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Negotiation: an important life skill

In the pharmacy domain, you might find yourself negotiating with a supplier or, perhaps, a member of staff who asks for a pay rise or change to his or her employment contract. And we are all aware of the negotiations that go on between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, the NHS Confederation and the Government. The ability to negotiate is not only an important management skill. It is a key life skill. Outside pharmacy there are many situations where negotiation skills are useful, for example, buying a house or a new car, discussing your annual summer holiday with your partner or even negotiating bedtime with your children.

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary1 to negotiate means to “confer with others in order to reach a compromise or agreement”. Negotiation is an interactive process that can be used to make an agreement or settle a dispute.The process involves two or more people who have opposing views but want or need to reach some kind of resolution.

Skills for successful negotiation

Negotiation is often referred to as an art because it involves creative thinking. Good negotiators often also possess the following:

Awareness

A good negotiator will be well aware of the background to a negotiation — the tensions and emotions of both parties. He or she will be sensitive to the needs of the other side. A skilled negotiator is also often able to interpret body language and is aware of different tactics that might be used by the other side.

Patience

A successful negotiator appreciates that the negotiation process may not give instant results. Patience, truly, is a virtue during some negotiations — it can take time to break down barriers.

Communication skills

Because negotiation is a two-way process it requires good communication skills. A good negotiator will be a good listener.

Download the attached PDF to read the full article.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10997072

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