Project Negotiation Skills, How Do You Rate?

Project managers are constantly put into a situation where they have to make decisions and negotiate between different points-of-view. These views may be expressed by team members, top management and a wide range of other stakeholders.  Research has shown that there are certain skills that can help managers resolve these different views and reach a more effective conclusion while at the same time preserving a positive atmosphere in the working environment. Take this test to see how you rate as a negotiator.


    Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
1 When preparing to meet with the other side and discuss the problem, I put myself in the other person's shoes and think about how they view the conflict and what they consider important to themselves.
2 During a session with the other side, I let them know that I understand their position.
3 When I am negotiating with the other side I try to build a bridge between their position and mine, and I start from their side of the bridge.
4 When the going gets tough I recommend that we take a break and return for another meeting in a few hours or at most a few days.
5 During our discussions I often ask the other side to explain their position and I take notes.
6 I never threaten the other side unless it is at the end of our discussions and the other side will not budge from their position.
7 When it is difficult to gain an agreement, I am willing to compromise my position and meet the other side half way.
8 The most important thing to remember is that getting the other side to make concessions and expecting them to see the problem from my point-of-view is not as important as maintaining an effective working relationship with them.
9 When the other person is talking, I focus on what he or she is saying. I am good listener.
10 My willingness to negotiate does not mean that I have surrendered my authority.
11 Several times during a negotiation I summarize the situation expressing the positions of both sides and the progress that has been made, if any.
12 When a negotiation session is not going well and the other side has rejected all attempts to reach an agreement, I try to come up with a suggestion that may be more agreeable to the other side.
13 When I am attacked during a negotiation session I seldom get defensive but instead maintain a focus on the problem not the attack.
14 I ask a lot of questions during a negotiation.
15 At the end of a negotiation process, I take time to summarize the agreement and describe the concessions that both sides have made. My objective here is to emphasize how both sides have been heard and how both have benefited from the process.

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