“Negotiation, in the classic diplomatic sense, assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree” – Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State 1949 to 1953

Many work place discussions involve an element of negotiation, even if it is only about who is going to fetch the coffees! For some people, such as those working in sales or in the legal profession, negotiations play an essential part of their daily business. In order to be successful when negotiating you need good interpersonal skills, which is largely down to how you use language, whether that is listening or speaking. When taking part in negotiations in English, it is important to have a broad enough vocabulary to fully comprehend what is being said to you, including the nuance of any particular phrase or idiom. Furthermore, particularly if negotiating with native speakers, it is useful to have some insight into how intonation is used to indicate mood.

Sessions on Negotiations will focus on broadening vocabulary and developing and practising typical phrases and idioms used in English-speaking negotiations. Time could also be spent on reviewing related grammatical constructions, such as how to put forward hypothetical proposals, e.g. “If we offered you …”. Confidence-building practical activities such as role-play and discussion will also be included.

It is also possible to take a one- or two-day workshop, tailored to the needs of both experienced and inexperienced speakers. Typical course content would be:

  • Phrases for effective communication at different stages of a negotiation:

small talk and building rapport
asking for and giving clarification
handling difficult situations
active listening
softening your message
being assertive
problem solving
making a decision

  • Intonation and pronunciation
  • Grammar review of conditional (if) sentences / use of would