Sharpening Your Christ-Centered Negotiation Skills - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Adult Students
February 12, 2016

Sharpening Your Christ-Centered Negotiation Skills

Sharp negotiation skills are integral to every strong leader and successful businessperson, but they also play a vital role in our personal lives and in our living faith. Whether we’re asking our beloved to take out the trash or requesting an extension on an overdue utility bill, aiming for the best possible outcome for everyone concerned should be our goal. Prioritizing principles of fairness and mutual benefit – holding a win/win mentality – while striving to preserve our relationship with others ensures a successful negotiation outcome.
Love your negotiating partner as yourself
Regardless of your field of study and resultant career path, your time at Geneva College prepares you to actualize your Christian calling by making a difference in the world. Nurturing collaborative relationships with everyone put on your path will come naturally as you act in accordance with God’s design for your life. Here are some especially important skills to bring to the negotiating table that engage both your head and your heart.
Strive to build an environment of trust
Credibility, reliability and integrity are the building blocks of trust. Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’ll do it. Be impeccable in the small things as proof that people can put faith in your word on the bigger things. Do this because it is aligned with your personal ethics, not as a covert manipulation technique.
Stay patient and positive
Effective negotiators persuade others with their positive, “can do” attitudes that persist even during difficult conversations. Bring your most flexible and personable self to the interaction. Be willing to spend the time required to get to know the other person and craft a solid relationship based in authenticity.
Be a great communicator
Clearly articulate your desired outcome in a negotiation, and then stop speaking and practice active listening. Observe not only what the other party is saying, but be alert to body language and subtle intuitional clues. Use silence strategically. Resist the urge to fill the pauses with superfluous chatter that dilutes your points and derails the conversation. Look for common areas of compromise by doing more listening than speaking.
Control your emotions
Disagreements are very common when we try to negotiate anything, but it’s crucial to remain respectful and calm. Make finding common ground with the other person more important than getting them to understand your perspective. If a breakdown in communication occurs, this is the immediate problem that needs to be solved. The ultimate negotiation goal takes a back seat until everyone is on solid footing again.
Learn from every negotiation
Walk away from each experience, no matter how challenging, taking with you insights to apply the next time you’re faced with a similar situation. Keep an open mind, don’t personalize the perceived “losses,” but do internalize what you learn. People who are willing to challenge your ideas or perspectives do you a great favor by holding up a mirror that reflects areas in which you can grow. Put what you learn about yourself into action, and go into your next negotiation with even more skill and Christ-centered confidence.
For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your career goals while growing spiritually closer to God’s design for your life, contact us at 855-979-5563 or web@geneva.edu.