Strategies and tactics to improve negotiation skills

| Specials U-Today

The Negotiation Project Twente (NPT) is a non-profit organisation connected to the University of Twente. Members strive to teach valuable negotiation and communicational skills to students and organizations. They organize two try-out evenings next week.

They also aim to disseminate hard and soft skills to (future) professionals by bridging higher education and the business environment. Furthermore, NPT attends yearly international events in which they represent the university through global negotiation tournaments.

The international events of last year, which is usually held in Zurich, Switzerland, and Barcelona, Spain, was now – like many events at the moment - hosted via Zoom. This, of course, gives an extra dimension and difficulty because negotiations involve emotions and body language.

Team members participating in an international event are chosen by the teachers, based on their developed abilities in negotiation and teamwork. For the Global Negotiation Conference of last year, Mehmet Tasdogan (MSc. BA), Dion Manten (MSc. BA), and Stefani Slavova (BSc. Industrial Engineering) were selected to participate.

To prepare themselves, the NPT members meet every Thursday evening. During the first period of training, they learn the theoretical aspects of negotiation. This included specific techniques, skills, and strategies of negotiating. Afterwards, weekly negotiation rounds started.

‘Every week we were split up in teams and received a case’, says Mehmet Tasdogan (MSc BA). ‘We had 30 to 45 minutes of preparing, discussing, and strategizing the negotiations for the case. Under the supervision of teachers, we negotiated the case for around 60 minutes in separate rooms. Afterwards, we got feedback and reflected back on where we could improve and what we have learned. At the end of the evening, teams compared outcomes, strategies and tactics in order to improve their negotiation skills.’ 

This academic year, the project starts in October. Due to the corona regulations, negotiation classes will be provided online via MS Teams, until it’s possible to continue on campus. 

Interested? NPT arranged two try-out evenings on the Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th of September. The try-outs will also be via Teams and there are limited spots. During the try-outs, you can experience negotiating a small case, and the evening will be finished with feedback and reflecting on the case. 

If you want to participate in the try-outs, or want to sign up for NPT, please write an email with a short motivation to board@negotiationproject.utwente.nl or check the website. Please be aware that there are limited spots for the classes this year, as NPT strives to provide individual development to participants.