Negotiation for Results Course Bundle


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Course Length: 8 Weeks

Course Hours: 16



1 x Negotiating for Results

Course Length: 12 Weeks Course Hours: 16 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview In this course, you will learn about the different types of negotiation, characteristics of a successful negotiator, and building win-win solutions. You will also learn about the four phases of negotiation: preparation, exchanging information, bargaining, and closing.


1 x Influence and Persuasion, Yoli Chisholm, Chief Marketing Officer

Course Length: 4 Weeks Course Hours: 8 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview In this course, you will learn how to speak persuasively, communicate with confidence, build rapport, develop a strong presentation, and leverage storytelling. You'll also receive an introduction to basic neuro-linguistic programming techniques.

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The results delivered by projects depend upon what you negotiate. In this paper, explore a perspective, principles, tools, and recommendations to achieve better results through the power of negotiations. Avoid being set up for failure by recognizing and developing skills that lead to greater success.

Every day involves negotiations: what to buy, how much to pay, where to go, what to do, how to solve problems, agree on requirements, get the right resources,…. Are you fully equipped to get the best outcomes possible? What if you could improve your negotiating abilities by at least ten percent? Take the time now to learn ten basic “rules,” develop negotiating skills, and reap the benefits. Imagine how much better off you’ll be over the course of your lifetime when you negotiate clear success criteria and set yourself up for success instead of failure. This effort will change your life.

The objectives that this paper intends to cover help to:

  • Significantly improve negotiation effectiveness—with an increased ability to negotiate successful agreements within the project environment, including informal peer agreements and more formal business negotiations
  • Prepare for a negotiation and recognize the four forces present in every negotiation
  • Clearly define success and achieve win-win outcomes


It is important to embrace a mindset that everything about a project is negotiable and that a project leader needs to be a skilled negotiator. Right up front is the necessity to define project success and establish desired outcomes. With an intention to negotiate in mind, review basic negotiation principles, including how to use the four basic forces in every negotiation: power, information, timing, and approach. Understand and use negotiating techniques as a means to move people from stalemate to solution. Case studies and examples help to reinforce and apply the concepts.

I first took a negotiating course about twenty years ago. It was a weekend elective held at a tech smart. The course changed his life. The instructor, who was an attorney, said it is only necessary to get a 5-10 percent improvement in the outcome of each negotiation for improved negotiating skills to prove their merit. The objective is not to win every negotiation; the objective is to consistently achieve better outcomes for both parties in the negotiation. I learned the ten rules of negotiating and have applied them ever since. The projected world includes all kinds of personalities with various styles and approaches to relationships. The rules help get through all interactions, regardless of being within or outside my comfort zone. One of the amazing lessons that keep getting repeated is how much more you can get, simply by ASKING FOR IT!

Getting Prepared

Before engaging in any negotiation, the most important item—and the foundation for everything else—is to be prepared. Even spur of the moment negotiations, such as encountering a core team member of other stakeholders in the hallway, benefit from a quick mental preparation and review of the process. A solid project plan, communications plan, political plan, stakeholder management strategy, etc. provides essential background for effective negotiations.


Negotiation skills are important to project managers because of interaction with these forces:

  • Positional authority of project managers
  • Team member reporting structures
  • Organizational structures
  • Shared resources
  • The effects of a dictatorial style
  • Multi-cultural project teams
  • Global project teams
  • Suppliers and manufacturing partners
  • Customers.

As described in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®) typical issues to be negotiated during the course of a project include:

  • Project charter, authority boundaries
  • Scope, cost, and schedule objectives
  • Changes to scope, cost or schedule
  • Release, acceptance, go/no-go criteria
  • Contract terms and conditions
  • Assignments, roles, and responsibilities
  • Resources.

Substantive issues that need to be negotiated include:

  • Terms
  • Conditions
  • Prices
  • Dates
  • Numbers
  • Liabilities.

Project Success

A definition that often fails to be negotiated, but should be, is the question, “What defines success for this project?” An exercise I do in seminars is to ask everyone to take a high-level view and identify what thread runs through all key factors that can be identified about success and failure. The answer is that what they have in common is: they all are about PEOPLE. People do matter. Projects typically do not fail or succeed because of technical factors or because we can’t get electrons traveling faster than the speed of light; they fail or succeed depending on how well people work together. When we lose sight of the importance of people issues, such as clarity of purpose, effective and efficient communications, and management support, then we are doomed to struggle. Engaged people find ways to work through all problems. Our challenge as leaders is to create environments for people to do their best work.

Among the bountiful harvest of definitions for project success, meeting the triple constraints is just a starting point. Sometimes we can be right on scope, schedule, and resources, and still fail to be successful, perhaps because the market changed, or a competitor outdid us, or a client changed his or her mind. It is possible to miss on all constraints, but still have a successful project when viewed over time, as witnessed by the now revered Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Here is an overarching criterion for project success: meet with key stakeholders, ask for their definitions of success, and negotiate acceptable answers. Pin them down to one key area each. Some surprising replies may come up like, “Don’t embarrass me.” “Keep out of the newspaper.” “Just get something finished.” Integrate the replies and work to make that happen. Having this dialog and negotiating clear criteria early in the project life cycle among various replies provides a project manager with clear marching orders. With success or failure set in perspective that it is dependent upon the people involved, project managers become better leaders and managers of people, not just projects.

The Negotiation Process

Negotiation is:

  • Communication back and forth for the purpose of making a joint decision.
  • A way of finding a mutually acceptable solution to a shared problem.
  • Achieving an ideal outcome: a wise decision efficiently and amicably agreed upon.

Options for negotiation style are (Fisher & Ury, 1992):

  • Hard (controlling)
    1. –  Hard bargaining is adversarial—you assume that your opponent is your enemy and the only way you can win is if he or she loses. So you bargain in a very aggressive, competitive way.
  • Soft (giving in)
    1. –   Soft bargaining is just the opposite. Your relationship with your opponent is so important that you concede much more easily than you should. You get taken advantage of in your effort to please, and while the agreement is reached easily, it is seldom a wise one.
  • Principled (much more effective): P2O2
    1. –   People
      1. ▪    Separate the people from the problem
    2. –   Positions
      1. ▪    Focus on interests not positions
    3. –   Options
      1. ▪    Generate options for mutual gain before choosing
    4. –   Objective Criteria
      1. ▪    Decide based on objective criteria
    5. –   + BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement)
      1. ▪    Know theirs. Know & improve yours.

Good negotiations consist of a relentless search for the Third Alternative:

  • We, humans, are presently conditioned to expect our relationships to win/lose.
    1. –  View most situations from an “either/or” point of view: either I win or I lose
    2. –  It has to be one or the other.
  • There is a third alternative.
    1. –  Maybe harder to find, but there almost always exists a third way of doing things where no one loses
    2. –  Or at worst are assured that the loss has been minimized and fairly shared
  • Minimizes and distributes the loss so it has the least negative effect
  • This is the win-win way—this is synergy.

Sources of power in negotiation are:

  • Developing good working relationships with people negotiating
  • Understanding interests
  • Inventing an elegant option
  • Using external standards and benchmarks
  • Developing a good BATNA
  • Understanding their BATNA
  • Making a carefully crafted commitment: an offer, something you will do, something you will not do.

The stages in a Negotiation Lifecycle are depicted in this chart (Exhibit 1). It is not always a given that negotiations should happen, especially if the status quo is fine or other alternatives exist. But if needs exist for opposing parties to reach a mutual solution, engage dutifully in each step in the lifecycle.

imgExhibit 1

Ten Rules of Negotiating

The mindmap on the next page summarizes ten rules for guiding behavior during all negotiations. None are optional. Some may come easier than others and some may happen in the milliseconds of thinking time before speaking. The more that the rules are adopted into a belief system and the more they are practiced, the more readily they become internalized and result in natural action.

The page after the mindmap provides examples that illustrate how the rules may apply in a project management environment.

Rule Project Management Example
1. Be patient Dealing with a team member who is underperforming—and perhaps defensive—may be uncomfortable for a project manager, so the tendency is to get the encounter over with as quickly as possible. A better approach is to develop rapport with the person, ask for permission to provide feedback or suggestions, carefully answer any questions that come up, and take the time to reach satisfactory agreement.
2. Be positive A principle of persuasive influence is to deal with people you like. A positive attitude with project sponsors helps build confidence and credibility in their minds. This means they engage more willingly with the PM in supporting the project and maintaining that support throughout the project lifecycle.
3. Gather information Clients or customers have challenges that may be addressed by the outcome of your project. Ask probing questions about what they are doing…and listen to the answers. Review the relationship history, especially if support issues have come up and whether or not they were adequately addressed. Find out their timetable or deadline, both to purchase and then to implement the solution.
4. Float trial balloons Ask “What if we could provide key features in Phase 1 and address other wants in later phases?” These questions make no commitments but do explore reactions from the other party about possible approaches they may be willing to consider.
5. Know your status Project managers are closest to the action on most projects and have significant status attributable to the information they possess. Other stakeholders have status via the authority they have to allocate resources or dispense funds. The real opportunity to achieve better outcomes is when one side is anxious to reach agreement; the other side may then nibble to gain additional concessions, such as extend a resource’s time on the project or reduce features in order to meet cost or time pressures.
6. Know your opening offer You estimate the project will take between 4 to 6 months. Ask the customer when they want it, and they may respond in 8 months, in which case you have a cushion. If the PM were aggressive and quoted first, saying 4 months (the bottom line), there is no room to negotiate. If the customer has no clue and may ask for 2 months, the PM can open first by quoting 6 months (the edge of the envelope) and have room to negotiate something in between.
7. Limit your authority Try to negotiate with the decision-maker so you deal with them directly and get agreement quickly. When you are the decision-maker, have someone else negotiate on your behalf so you cannot be pinned down by hardcore negotiating tactics. This provides opportunity to practice patience, review the proposal more thoroughly (instead of in an emotional moment), and to come back with counter-proposals.
8. Know your bottom line Two vendors have similar products where one has a slight edge and costs more. The PM wants the better product but has a strict budget limit of $10K. Negotiations with the higher priced vendor proceed in order to get a lower price or arrange terms that fall within the budget limit. Use the limit to stand firm, negotiate with due diligence, and fall back on the other vendor if not successful. Knowing these limits determines whether to continue or walk away.
9. Be prepared Have a risk management plan that provides advance notice of technology that may not work or tasks that take longer than planned. Clear trigger points invoke contingency plans calling for negotiations on the pros and cons of various options, leading to quick resolution. Preparation avoids being caught by surprise and having to invent options where none previously existed.
10. Never reward intimidation tactics A PM whose does not push back against unreasonable scope, schedules, or resources is training sponsors to continue a demanding behavior. Instead, set expectations by negotiating the triple constraints at project start-up and when changes occur. Make concessions when the other side makes them as well. Do not give in to intimidation tactics or “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”


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How long does it take to complete a course?

When you register for a course(s), you will receive a start date and the time frame it takes to complete the program.  Once the course begins, each course is self-paced, so you can start and stop each learning module at your own pace. However, you must complete the course within the time frame to receive a certification.

What happens if I do not have enough time to complete the course within the time frame provided?

If you don’t finish the course in the time frame, you will not receive a certification. The time frame allotted to complete each course has been based on each learner giving a concerted effort to complete the course, plus the number of hours it takes to learn the information and obtain the certification.  Therefore, the time frame for each course has been calculated to ensure successful completion of the course. However, if for some reason a learner is unable to complete the course, you will have to re-enroll in the course and you will be required to pay the course price in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Once enrolled in the course, and I realize that I can’t complete the course can I get a refund?

There are NO REFUNDS once you enroll in a course. However, if you are suddenly deployed while pursuing a certification course, we will work with you to ensure you complete your studies.  Learners who need to delay their course for medical reasons, may be eligible to transfer their course(s) to a future term.  A medical withdrawal will be considered only if accompanied by:

A written verification and phone verification from a medical doctor stating the student cannot complete the course due to illness or disability.  Please not the doctor’s note must be in English to be considered.

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Please do not assume that all courses that you take and successfully complete are eligible for CEU certification. If you are seeking CEU certification for a course, we strongly recommend that you contact your institution and establish eligibility for the courses you plan to take BEFORE you enroll in a course.  Although we provide you with a certificate for successfully completing a course, it is solely your responsibility to ensure that the course you enroll in and the certificate meets CEU requirements for your profession.