Friday, 6 March 2015
We now have a few pictures to share from the recent 2nd annual CPD event at the Museum of London . It was great to see so many members including some new faces, and have a really engaging event with lots of mingling. Thank you to all the UKRG committee, especially the events officers Marie Rose and Helen Parkin as well as the speakers and attendees and to the Museum of London. Speakers presentations will be available on the resources section of the UKRG website shortly as will some future pictures.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
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.
Registrar, Ingleby Gallery
A Fundraiser's Point of View
For me one of the best things about being a registrar is the range of people that I get to communicate with. Starting communication on the best possible footing is important when we are often asking people lots of questions, trying to negotiate with them or need them to complete paperwork. Judith Kerr, Head of Trusts and Individual Giving at The National Gallery, shared her advice about business etiquette for the museums sector at the UKRG CPD event on 27 February.
Judith started by highlighting that lenders all have specific demands and expectations of how they would like to be treated. As with the advice we gleaned about public speaking and negotiating, the key is to adapt to the audience. Before we make the first contact we should consider who the person is, what their needs are, their interests and concerns. We should then consider if the person has an existing relationship with our institution, maybe a curator knows them well. Do we have any information on file about how they like to be addressed? Should we be communicating with their PA initially? Some lenders have very specific wishes as to how they should be addressed which might vary between letter, email or credit line.
First impressions are important: accuracy, politeness and efficiency are the aim and characteristics we would all aspire to. We should also follow brand guidelines, as our organisation may have a preferred style. Matching the tone and level of formality to that of the other party is a good guide to pitch communication at the right level but if we are instigating communication it is safest to start formally and reduce the level of formality if and when the other person does so, such as moving to first name terms.
When I started to work in the Arts, one of the new things for me was the amount of communication I had with people who have titles and honours. For this sometimes challenging area, Judith advised checking http://www.debretts.com/forms-address which contains a myriad of advice from how to correctly address the royal family to members of the clergy. Just a word of warning that once you start reading this website it is dangerously addictive, especially the information about British etiquette!
Another form of etiquette that can play an important part in a registrar's role is cultural etiquette when working with international partners. There is such a range of cultural codes of behaviour that things we may take for granted as good etiquette might in fact be rude for our international colleagues.
Once we have made a good first impression, developing the relationship is important through listening, building rapport and regular communication. Judith's advice that what someone says is not always what they mean is a good cautionary note to remember in our role where dotting the I's and crossing the T's is so important. I have learnt never to assume what the other party means, if there is any room for misunderstanding, clarify!
Katie Robson, Loans Officer, National Museums Scotland