To achieve Step 12, individuals will show that they can adapt the content of what they are saying, depending on the response of the listeners.
In the previous step, the focus was on how to plan for different responses from those listening, which is an important step before any sort of negotiation. This step builds on this by showing that the individual can change their content depending on those reactions in the moment.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
Planning ahead for a negotiation, as we explored in Step 11 is essential. But there is a big difference to preparing for a negotiation and actually being it.
When participating in a negotiation, there are likely to be several stages to reach an agreement:
At this advanced level of Speaking, advanced Listening skills are also required. We cannot build trust or adapt if we are not keenly aware of what the other party are communicating and their needs and priorities.
This includes being able to:
If those are areas that you have not yet mastered, it is worth turning to these, as it is difficult to master speaking without those Listening steps too.
As a negotiation progresses, you will have to be able to adapt the content of what you say to the responses of your listeners. This will include what you want to tell them and the points that you want to make in response to their suggestions, as well as whether you are willing to change based on their arguments.
There are several strategies that individuals might take in negotiations:
In each of these cases then, making the step from having a clear negotiating plan to speaking adaptively to the context will mean thinking about the behaviour of your audience.
Negotiation in the classroom is perhaps not as common as in the workplace. However, there are times when school or college working groups need to negotiate their workload or responsibilities, perhaps even negotiate with a senior leadership team to run a specific activity or change the procedures within the school or college. The success of the outcome will depend on your ability to anticipate and plan for the responses of the listener as in Step 11, but more importantly and more challenging is the ability to actually adapt your content as the negotiation is taking place. This multi-tasking, observing and listening to the other party, reflecting on your content, selecting a more appropriate content and all whilst maintaining the end goal, can be complex and requires practice.
The workplace is perhaps the place where the skills of negotiation are most in demand. Negotiations may be internal between employees and managers, colleagues or between different departments, perhaps to agree workloads, locations, responsibilities. However, both the speaker and listeners work for the same organisation and have the same ultimate goal, the success of the business.
Negotiations can also be external, between two organisations, or between a business and their customer or client. These can be more challenging as there tends to be more at stake when negotiating externally. There can be very serious financial or long-term implications of not reaching a desired or intended outcome.
In the wider world, the need for negotiation skills are more common place than initially may be expected. For example, negotiating a fair price for something you wish to purchase, negotiating social arrangements with a parent, negotiating with neighbours, or even negotiating which school or college to attend.
To best practise this step of Speaking, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step,and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step is more challenging to reinforce in class, as it relies on a carefully designed scenario. However, debate can be adapted where groups are given different perspectives on an issue and have to represent their interests to try to reach a negotiated agreement. This is a model that is used successfully for Model UN, for example. It can be an excellent model to explore more complicated subject matter.
This step is best assessed through an assessment of a negotiation activity. It can be supplemented by a reflection to explore how the learners considered their interactions with their opponents in the negotiation.
This step will be relevant to those who will speak to others in order to persuade them or to negotiate an agreement.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed by observing an individual over a series of events.
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: