Negotiating a New Year!

After the madness known as Q1 & Q2, I think everyone was in desperate need of a break, to rest, recover, recuperate, and possibly even squeeze in a bit of relaxation before the start of the next madness known as Q3.  For some it meant staying in town, and seeing the sights & sounds of Toronto.  For some it meant going up north, and testing out their new skis on the slopes.  For some it meant flying off to some tropical destination, and getting some sun (By the way, what's the big deal with getting a tan? All I do is get lobster-red and sun-burnt!).  For some it meant going home to see the family & friends they'd ignored over the past 3 months. The desert gal that I am, I was in desperate need to defrost from all the cold, and happily used that as an excuse to go back home to Dubai, and spend some much-needed time with my family... I don't think I'd ever hugged my folks & younger brother as much as I did when I landed in Dubai :)  It was the best holiday present by far!  After twelve days of delicious home-cooked food, enjoying one-light-jacket-only winter, and being surrounded by my ever-supportive family, it was sadly time to leave home again.  I can safely say that I wasn't as excited about going to Toronto on the 31st of December, as compared to back in July.  I was feeling a bit homesick even before I left, but alas, it was necessary to leave, especially given that I had a week-long intensive course beginning on the 2nd of January.

As I walked into our Managerial Negotiations on that Monday, I remember mumbling to myself that the early start to this course better be worth my missing the New Year's Eve Celebrations and missing starting the New Year surrounded by family in Dubai!  The little mumbling over, I sat down and wondered actually how could a week-long course even begin to change negotiation skills enough to have an impact.  An hour into our course, I soon realized that my fears were unfounded, as we were exposed to different negotiation styles, and how negotiations didn't necessarily have to be a battle, but could instead possibly be a dialogue where both parties could do well, if not win, without either party losing or being worse off.  It was interesting to learn about determining value, managing information, and managing people, with different strategies for different situations.  One of the highlights was being able to put all that theory into practice with different negotiations exercises, simulating real-life negotiation scenarios, such as two parties with one issue, two parties with multiple issues, team negotiations, and multi-party negotiations.  I had always believed that skilled negotiators are just born and not made, but this course made me realize that I can use preparation, reservation, observation and conversation to not only turn things around in my favor, but also use it to benefit the other party.

While the Managerial Negotiations course gave us opportunities to practice our negotiation skills, the real test would come during the following week, when Recruitment Season would begin at Rotman.  Watch out for more to come on that rollercoaster next time!