveness. Indeed, they will enable me and my coopetitors to end our negotiation with the positive impression that we did all we could to reach a balanced solution.  

I truly wish to pursue this course, to gain more experience and expertise (there are 2 more modules I can attend). I am convinced that it will contribute to continually improve myself as CEO of Forever Institut and Forever Boutique – and also as a mother 😉 !

Suggested reading list for those interested (currently in French only):
– Negociator
– Négociateurs d’élite
– Devenir meilleur négociateur que ses enfants

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