People, Persuasion and Negotiation

Hi everyone, this is the end of my tour of duty as guest blogger.  I wanted to end with some thoughts about the importance of the relationships we develop with peers, bosses, customers, vendors, team members and anyone else with whom we have contact.  It’s all about how people feel they are being treated by others. 

As a project manager, your responsibilites are vast, your authority limited.  You must use persuasion and negotiation to get what you want and need from others.  But

how do you learn how to persuade – rather than command or beg – and how to negotiate so that you and the other party feel good about the transaction.  Remember, it’s not about getting one over on the other person – it’s about both parties to the negotiation feeling satisfied that the results have been fair.  You want to be able to continue to work together, or do business together another time.

Persuasion is different from arguing.  Persuasion requires patience.  It requires a deep understanding of what the other person is saying, thinking, feeling, and believing – so that you can use where they are as your starting place in a friendly discussion. 

Throwing facts and figures at people might win you the battle – you might be able to back your opponent into a corner he can’t think himself out of – so you, intellectual bully, might win the battle – but lose the war – because you haven’t changed anybody’s opinion.

So to persuade, it’s a soft, friendly, and patient process of back and forth with respect and feedback.

Negotiation is working together to see how both parties needs and wants can be satisfied in the transaction.

Good Luck.  I’ve enjoyed this week – it’s persuaded me to start actively blogging on my own block (www.DiamondAssociates.net/blog) more frequently.   Let me know if I can help you with “soft skills” in project management in the future.  ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.

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