Tuesday, 3 March 2015

#UKRGMoL Communication: What You Say and How You Say it - Negotiating a Better Outcome



Negotiating a Better Outcome

This was stimulating and informative session on how best to approach negotiations. Using a practical, structured approach, Jan Slater began by looking at a four-stage process before moving on to look at how an awareness of personality types and type behaviours can be used by the Registrar looking to achieve the best results from their daily negotiations.

Jan began by suggesting that the one of the fundamental aspects of negotiation is an awareness of value, both in terms of maximising the value of the results we achieve through our negotiations, and becoming more aware of the value of the assets we offer. Jan emphasised that everything has value, and one of the keys to achieving successful results through negotiation is identifying what is “cheap to give, but valuable to receive”

We went on to look at a structure to assist with getting the best out of negotiations, based on four phases  - Preparation, Debate, Proposal and Bargaining. Jan emphasised that it is important to follow each stage through carefully to ensure that priorities are not neglected, and that the participants in a negotiation should keep sight of the value of all aspects under discussion, and not just the principal ones  - ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’. Jan discussed examples directly related to the work of the Registrar and concluded with the very practical suggestion of making a clear summary at the end of a negotiation of what has been discussed, and agreed.

In the second part of the session, Jan continued with a detailed and informative look at four Personality Type behaviours, and how these might affect negotiation strategies. Starting from the premise that your partner in a negotiation may have a very different personality type, Jan suggested that good negotiation is based on a mix of left-brain traits (facts, figures, statistics, sequence, analysis) and right brain (analogy, stories, demonstration, metaphor, images), and understanding your own inclinations one way or the other, as well as those of your opposite party. These four personality types described were defined by degrees of consideration and initiation, and Jan offered realistic scenarios of how the Registrar might encounter these types in their daily work. The common thread through each scenario was building trust and respect between parties; establishing shared ground and the sense of mutual benefit.

Jan went on give an insight into how these approaches might be practically applied to overcome typical obstacles in the process of discussing and agreeing loans, in order to achieve the best possible results. Of particular interest was her concluding comment that communicating and working  in the manner of a ‘Type 4’ personality – Professional, Decisive, Questioning, Proactive – can often achieve good results, particularly in those instances where the opposite party is being less than forthcoming!

Jan noted at the start of her talk that these approaches are usually taught over a number of days and in far greater depth, but this was a stimulating introduction to the topic, worth further exploration, and one that could be of real practical use to the Registrar in their day-to-day work in a variety of situations. It became clear to me just how much of my daily work as a commercial gallery Registrar comes down to negotiation in one way or another. Working with clients, lenders, colleagues, transport agents and others all involves proposing, discussing and agreeing outcomes, and all Registrars have much to gain by developing and improving these skills. 

Daniel Smernicki, 
Registrar, Ingleby Gallery

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