Negotiating Skills

Louws: A uniquely different approach to negotiating

There have been many books written on and courses conducted in the subject of negotiation.  Most deal with how to counter and employ one’s own tactics.

The unique difference with Louws’ workshop, Power Negotiating©, is that students will first learn how to face up to opposing tactics by becoming stronger emotionally and psychologically.

Why call it Power Negotiating?

Simply, it will always be in the hands of the skilled negotiator even in the most trying of situations, when apparently the deck is stacked and the outcome preordained. History clearly supports this notion.

There is always an angle, an opportunity, a weakness to exploit, an advantage to take.

Both sides always want something.

The key is to find out what and how badly it’s needed.

The essence of negotiating

What is the core strategy of every successful negotiator?

To ensure they create, in the minds of others, sufficient doubt and uncertainty of the validity of their position, in order to improve their own.

In other words, their loss becomes your gain.

On the flipside, your uncertainty ensures they get from you more than you get from them.

The fear of losing is the one aphrodisiac most employed by the seasoned negotiator.

This is the essence of negotiating.

Win/Win has been lauded as the be all and end all of negotiations.

Hog wash. This is a trumped up condition by training companies hoping to tap into a politically correct positioning to sell their programs.

Fear and uncertainty are the emotions that eradicates the most diligent of all preparation. It locks the mind and inhibits thinking.

Stage fright is a clear example of this same phenomenon, where the speaker goes blank.

In negotiating, we just give away the farm in order to alleviate the pain.

Conversely, confidence and certainty are the elixirs of the skilled negotiator.

Negotiations are not for the faint of heart. Never have and never will be. There will always be a side that gets the short end of the stick. Louws teaches you how not to be on that side.

We look at the strengths and weaknesses that make for a more confident, certain, decisive, persuasive and smart negotiator, who handles stress rather than allowing it to handle him, thus allowing for the application of the tactics available.

Once you have established a firm footing, an ability to hold one’s ground no matter what; each student is then vigorously drilled towards the achievement of emotional and psychological stability under pressure.

Then we advance to identifying the practical steps necessary to PLANNING for a negotiation.

This includes learning up to 75 negotiating tactics, how to employ them, what you need to know to choose the right tactics and most importantly how to defend against these same tactics used by another.

Finally, you will review and practice how to probe and handle objections throughout the negotiating process, critical to the process of flexibly adapting while maintaining one’s position.

Louws’ unconventional heritage – where we learned the art of negotiating

In the 80’s, Louws was commissioned by Exxon to conduct a series of some 20+ negotiating workshops around the globe.

There were two negotiations at play.

The first – the internal negotiations within Exxon, driven by country specific requirements.

The second – the external negotiations with Exxon’s two largest oil purchasing divisions namely Aviation and Marine.

Clearly, the ¢ per gallon which were needed to be negotiated was the ultimate objective. But to have the added pressure of a French national negotiating with a Japanese counterpart living in England, negotiating on behalf of his Dutch client made things a bit more challenging.

In order to facilitate such a globally diverse assignment, Louws first had to study, first hand, over 32 cultures and their business etiquette.

Fortunately, Toni Louw, creator of this training, had been previously preconditioned to this assignment by having visited and/or lived in over 25 countries, and having already been the citizen of 3.

It was quickly discovered that the true art to negotiating was not found in the hallways of illustrious educational facilities.

It was found instead deep in the heart of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and select countries in Europe.

This is what shaped not only the techniques Louws teaches, but also the understanding of both the emotional and psychological requirements and principles that earmark Louws’ Power Negotiating© training as truly unique in its field.

Making it relevant

Unfortunately, much of today’s training has been diluted down to generic common denominator skills and techniques.

We have not, nor will we ever, participate within this offering set.

If you cannot apply it next day, then we believe we have failed our students.

Therefore, before conducting a workshop, three areas of your company’s negotiations will be thoroughly examined, to establish specific and real case studies for role play, the manner in which we actively teach all students to apply the principles, techniques and skills we teach.

They are, in order:

1.       The Pre-negotiation;

2.       The Actual negotiation;

3.       The Post-negotiation.

We examine these three areas using Louws’ proprietary “Negotiation Case Study Prototype Guidelines©”, each of which has been geared to individually cover the three areas mentioned above.

At the end of this preliminary study, your company will have a workshop geared to address those situations most often experienced by your employees, as pertaining to their on-the-job negotiations.

The case studies themselves become the exclusive property of your company for future in-house training for new and seasoned employees alike.

In sum, we help students play the game of negotiating. Like chess, a game of wit, strategy and finesse, that ultimately allows for one to win that which you came to the table seeking to achieve.

Insight into workshop logistics and methodology

We clearly understand that the students you entrust to us, must return to the workplace with improved performance.

Therefore, this workshop limits attendance to 10 students over 3 days with a follow-up day some 6 – 8 months following the initial training.

Approximately 1/3 of the workshop is devoted to teaching forums and discussions.

The other 2/3’s is devoted to exercises and videotaped negotiations with feedback and importantly coaching, to improve skills and toughen each student’s reactionary and unwanted emotional missteps and lack of control.

Being taught does not assure application. Being coached does.

Coaching takes time as this is an individual endeavor.

In order to improve a negotiator’s ability to deal with both the emotional and psychological challenges of a tough negotiation, we have devised exercises to improve the participants’ abilities to face these challenges.

These alone make this course unique and far more effective in attaining long-term results for students.

We have purposely designed all of Louws Programs in modular form, making it easier to tailor them to a company’s specific negotiation requirements.

A unique Louws’ differentiator – Coaching

Possibly the most intangible part of the workshop to write about is the coaching that each student will receive.

In order to effectively coach a negotiator, we follow two basic principles:

The First Principle.  The coach cannot assume that a negotiator does not have certain skills simply because he does not show them. It is up to the coach to find out what hidden skills the negotiator may not be utilizing. We have yet to be disproved on this principle.

The Second Principle.  People improve with coaching that: a) gives a person an honest appraisal of his skills; b) is then provided skills that will improve their overall performance, c) is then drilled on these skills to correct and improve these skills; and finally, d) gives a person the opportunity to practice these skills against work related objectives.

An obviously important part of any coaching, as the great coaches such as Lombardi and Bryant attested to, is praise, positive encouragement and reinforcement (not to be confused with false praise or puffery which do not belong in an effective coach’s book).

The second more intangible quality of great coaches is the ability to motivate and lead students to greatness previously not achieved.

All Louws’ coaches have not only been intensely trained on the skills needed to be an impactful and successful trainer, but separately too, on the skills and applications of being a teacher and coach. Another unique difference between Louws’ trainers and others.

Next Steps:

If what you have read so far is consistent with what you are looking for from Negotiations training, please consider giving Louws an opportunity to make good on what we promise to deliver.

Telephone: (520) 664 -1881


Mail: Power Negotiating© Practice Director ~ P.O. Box 130 ~ Vail ~ Arizona ~ USA ~ 85641


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