One of the many skills employers expect in executive level technology professionals includes the ability to negotiate. While negotiation might be a necessary skill for a technology leader to possess in order to gain sponsorship backing and budget to drive projects, where would a technology leader have been trained to negotiate? Are technology leaders even qualified to negotiate?
Let’s assume that technology leaders generally have a high IQ. Sometimes, people who have a high IQ like to prove that they’re right and want to win at all costs. Technology leaders who negotiate to be right and who negotiate to win at the expense of the other party to their negotiation losing may not be aware of the environment they’re creating.
If a technology leader is buying a widget and they get the lowest price possible and there is no further relationship required with the product vendor, this is one scenario where their natural tendency to need to win might work out in their favor.
However, if a technology leader is negotiating a contract with a service provider and there will be an ongoing human relationship and ongoing interaction with the service provider, it is far better for the negotiation to leave both parties to the negotiation standing rather than one party winning at the expense of the other party losing.
Given that most technology leaders are gifted with deeply Analytical strengths and they are typically not deep in Relationship Building and Influencing strengths, negotiating very likely does not come naturally to most technology leaders. This is not to say that negotiating skills can’t be learned, but the core skills required to effectively negotiate may not naturally be skills that a high IQ gifted technology leader possesses.
In order to negotiate in a manner than leaves both parties to a negotiation standing, skilled negotiators will possess Relationship Building strengths, Influencing strengths and above-average Empathy. Empathy allows a person to briefly step into another person’s shoes to see the world from their vantage point. Empathy is an Emotional Intelligence skill.
People who negotiate from the perspective of only relying on their deep Analytical Strategic thinking skills will very likely miss the boat when it comes to negotiating a well-balanced solution. Negotiators who possess the ability to consider other people’s needs along with relying on their strong Analytical strengths will be much more likely to create an environment where a win-win solution can be achieved.
The good news for technology leaders who are not naturally gifted negotiators is that their natural strengths can be identified, measured and objectively understood. Their Emotional Intelligence skills can also be identified, measured and adjusted through coaching.
The most successful people in the world in all disciplines of work have been found to understand precisely who they are, how they're built and how the can deliver their best performance.
These same people have also been found to be some of the most emotionally intelligent people in the world. They understand themselves and how they come across to other people.