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Like it or not, you are a negotiator

The LCM SA experience

With the first semester wrapping up, the time has come to look back. We asked our members to share their impressions on the workshops in the first semester. Here are a couple of thoughts on how they experienced the organization so far.

Firstly, they briefly discussed the different subjects of the Negotiation Track. 

A member stated: “The last months, the world of negotiation opened up to me. It was even more interesting than I expected. We learned to keep an eye out for the underlying interests and seemingly opposing positions. Instead of fighting against each other, there is a possibility to create value. We learned a way of negotiation in which the relationship is safeguarded.”

Another member added: “This semester, we focused on the basics of negotiation. We learned to take time for the human, non-rational side of a negotiation. We were able to practice these basics in many different types of cases.”

“During the past semester, LCM Student Association has provided us the main tools and principles of negotiation. Not only we were thought to structure for ourselves and explain profoundly to the other party what we want to accomplish, we also learned how to incorporate the other party’s values, show empathy and try to find a solution together that improves the outcome of both parties.”

Secondly, we zoomed in on what the members thought was the most interesting theory they have learned.

“The empathy loop was one of the most interesting things to learn this semester. When I first heard it, I was not really convinced it could help towards a better outcome. After using it a couple of times, I was convinced.”

“For me, the most useful subject was the objectifying offers and acknowledging the interests of the other party. Since then, I have tried to avoid the ‘but’ in negotiations and in life in general.”

However, we also saw some theory about problem-solving, and not only negotiation techniques: “The brainstorm tips were very useful. Especially as in reality, it is not as evident to put everything on hold and employ these correctly.”

Thirdly, we asked what they implemented in their daily lives, based on our workshops. We were glad to see a really positive response to this as well. 

“Negotiation received a prominent role in my life. From flirting with a loved one, to an emotional discussion with a parent, to planning a holiday with friends to celebrate graduation, the concepts seem to be applicable everywhere. Understand the other party, before anything else. Dig to the interests, find the things that really matter. Look for the options that benefit all.” He even ended by saying: “These are the things I learned at LCM SA, these are the things that give me the opportunity to become a better human.”

Many members also stated the usefulness of the empathy loop: “The empathy loop allows me to be informed about how the other experiences the issue. It also shows that you are interested in their story and issues. I have used this on multiple occasions, such as in meetings with the praesidium or when negotiating a partnership with the university.”

Other members found other useful scenarios for the empathy loop (or negotiation techniques in general). They have applied these techniques when applying for a job, when hanging out with friends and apparently even to close some Monopoly deals on her traditional Christmas boardgame evening!