8 ноября 2017 г.

It’s expected that successful professionals should have great financial reporting and analytical skills. But sometimes we forget about the importance of “soft” skills, such as effective communication and negotiation abilities. To fill this gap, last Friday, CFA Association Russia held a new seminar focusing on business negotiations.

Although it was a late Friday evening, close to 30 people attended the event held at the cozy Mazars office, one of CFA Russia’s partners. Andrei Kostylev, a professor and the author of several business negotiation courses at the Higher School of Economics, one of Russia’s leading finance universities, was an invited speaker at the seminar. In addition to a successful academic career, Kostylev helped companies, such as Glencore, Gazprom and Rosatom, to successfully negotiate big investment projects in the past.

The speaker began with telling the difference between the distributive and integrative negotiation strategies. When resources are finite and all parties involved in a negotiation are scrambling for the fixed amount of the “economic pie,” the distributive method is more preferable. This strategy also fits to those who have clear advantage points, and thus are in a good position to bargain.

In other situations when there is a common interest in making the overall “economic pie” bigger, which would benefit all parties involved, a mutually cooperative method of the integrative negotiation strategy would be a better choice. That’s why, according to the presentation, negotiators should carefully choose one strategy over another depending on a situation they’re in.

Following the theory, the presentation turned into a practical exercise. Guests were divided into small groups and given tasks to practice their negotiation skills. Each person had to come to terms with a partner, trying to find common ground and solve the points of contention.

Finding a win-win negotiation strategy can be hard, but it’s always preferable. Successful negotiators spend years mastering their craft and building trustworthy relationships with others. Being able to influence people and come to mutually beneficial solutions with others require a great amount of learning and practice, which CFA Association Russia emphasized last Friday.

Experts predict that in the competitive and diverse economy of tomorrow professionals with the tandem of technical and “soft” skills will thrive and be drawn to the best jobs.

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