Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Communicate Openly and Directly Part 1

Employers and employees alike share a common complaint – the need for better communication in their organizations.
  • Good communication can only thrive in the right climate – one that nourishes rather than stifles.
  • The secret to any type of communication is trust.  We must communicate honestly.  Good communication is about feeling good about ourselves. 
Styles of Communication
  • To build a climate of trust and keep relationships strong and healthy, both parties must commit to being direct with one another.  All forms of manipulation, threats, gossip, tattling, intimidation, and behind-the-back game playing must be eliminated in order for trusting relationships to exist.
  • There are 4 styles of communication.  Each time we communicate in any way, we choose one of these styles.  Often, employees say, "I don't consciously decide how to communicate – I just do it."  Unfortunately, most people have not been taught the basic skills of communication and are therefore unaware of the options they have.  Once we learn about these styles, we will be more in control of what we say and how we react.
  • The 4 styles are:
    • Assertive: straightforward, honest, caring, reliable
    • Aggressive: loud, angry, attacking, whining, guilt-inducing, manipulative
    • Passive: timid, avoiding, tentative, nonresponsive, frightened
    • Passive/Aggressive: guilt-inducing, dishonest, underhanded, sniping, devious

Friday, September 15, 2017

Negotiation Pays Dividends Part 4

  • A bargaining chip is the currency of exchange in negotiations.  Currency, or chips, can be traded, preferably for your client's chips of equal or greater value.
  • By analyzing and managing your bargaining chips, you can help yourself get most of what you want and satisfy your client.
  • By judiciously making concessions, you appear flexible and willing to truly negotiate rather than inflexible and demanding.
  • You've identified your ideal, realistic, and acceptable goals for a particular negotiation.  Now you must figure out what, when, and how to concede to make the negotiating process of success.
  • Hold firm on major issues – do not concede on these.  Plan the majority of your concessions on minor issues.
  • Save your most difficult issues for last.  Allow time for your client to become comfortable with you and the negotiations before discussing major issues.
  • Allot more of your chips to protecting your ideal goals, some to your realistic goals, and few, if any, to acceptable goals.
  • Make early concessions on minor issues to help move the process along. Never be the first to back down on your major issues.  If you must concede on major issues, do so as a last resort to close the deal.  Try to win early concessions on your major issues.
  • Being prepared is a major component of successful negotiations.  While concessions will help demonstrate your flexibility, it is also important to have a backup plan should they fail.
  • When offering concessions, learn to appreciate silence as the client makes a decision based on the information you provided.  Train yourself to listen to what is being said before making your decision for additional concessions.
We've covered just a few elements of negotiation here.  Practice in this area can pay huge dividends.   Both Forbes and Fortune have designated negotiation as the skill that produces the biggest dollar return.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Negotiation Pays Dividends Part 3

  • Negotiation is almost impossible when people take positions and stances.  Only when people learn each other's wants and needs can productive negotiations take place.  Ultimatums destroy the ability to negotiate. They force people to "dig in their heels" and defend nonnegotiable positions and stances.
  • Deadlocked positions are inevitable when people issue ultimatums. They are a way of saying, "this issue is not negotiable."
  • You can show respect to your negotiating partner by demonstrating a willingness to compromise and be creative.  You can sincerely listen for meaning and show eagerness to share common goals and negotiate for win-win solutions.
  • In many negotiations, you don't know at first how much you can realistically accomplish.
  • One way to know what you can expect --and help make sure others perceive you as flexible – is to have a range for your goals.
  • The range goes from the absolute most you'd like for yourself and your company to the least you think would be acceptable.  Your target will be somewhere in-between.
  • Don't have too many "must have" goals.  Instead, determine the issues and rank them in order of priority.  Take two or three at the maximum, and develop a three-tiered goal system for each. Use the other issues to smokescreen the most important issues and your main goals.
  • Only you know your client.  You must determine where you want to begin the negotiation.  The three-tiered approach, though, can help clarify negotiation goals.
  • Remember that to get what you want, you must know what you want.  A clear focus on goals helps you stay on track during the negotiating process.
 Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Negotiation Pays Dividends Part 2

The art of negotiation is an acquired skill. The results of the negotiations are measured by the satisfaction of all parties involved.
  • In the end, both parties should be satisfied with the results.
  • Successful negotiations require planning, patience, and skills.
  • All parties involved should feel like they have won something.
  • If there is a definite winner and a definite loser, negotiations will not work.
One of the key elements of negotiation is preparation.  Effective preparation requires concentration in three main areas:
  • People – Learn about the person you will be negotiating with. If possible, uncover any commonalities you may share that you can talk about to help put them at ease during the negotiations.
  • Process – Understand that your needs are basic needs and that your main priority is to meet the needs they have.  If you enter into negotiations considering your needs as the most important, your negotiation attempts will fail.
  • Plateaus – Be prepared to be flexible.  Flexibility establishes trust and allows for collaboration.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Negotiation Pays Dividends Part 1

Many look at negotiation as a tool for problem solving -- a specialized skill used by management teams, politicians, and international diplomats.  The fact is that we negotiate all the time. 

Negotiation skills may benefit you at work because you can make better deals.  By satisfying clients' needs, you strengthen your relationship with them.  The better your relationships, the better chance you have of future negotiations.  Remember that your "client" can be an external or internal one.  In the case of HR professionals, usually the clients are the employees, for example.
  • Negotiation can enhance building rapport because the process of building rapport is often a result of give-and-take.  Bargaining chips and concessions are part of building rapport.
  • In order for negotiations to be effective, they should be seen as a conference or collaboration, as opposed to a contest or a confrontation. 
  • Negotiation is a key tool for achieving your goals.  You use goal setting to determine what you want; you use negotiation to get what you want.  The two are interdependent.
  • Negotiation and communication go hand-in-hand.  When you effectively negotiate, you strengthen relationships with clients and increase your ability to communicate with them.  The reverse is true too.
  • Negotiation is the quintessential example of time management.  When you know how to negotiate effectively, you tend to handle situations more effectively.  This saves you time, money, and aggravation.
  • Negotiation aids teamwork in that win-win situations enhance all group interactions.  The better that you can satisfy needs, the more easily you will work with others.  Others will be more willing to work with you as well.  Teamwork is the result of negotiation.  Properly set up, negotiation is a team effort.  You and your negotiation partner both strive for a win-win proposition.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Strategic Planning: Defining the Business Environment Part 4

Every organization has a set of beliefs that govern the conduct of its members. The problem is that many of these beliefs cannot be considered guiding principles. They are usually unconscious and chosen by default rather than by design, yet they play a powerful role in shaping the culture of the institution.  

Criteria for Guiding Principles
  • Aligned with mission
  • Reflect deepest "truths" or values of organization
  • Motivate and inspire
  • Guide decisions and conduct
  • Easy to remember
  • Action-oriented
  • Should have no more than six principles  

Complete this exercise regarding Guiding Principles:

  1. List observations about your organization's culture.
  2. List the beliefs that might cause each of these cultural observations.
  3. Finally, list some new beliefs that would be better aligned with your organization's mission.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, August 28, 2017

Defining Your Strategic Direction Part 3

A final question in defining your strategic direction is: what are your core competencies? Following are the requirements for a competency to be considered core:
  • It must deliver significant value to the customer.
  • It must create differentiation from competitors.
  • It must form the basis for entry into new markets.
  • It is not easy for other organizations to replicate.
The requirements for competency to be considered core are stringent. Organizations must possess many skills, technologies, and capabilities in order to succeed, but that does not make them core. They have to meet the criteria mentioned above.

Core competencies are not specific products or services but rather a bundle of skills, technologies, and capabilities that result in a broad class of customer benefits. A well-developed core competency results in competitive leadership within an industry, but that takes time to develop.

Finally, you will need to jump to the future and consider a core competency that could give you strategic advantage 5 years in the future.

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP