The Complete Project Manager – Negotiating Skills

Negotiating skills

The results delivered by projects depend upon what you negotiate.  Everything is negotiable, both at work and in everyday lives. It is in your best interest, and for your team and organization, that you embrace negotiating as a requisite skill…and implement it dutifully. Right up front in every project is the necessity to negotiate a definition of project success and establish desired outcomes.  Then negotiate every decision and change throughout the project.

Negotiating is fun, and it is productive.  I first took a weekend negotiating course over twenty years ago. The course changed my life.  I learned 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.  As you develop negotiating skills via learning and practice, people come to respect you more rather than perceiving that you are challenging their professionalism.   The objective is not to win every negotiation; the objective is to consistently achieve better outcomes for both parties in the negotiation.

Take a negotiating course, read the books (Getting to Yes is a good one), change your attitude to apply the concepts, especially win-win, be prepared, PATIENCE, believe you ARE a good negotiator (of course each of us can improve but that is another story)…, and you will be grateful every day that you made this shift.

We see it over and over again how simply asking for something during a discussion results in a better outcome.  The other party can always say no, and no harm is done.  That party may say yes or counter propose, and each side is happy with the outcome.  Get something in exchange for every concession.  Complete project managers owe it to themselves and their partners to engage in negotiations.  The time is now to view everything as negotiable.

Randy Englund, Englund Project Management Consultancy,


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