Negotiation is critical skill for any museum professional. Whether you are lobbying for the funds to hire an additional conservator, bargaining with a vendor for the best price on casework, or keeping internal stakeholders’ expectations about a new initiative in check, there are numerous opportunities to create value and advance your interests through strategic negotiations.
Negotiation presents one of the best opportunities to maximize the impact of your limited resources. Even if you’re short on staff, funding, or infrastructure (or all three), as a smart negotiator, you can find creative ways to leverage your strengths and build powerful relationships that produce significant results. And you don’t need to burn bridges or resort to nasty tactics to get the best deal. Instead, you can use field-tested techniques to reach mutual understanding, build trust and forge lasting partnerships.
Frequently, museum professionals find themselves positioned as intermediaries negotiating on behalf of their institution with for-profit vendors and contractors. These types of deals often have a high transaction cost and may require significant preparation. Compounded by the unique culture, stakeholders, and mission of museums these negotiations can often become complex. Using negotiation, you can convey your positions to your counterparts so that they not only understand your interests, but also work with you to help meet your objectives.
This seminar will introduce museum professionals to fundamental negotiation concepts and tools for developing deals that maximize value for both parties (win-win negotiation). You’ll explore ways to structure the bargaining process, learn how to identify both your and your counterpart’s interests, and develop the ability to recognize (and counteract) the most common manipulative tactics used by aggressive negotiators.
Through interactive activities, mock negotiations, and peer feedback, participants in this seminar will learn effective strategies for negotiating with vendors, contractors, and even their colleagues!
Participants will walk away from the seminar with:
- a broad understanding of central concepts in negotiation as they apply in a museum context
- a systematic framework for preparing for any type of negotiation
- problem-solving techniques and practical skills for each step of the negotiation process
- tools for mitigating aggressive negotiators and methods for resolving seemingly intractable negotiations.
Who Should Attend this Seminar?
This seminar is designed for anyone who works in a museum at any level. The workshop will also be useful for those who provide services for museums. The goal of the workshop is for participants to develop practical portable skills that they can carry with them throughout their career. While the interactive exercises in the workshop will be designed to address museum-specific types of negotiation, subject matter expertise in a specific area of museum operations is not required.
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