10 Essential Negotiating Skills for HR Managers - Copy by hossam08


									10 Essential Negotiating Skills for HR Managers

Human resource managers spend enormous amounts of time helping both employees and upper
management cope with everyday issues involving two or more stakeholder groups—often with
conflicting interests. What you are doing day in and day out, whether you realize it or not, is
negotiating. Any time you are involved in helping two or more parties come to an agreement, you are,
in effect, handling a negotiation.

HR professionals who hone their negotiating skills are in a tremendous position to influence company
morale, improve productivity, boost the bottom line, and foster a company culture that is harmonious
and competitive. In other words, being a better negotiator makes you better at managing your
workforce, with all of its complexities.

In human resources, you can master the same type of negotiating techniques that are used by high-
powered companies to secure multimillion-dollar contracts. At the core of every negotiation are two
sets of interests that need to get resolved so that the parties can move forward in a constructive way.
HR professionals spend many hours of every day knocking out agreements, large and small, so that
the company organism can continue to function smoothly. Competent negotiating is essential to HR.

What type of everyday issues confronting HR managers could be improved with more effective
negotiation skills? Here’s a short list:

• Working  out labor disputes with unions and other labor groups
• Hammering out benefits packages
• Negotiating salaries and raises
• Dealing with employee conflicts
• Hiring top-notch people
• Motivating sales staff
• Managing change initiatives
• Dealing with disgruntled, litigious employees
• Making downsizing and outsourcing decisions
• Developing leadership skills among your talent pool
• Selling new strategic initiatives to department heads
• Managing post-merger cultural acclimation
• Bringing in new management
• Working out budgetary allocations
And there are many more. So ask yourself: Did you ever receive formal negotiating training? Are there
areas of your work that consistently disappoint? It may be that you simply need to learn more effective
ways to come to decisions with people and to problem solve. Many HR professionals are hired for
their “people skills,” and you may feel that yours are adequate. But what does this really mean? Even
if you have an excellent rapport with others, are you using your listening, communicating, and
reasoning gifts to best advantage in your job? Do you always feel as though you’ve come to an
agreement that resonates with all parties involved?

For twenty-plus years, I have been training people in a contrarian, highly effective negotiating
approach called Systematic Decision-based Negotiating, a methodology designed to result in good
decisions every time. At the heart of this approach is the following truth: Emotions can overwhelm you
in any negotiation. In my system, you dispense with feel-good emotions and follow instead a highly
structured, systematic method based on sound decisions, each decision building on the one before it.
This way of negotiating may seem counterintuitive to HR professionals at first, and demands discipline
and self-awareness every step of the way to learn and master. But once you learn it, you will enjoy
dramatic new results in every type of workplace negotiation.

Like most HR professionals, you are probably more adept at and used to compromise-based
negotiation (also known as collective bargaining or win-win negotiation). Here’s the bald truth: win-win
is emotion-based, rather than decision-based. Emotion-based negotiation leads to bad decisions. The
win-win books would never admit this, of course, but they can’t get around the fact that the invitation to
compromise that lurks just beneath the surface of the win-win paradigm is re
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