The MBA Thought Leadership Society recently ran a very informative session on the subject of becoming a better negotiator.
Stephen Boyle is a lecturer at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, where he delivers courses in negotiation, influence and decision making on executive development, MBA, and other postgraduate degree programmes.
Over the course of the session Stephen touched on a range of topics to make one a better negotiator, from the benefits of viewing the process as a collaborative one over competitive, to always having a BANTA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement) whenever engaging in negotiation oneself. He further focused attendees’ minds on identifying their interest or purpose in engaging in any negotiation, their targets (with a reminder to be ambitious) and priorities. As an extension, he helped participants view compromise in negotiations as trade off between various packages and discussed the value in putting yourself in the other side’s shoes when identifying compromises that would work for both, thus leading to greater value for both parties and developing more positive relationships. Finally, he noted the importance of the people factor in any negotiations, and advised students that while generating a positive relationship is vital, to not put it above your own long term interests.
After Stephen’s presentation he spent significant time answering students’ questions, indicative of the great level of interest his talk provoked. Questions ranged from topics such as “the difference between persuasion and negotiation” to “the proper level of information sharing at the beginning of negotiations”. The questions themselves went on for as long as the presentation itself, and would have likely continued if allowed.
The presentation was clearly an event enjoyed by all and we of the Thought Leadership Society look forward to our next speaker session.
—Paul Kilroy-Glynn, FTMBA Class of 2021