By Nour Honein
Last week, MUN Delegation participants were in for a rather special session: a workshop conducted by negotiation expert Henri-Jean Tolone. Thanks to this, the next few weeks’ debates should prove even more interesting!
“Negotiation doesn’t mean reaching my goal despite the other’s opposition, but it’s reaching my goal thanks to the other”. Those were Henri-Jean Tolone’s exact words on Wednesday 28th of October, during the last session of the MUN delegation. Whenever I think negotiation, I assume that my mission is to persuade the other to change their mind. I give my perspective on the matter and talk and discuss and debate and talk again… Until I get what I want, which almost never happens. That used to be the case, until I got the chance to learn from the best in the field, negotiation expert and business administration consultant, Henri-Jean Tolone.
For the duration of the session, he opened our eyes to the world of negotiation and helped us look at it from a different perspective. As he said, during debates and negotiations we always tend to try to defend our point of view in order to get what we want. But this is not how it’s done.
Firstly, we have to figure out what exactly we want to achieve. Whether we are talking to our friends about some movie we would like to watch or debating solutions concerning the refugees in Europe with another country representative, we have to find out, by ourselves, what our main goal is in the conversation we’re having. And that is already 60% of the job.
The second step is to make sure we know what the other party’s aim is. We need to have a clear idea of their objective and be very open about it without turning it down immediately. Apparently, this part is 30% of the negotiation. Trust me, the man knows what he’s talking about.
Finally, we get to the last part, which is only about 10% of the whole job: the negotiation itself. Based on Mr Tolone’s advice, once we figure out the answers to the first couple of questions, it’s in the bag!
In conclusion, just like it takes two to tango, well it takes two (at least) to negotiate. So don’t get into it unless you are planning on dropping the solo mindset. Now write this down and the next time you try to talk your friends into going to that bar you like, make sure you know what you are doing! For more life 101, stay tuned!