The Negotiator Magazine

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In order to keep in control of the Orange Ball or to get control back you need to get everyone involved to “Hit the Refresh Button.” This is another important principle of renegotiating. The main technique here is listening. Listening is such an important skill when change needs to occur that without it there will be certain failure. The design team must listen to the production team. The production team must listen to the sales team. The sales team must listen to the customers and the executive team must listen to everyone. Remember listening is a verb not a noun. Listening is a learned skill, and doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Listening means being silent while someone else is speaking. It means not thinking about how you are going to respond while someone else it talking. It means no interrupting. In that silence you will find all of the answers. Proper listening will give you the skills to ask the right questions. We always learn more by asking questions rather than answering them. A great question is worth a 1000 answers.

2.  Be Nice

Being nice does not mean being insipid or insincere.  Actually, it means quite the opposite. It means, to be generous, to be respectful. Also, use humor where appropriate.  Humor puts everything on a lighter note. It allows those involved to have fun during the process.  Sarcasm is not humor and belittlement of others is not funny.

3. Create a Corporate Culture That Encourages Organized Change

Every employee must understand, how these changes are going to affect him or her personally, in a positive way, immediately and in the long term. Then develop a process where every employee is expected to participate in making the company more innovative through creating excellence in every aspect of the company.

4. Promote Employee Involvement
Create a culture where every employee is encouraged to speak up at specific times and express constructive ways to make the company more efficient and products and services better. Once this process is in place, create teams to look at every aspect of the operations of the company and create ways to make each part better.  Constantly trying to improve and fine tune how the company functions.

5. Show Respect to All Employees
Employees will only come along for the journey if the executives show them respect. Do not pay lip service to changes that the employees come up with and that the executives agree to implement.  Only commit to changes that the executives are willing to have the company execute.  Being honest with the employees will show them respect.  Management also needs to make some of the changes that the employees are giving otherwise the employees won’t take the process seriously.

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May 2007