Thanks to everyone who came out for the “Negotiating for Project Success” webinar today with our very special guest presenter, Randy Englund. Randy is a great friend to Cadence and a terrific resource in this area and delivered a terrific session!

For those unable to attend, the recording of the webinar is now live. Jump right in now!

We only had time to have Randy answer a handfull of questions during the session. He has graciously agreed to answer a few more questions which we have posted below. Thanks for joining us!

1) How do you handle the situation in which your partner in negotiation begins to attack you personally/professionally and impugn your character?

Do not take in personally nor reply in kind and give them the satisfaction of sinking to attacking the other person. Try to redirect the negotiation back to the problem. Take a firm stance on progress and your position until the other side starts cooperating. Never concede or agree to any resolution when under attack. Reiterate the objective for the negotiation to get a fair outcome that all agree upon, even if you need to sound like a broken record and keep repeating the objective. If necessary, take a break or leave the discussion. State that a win-win is not possible if they keep attacking you. Your preparation may also reveal why they are in attack mode or if that is their usual pattern. If so, stand firm. If the behavior is unusual, question why they are acting that way; seek to resolve and change the behavior before moving on to the substance of the negotiation.

2) How do you support your team members in their efforts to negotiate on behalf of the project? At what point is it better to handle all project negotiation as project manager?

A good leader seeks to develop people on his or her team. Support team members to develop their negotiating skills, in a course, a book, or arrange a team training session. Good preparation and a negotiating plan developed in conjunction with team members empowers them to negotiate on behalf of the project but may need to come back to the project manager or sponsor to approve the deal. This keeps the project manager from being pinned down and allows further discussion and exploration of more options.

3) How do you draw the line between what information is good and safe to disclose in a complex negotiation, and information that may damage the process? Giving up more than is expected of you can sometimes build a connection in a negotiation, but how do you know when you’ve gone too far to achieve desired results?

It may be a fine line. Generally provide enough personal information and statement of objectives so the other side knows what to expect from you. Keep your deadline somewhat ambiguous. Let the other side know your firm limits. Withhold some information that allows the other side to zero in on your absolute limits and leave no room for further negotiations. Give them many clues about creative resolutions you would accept. Help them help you by giving enough information for them to do so. Ask many questions about what they know of your business or situation; then give them information to explain why you are there and what type of solutions you are looking for. Ask the other side to make opening offers that you can respond to with more information about why their offer is on the right path or not. Be open in answering questions and maintain a positive and cooperative attitude.