Why do I need a negotiator?
Whether you are an experienced businessman or woman or simply feel
that you can horse trade as well as anyone, there is
no substitute for a professional when you need one. For example,
in business an executive might know quite a bit of business law
or accounting, even if he or she is not a lawyer or a CPA. However,
the chances are when they need expertise they will use professionals
to handle problems and provide value for the company. A strong professional
negotiator provides the same service. Whether he or she is directly
negotiating on a clients behalf or simply on a team as an
advisor for an important transaction, the potential for making the
final agreement better and closing the transaction will increase
What does a negotiator do?
Like other professionals, negotiators cover a broad spectrum of
specialties from business and personal negotiations to military,
police and hostage recovery from terrorist actions. They all, however,
provide their clients with some fundamental assets. These
include focus on issues and objectives, ways to look at options
and alternatives, methodologies to move agendas forward or in some
cases cease negotiations altogether if appropriate and finally,
to reach agreement. They are advocates, problem solvers and closers.
What are Paladins specialties in negotiations?
Paladin specializes in international negotiations for the energy
industry between companies, governments and other interested parties
such as military, ecological groups or local interests. We also
negotiate damage claims between landowners or government entities
and industry. Finally, Paladin teaches negotiations on its own or
through Colorado State University to governmental, educational,
business and private groups.
How are negotiators trained?
Many negotiators hold degrees in various disciplines such as business,
law and technical areas. They also might have military or police
training. At some point they find that negotiations are an area
of expertise and move to develop these skills via training and experience.
There are also some universities such as Colorado State or Harvard
University Law School that have negotiations programs or courses.
In addition, several individuals or companies such as Paladin teach
courses in this field.
Will your course help me to be a better negotiator?
There is no doubt that a formal course in negotiations will improve
your skills. Paladins course is based on Dan Reids 25
years of negotiations in business, international energy and the
military as well as his scholastic endeavors which include the Harvard
Program on Negotiations started by Professor Roger Fisher. (You
may recall Professor Fisher's books such as Getting To Yes
and his history as a negotiator with Presidential administrations.)
Am I at a disadvantage if the other side uses a professional
negotiator or uses an individual trained in this skill?
You might do as well, but probably not if the negotiation is complicated
or lengthy. There is no substitute for professional experience.
Paladin specializes in the energy industry. Does it work in other
business areas as well?
Yes. The principles of negotiations and business problem solving
are largely universal. By using negotiations as a quantitative skill
and a thought-out process, the ability to find solutions and agreement
increases. This applies to any business situation. For example, we were asked to negotiate on behalf of a golf course in Texas that was being threatened by the local city government. The city wanted to annex the golf course to insure its ability to get rid of its treated waste water on the fairways and greens. We were able to negotiate a 500% increase over the city's initial offer for our client and the city forgave all past due taxes and assessments.