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Is It Time for You to Have a Negotiation Coach?

Gaëtan Pellerin
220321 Time To Have A Coach
© Scotwork NA

Most of us desire to be the best person we can be. Most of us also find it very difficult (almost impossible) to do the work we need to optimize ourselves by ourselves. It’s nearly impossible to have an objective view of our own strengths, limitations, and opportunities for improvement.

However, if you’re serious about reaching mastery in some area, and possibly even being a better person, the way to do it might be to invite help from a coach.

Who you invite to coach you is a highly personal decision specific to your journey. It’s never easy to ask for help, but it's always a sign of courage to consciously give up some control to learn what we can't see by ourselves.

Data from Scotwork’s Global Negotiation Capabilities Study illustrates how professionals need the courage to seek coaching. Scotwork talked to thousands of sales and procurement professionals, and only 23% of negotiators believe their deals always create long-term value for their organizations. It’s unlikely these professionals are fully candid with their organizations about performance issues that prevent 77% of deals from maximizing value.

It's not perceived as a weakness when managers hire a coach for a team of elite athletes; in fact, it would be unthinkable for a professional sports team to go without a full complement of skilled coaches. The same should be true for any professional team — sports, business, or otherwise. Therefore, a coach should be required to optimize performance for procurement and sales teams that are essential for its continued existence.

Here are three signs that you and your team should be courageous and reach out to a coach now:

  1. A deal review revealed that your side gave too much, got too little
  2. You find your team reacts more emotionally than strategically. 
  3. It’s a challenge to find alternatives, even in the face of a looming deadlock.

These signs are usually indicators that you and your team can benefit from a fresh perspective. After all, continuing to do what you’re currently doing or maybe trying just a little bit harder is more about your ego than a genuine desire to improve.

The best part of my consulting career is when individuals, teams, and organizations recognize the signs that they need a fresh perspective.

Being coached isn’t always an easy process. Leaders may be concerned that bringing in a coach will reflect negatively on their own ability to develop their team, or they might be worried about losing credibility or other perceptions about their own competencies. It can also be a challenge for individual contributors to respond productively to coaching. Feedback is difficult to accept because it can shine a light on aspects of ourselves to which we may be blind. It could even shatter our self-image.

Good coaches help individuals acknowledge and accept these normal emotions. Great coaches help people with the crucial next steps: realizing that resistant tendencies won’t bring long-term value and that a new set of choices is required. Outstanding coaches offer a chance to grow in a space where it’s safe to develop new skills while casting off unproductive choices: a no-risk, low-comfort zone.

The path to individual, team, or organizational growth can be challenging, but the greatest challenge we face frequently lies within ourselves. By overcoming your own resistance and collaborating with a coach in an environment created specifically for maximum growth, you have the potential to unleash unimagined success.

We Can Help You Maximize the Value of Your Deals.
Is your team giving away too much, or getting too little, in a deal? Are they at the mercy of emotions, instead of making the right move at the right time with confidence and conviction? Do they find it challenging to bring creativity to talks, even in the face of a looming deadlock? We can help! Drawing on nearly 50 years of real-world negotiating experience, we’ll assist you with getting better deals, saving time, and creating value for all involved — not to mention preserving and even strengthening relationships. Let us partner you with one of our advisers, ensuring that you’ve got the broadest view of your deal.

Talk to one of our experts today.

Gaëtan Pellerin
More by Gaëtan Pellerin:
To Build or Not To Build?
No More Resolutions!
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