Word of the week – negotiation

Spring is in the air, and having been deprived of an hour’s sleep it’s at last beginning to feel that we are getting into the year 2017 proper. It’s going to be quite a momentous week. Mirroring the change of seasons, the triggering of Article 50 signals that change is a comin’ one way or another.

Two years of negotiations will be sparked by the ‘triggering’ (it feels like they’re should be another noun for this – triggeration, perhaps?) and it’s a good time to take stock of the importance of negotiation in our working lives as well as our ‘civvy’ life.

In PR, we’re all used to negotiating: with journalists, with suppliers, clients – and potential clients, as well as with colleagues; and it is such an important skill. We need to know how to set out our side of the story, and be able to get our points of view across to secure the best outcome.

In fact, as communicators, we should pride ourselves on our negotiating skills. The Business Dictionary defines communication as a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. In other words, pretty similar to a definition of negotiation.

In our civilian (non-work) lives, negotiation is also a key skill, whether it’s deciding who is going to take the bins out to agreeing where you’ll go on holiday this year, good negotiating skills can help you achieve your goals, without alienating your friends/family/significant other. It’s a win-win situation.

So by honing in on a key work skill, you can ensure that you secure that boot camp training holiday in the Isle of Wight without your other half feeling like they’ve been bulldozed or conned in to it, despite their desire for a week on a yacht in Croatia.

Written by Emma Murphy, Director (@EmmaMurphy)

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