Negotiation is a skill that is acquired through practice

post image
post image

The M Base Learning Center is a valuable resource within the Milšped Group, available to all employees, regardless of their current position. On this occasion, employees who had the opportunity to attend the lecture were given insights into the basic skills of negotiation, communication, and successful team leadership by Davorka. The M Base Learning Center represents a valuable resource within the Milšped Group, available to all employees, regardless of their current position. This center has been designed with the aim of providing support to employees through a variety of workshops, helping them acquire key skills relevant to their careers. In a time of dynamic market changes, Milšped Group continually invests in the development and empowerment of its employees, recognizing knowledge and skill enhancement as crucial for their ongoing growth and advancement.

1. Can you tell us how your collaboration with the M Base Learning Center, a part of the Milšped company, which offers a unique approach to employee training in the domestic market, came about?

Successful companies or individuals easily recognize the qualities that define the other party, and from such mutual respect, only quality outcomes can arise. Milšped Group has gained international recognition in the field of transportation and logistics services over the past few decades, making it a prime example of a group of companies with a global presence. On the other hand, company Biondi, of which I am the owner, has been in business for just over a decade and has successfully conveyed the necessary knowledge and skills to most of our clients, transforming them into better negotiators. Considering that over 60% of our participants attend four or more consecutive training sessions in a year, there's no reason to doubt that the education at the M Base Learning Center will be any different.

2. What are the key skills that you consider most important for successfully leading a company with 3,500 employees across 14 countries on 3 continents?

The key is to have a leader in the business environment who excels in people management skills in every situation, someone who can provide constructive feedback, act as a motivator to the team, and exhibit a balanced level of assertiveness. Modern business requires knowledge of negotiation skills, persuasion techniques, and methods for softening rejections, particularly when dealing with “difficult“ individuals who exhibit mistrust or various forms of impoliteness towards the other party. These behaviors are often a result of some form of insecurity or upbringing in a different socio-political context from the one in which business is conducted today. In business, I often encounter a toxic team atmosphere, autocratic leadership, and a culture of fear. These are remnants of the socialist business environment, where these traits continue to dominate. In Croatia, for example, it's believed that since joining the European Union in 2013, more than 40,000 companies have failed. This is a significant number, even for much stronger economies. While part of the truth lies in the inability to compete with fierce competition, I can assure you that stories of poor economic policies and low purchasing power are ultimately just excuses, and these companies have remained blind to the inevitable changes in their business approach.

3. What is your advice on how to deal with conflicts that can arise during negotiations?

First and foremost, it's important to understand that instant solutions don't exist, and negotiations are a skill in managing your own emotions, including anger. Every skill is learned. For every conflict, it takes two parties! If your interlocutor falls into the category of these “difficult“ individuals, it's up to you whether a conflict will arise. If you react immediately to unfavorable information, that reaction is perceived either as an attack or as a defense – there is no third solution. That's why it's essential to first silently reflect and approach the situation rationally and with a clear head. Between conflict and anger, there is an equal sign. It's considered that only 7% of people worldwide can manage their emotions of anger and frustration effectively. Since each new meeting or negotiation is costly in both financial and time terms, it's worth trying techniques to neutralize aggressive behavior and express a contrasting position through assertive communication, which should also carry some benefit for the other party. I only terminate meetings in the case of vulgar behavior.

4. What would you say to employees at Milšped who want to improve their negotiation skills and become more successful in their field?

Negotiation is a skill that is learned and acquired through practice. In our region, few companies invest in this skill, which is why the practice of haggling during negotiations is common. The consequences of not mastering negotiation skills result in missed opportunities worth millions of dinars/euros. Participation in negotiation skills development workshops is not enough; it is essential to have a mentor or the best colleague to practice with. Together, you can analyze successes and failures in negotiation based on set goals and build the necessary self-confidence.

5.What are the most common mistakes people make in negotiation?

The first thing is the lack of preparation for upcoming negotiations. Good preparation accounts for 70% of success in negotiation. People often make the mistake of thinking they don't have time for negotiation, consciously giving up additional profit for their company. The main reasons for unpreparedness in negotiations are constant online availability, multitasking, poor time management, and bosses overloading employees, making them an attractive “target“ for opponents in negotiations. It's essential to have knowledge of the market, and competitors, analyze past collaborations, and assess the potential for improvement. The second reason can be attributed to a lack of self-confidence, which is often manifested through crossed arms, chair rocking, nervous face-touching, and avoiding eye contact with the interlocutor. Finally, we come back to the skill of anger and frustration management. Expressing these emotions within reasonable limits during negotiations is healthy and normal; a seller wants a higher price, and a buyer wants a lower one. Therefore, it's important to know how to manage these emotions and keep them at a reasonable intensity.

6. How often have you had the opportunity to collaborate with companies in Serbia or the region that have such an educational center for the development of employees at all levels within their organization?

I've been working in the region for 11 years, and during that time, my programs have been attended by over 17,000 participants from various companies. However, believe me, I'm still surprised every time I come into contact with a company that systematically develops processes and tools to enhance its employees. This tells us that unfortunately, there is still a small number of companies that have an educational center of this kind, as some company owners continue to view it as an expense rather than a profitable investment. However, in the last two years, it's noticeable that even they are changing their more rigid views because they have finally realized that educated and young talent is no longer just focused on salary and that the turnover of employees is becoming more frequent in the search for better working conditions. For that reason, I congratulate Milšped on their systematic investment in employees and their vertical approach to education, which is implemented from the very top of the company. This is, among other things, a guarantee of success!

Anything you need, we are here to help