Section subject: Negotiation skills and strategies.


Negotiating is a powerful asset and skill at the heart of the mentoring process.

There are likely to be a number of areas where negotiation will take place between the mentor and mentee. As well as negotiating improvements they are likely to negotiate meeting times, areas of work to consider and who else they may wish to be involved.

This section considers the elements of successful negotiation.

Learning objectives

This section helps you to:

Effective negotiation feedback

In the Beginning and Developmental phases of the mentoring process, the mentee may ‘bow to the experience’ of the mentor and agree to improve specific areas of their work.

However, the mentor should increasingly encourage and support the mentee to take responsibility for their improvements as the relationship progresses.

Consider what the elements of successful negotiation might be and how you would develop your own criteria for negotiation.

What do you think are the main elements of successful negotiation?

Consider these questions:

Win-win negotiation

In theory, in any negotiation the aim is win-win, where both parties can feel that they benefit. It is with this in mind that any negotiation should be entered into.

A win-win approach takes away the adversarial implications of a win-lose approach. Both people are then in a position to share the outcomes and products of negotiation.

Your success in negotiation as a mentor will be measured in the way that you maintain a productive and supportive relationship. To do this you need to be aware of your ability in four main underlying areas:

Final word

Remember that you should prepare for each negotiation – by planning or questioning.

This may include self-questioning as well as questioning your negotiating partner about what might be a possible outcome or steps to achieving that outcome. For example, ‘If I did this, would it be seen by my colleagues as OK?’ or ‘Do we have to have a definite outcome?’.

Also, consider the point that the mentor has a role in helping to develop the negotiation skills of their mentee, or, of course, learning from them! This will ensure that the mentee feels responsible for the outcomes and will be motivated to achieve them.

You might like to reflect on the issues arising from this section and make some notes for the future.

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