I’m taking a break from the usual this week, and rather than covering a webinar, I’d like to share a new series of YouTube videos with you. Don’t get your hopes up – there are no home movies of cute cats falling down stairs or into grocery bags. Instead, I’d like to introduce you to a series of 5-7 minute videos made by Dr. Jim Anderson of Blue Elephant Consulting, and the writer of “The Accidental Negotiator” blog.
As much as we’ve had to acknowledge recently that a negotiations class is no longer enough for procurement to succeed, you can’t avoid it. Dr. Jim’s videos each tackle a challenge commonly experienced by negotiators in a funny way. The length of each one is just enough to give you some new ideas and also make you laugh about what may be a very stressful part of your day.
Although there are currently four available, I’d suggest starting with “Six Ways to Break A Negotiation Deadlock (Plus One More)”. You can’t avoid negotiation deadlocks. I imagine that the first step is actually having the clarity to realize you are deadlocked. But once you know, having a list of tactics to work from can be a useful asset. Dr. Jim’s list of suggestions includes changing the setting, changing the lead negotiator and changing the level in the organization in order to increase the on-hand authority for alternatives. For each tactic, he explains the type of scenario where it is most likely to work any why.
My second recommendation would be “Three Negotiation Tips from the Master: Donald Trump”. This video has a perfect balance of solid professional recommendations and cheesy humor – it is much funnier than the deadlock video, so if humor is your primary motivator, this is a good way to spend five minutes during your day. Don’t let the silly scuba video throw you; there are solid lessons in this video. Right off the bat Dr. Jim gives us a tip by acknowledging that as successful as he is, Donald Trump has a go-to guy for negotiations. And if “The Donald” needs backup, shouldn’t we expect to need some back-up now and then? Of the three lessons, the third is the most interesting – negotiations don’t flow from start to finish. Negotiations take time, and if you are involved in a long term negotiation you need to keep in mind that terms and conditions may change during the negotiation, allowing for different concessions.
In an environment where we all struggle to squeeze in professional development activities (BMP has ‘made our bones’ by attending webinars for you and sharing our notes) a five minute video with the right balance of content and humor is on the money. We’ll keep watching Dr. Jim’s site and let you know as new videos hit.
Dr. Jim Anderson has spent over 20 years negotiating everything from small sales with individual owners of companies to large scale military project contracts with teams of sales negotiators. He realizes that unless you are a lawyer or a Mergers & Acquisitions banker, you probably don’t think of yourself as an everyday negotiator. In today’s work environment you can find yourself in negotiations with a vendor, another department, or even a state or local government official very quickly.
Blue Elephant Consulting uses their unique negotiating evaluation tools to show technical professionals, technical departments, and professional associations located in the United States how to evaluate their current negotiating skills, determine what needs to be improved, and then provides proprietary speaking , consulting, group conference call coaching, and digital training products and services to help implement these changes.