Negotiation Week 2019: Developing negotiation competencies
320 participants from international master programmes and MBA representing more than 60 nationalities. 80 competing teams. A computer-based negotiation and conflict resolution game complemented with role plays face-to-face and via Skype. An innovative class layout. A competition where everyone is a winner. These are the main strengths of EADA’s Negotiation Week 2019, which takes place at EADA’s Barcelona City Centre Campus from 8th to 11th April.
The first challenge is forming teams with students from diverse backgrounds and international programmes. Each team member contributes a unique point of view that enriches the negotiation with the other party. This is a real cross-cultural experience, because all of the teams have members from different nationalities and contain a cross-functional activity mixing participants from several programmes.
The next challenge consists of preparing an effective strategy for a hypothetical negotiation between supplier and manufacturer. “This is a very important part of any negotiation because you have to think more about the other side rather than in yourself,” says Antony Poole, Programme Director of the International Master in Marketing. “Every negotiation is different, so the strategy needs to be different. Even within the team, some members are better than others at leading the negotiation in particular circumstances.”
The Negotiation Week integrates a wide variety of methodologies including computer-based simulators, quizzes, role plays via chat, analysis of recorded negotiations and Q&A sessions with professors. The computer simulation is especially useful to students, as it realistically portrays the negotiation process and encourages students to use different approaches. The role plays add another level to the challenge: participants analyse the most important variables in a negotiation such as emotions and body language. All of the activities take place on a strict timeline, which drives students to maximise their time management skills.
The grand finale will be held this Thursday at the Aribau Cinema in Barcelona. Two finalist teams will negotiate several points to demonstrate their skills in the areas of leadership, communication, active listening and creativity. While both teams prepare for the negotiation, the rest of the teams will attend a presentation by guest speaker Steve Gates, Executive Chairman at the Gap Partnership, a consultancy firm specialised in negotiation. Gates will offer a first-hand account of the importance of negotiation in consulting.
Developing decision-making skills
EADA Senior Associate Professor Jeroen Van Zoggel views effective negotiation skills as among the most important competencies for business leaders today. According to him, the saying “you don’t get what you deserve, but what you negotiate” is absolutely true. “To negotiate or not to negotiate are two options that we all have,” he says. “A person’s professional success is obviously hugely dependent on the quality of his or her negotiation skills. However, negotiating is also an important part of our private life.”
During the Negotiation Week, EADA’s participants will be continuously testing and developing their analytical and decision- making skills in the context of real business negotiations, as well as putting into practice their teamworking skills. Professor van Zoggel explains the learning outcomes of the Negotiation Week this way: “We expect students to both collaborate and compete intensively. People love to feel the satisfaction of winning and to be recognised for doing an outstanding job.”