Complex Made Simple

HEC Paris holds Open-Enrolment program on Negotiation Skills and Strategies

Top executives were among participants of the two-day program conducted by Professor Matthew Mulford, expert in negotiation analysis, effective business decision making and leadership

HEC Paris, ranked number two worldwide in Executive Education by the Financial Times in 2015 and member of Qatar Foundation, successfully held an Open-Enrolment program on Negotiation Skills and Strategies for 40 participants from the public and private sectors representing healthcare, airlines, infrastructure works, broadcasting, real estate, family businesses and education.

The two-day program, which was held on 4-5 November 2015 at the Tornado Tower in Doha, was conducted by Professor Matthew Mulford, an Affiliate Professor at HEC Paris and an expert in negotiation analysis, effective business decision making and leadership.

Aimed at improving the conceptual understanding of negotiations through the application of a practical framework and improved self-awareness, the program was designed to build on existing negotiation experiences of participants in order to improve their future performance. Each participant was given the opportunity to step back and think about their routine approaches to negotiations as well as practice new approaches.

Among the topics discussed in the program were key principles to employ when preparing for and conducting negotiations; the creation of value and increased deal efficiency through the use of integrative negotiation tactics; and strengths and weaknesses of individual negotiation styles (strategic, psychological and emotional).

There were also discussions on the challenges of intra and inter-organization negotiations; identification and removal of barriers to agreement, establishment of trust, conflict de-escalation and resolution; and identification of and defense from common persuasion and manipulation techniques.

“Sharp negotiation skills and strategies are key elements of every successful business transaction,” said Prof. Laoucine Kerbache, Dean & CEO of HEC Paris in Qatar. “In today’s highly globalized business and economic environment, business executives are faced with an array of factors that significantly affect the entire negotiation process. It is therefore important for them to be aware and equipped with various strategies and approaches when conducting such negotiations in order to achieve desired results,” Laoucine added.

Under a workshop format, the program allowed maximum interaction between participants and created an active learning environment. Each presentation of new material was supplemented by negotiation simulations, self-diagnostic tools or group work.

“One’s ability to perform well during negotiations is greatly influenced by a combination of natural ability, experience and formal training,” Professor Mulford explained. “Self-awareness and knowledge of negotiation styles can help managers discover how to capitalize on strengths while mitigating weaknesses. This will accordingly alter the quality of future negotiations,” he added.

“With most managers receiving little or no training at all in developing such skills, this program certainly filled in the gaps in their ability to recognize and learn various behaviors and approaches during negotiations,” he further added.

Dr. Mulford has been a senior lecturer in quantitative methods and negotiation analysis at the London School of Economics (LSE) since 1995. He was a founding Dean of the TRIUM Global Executive MBA program – a joint EMBA from the London School of Economics, New York University‘s Stern Business School and HEC Paris.

He currently teaches on the Specialized Master in Strategic Business Unit Management and has led many seminars on the topic of Decision Making in Doha. He has also designed and taught customized executive programs for various institutions around the world and across a variety of industries.