Hiring a Negotiation Coach

Perhaps you never even considered hiring a negotiation coach. You are a pretty strong communicator, so why would you need one? Think of hiring a negotiation coach like hiring a personal trainer. If you stop negotiating or stop practicing, you will not be as skilled as the next person who works on this skill regularly.

Almost every conversation can be considered a negotiation. Negotiations are much broader than the typical contract negotiation that people might think of. Anytime two or more people are trying to get on the same page, it is a negotiation. Whether people are deciding on what restaurant to eat at or negotiating the sale of a company, the same negotiation principles apply.

When one considers most conversations are negotiations, almost everyone can use a little coaching. When is it prudent or highly recommended to actually take action and hire a negotiation coach?

Difficult conversations with employees, contractors, clients, vendors, and family members are very good examples of when a negotiation coach can be helpful. Without proper strategy and preparation, you may find yourself in a conversation that is going sideways. Even worse, you may end up ruining a relationship and regret the way the conversation went.

So, what exactly does a negotiation coach do? They can help you think through what exactly you want out of the exchange. What are the different scenarios that are acceptable to you? How do you envision solving the issues? Also, the coach may ask you what you think the other side wants. You need to spend a good amount of time considering the other side’s perspective. You may also think about multiple ways to resolve the problem. Each of them should be equally acceptable to you.

Finally, a negotiation coach will help you role-play the scenario. Most people do not practice having conversations beforehand. Thinking about the conversation is very different from actually practicing the conversation. Let the coach know what questions or responses you expect the other side to come up with. You can practice responding to defensive comments, questions, or insults. Your coach may play your part and you can play the other side’s role. By putting yourself into role-play mode, you are actually rehearsing how to have a difficult conversation.

If you are negotiating a contract and don’t necessarily need to role-play, a negotiation coach can help you run all the variables which go into negotiating a good deal. They can give you strategies, and advise when it is best to walk away from an offer and how to get close to an offer that you want. They can also help you strategize on your counter-offers and how to read the other side’s counter-offers. Negotiations also require a lot of reading the room. A coach can help you understand the psychology of people when in tough negotiations. 

Stay one step ahead of the competition. Get your negotiation coaching game on. Keep those skills sharp and keep getting what you deserve.