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ICAI organizes ‘Successful Negotiations’ seminar
March 13, 2014, 12:27 pm

The Kuwait Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) held a seminar for its members about ‘Successful Negotiations’. Neil McCallum, who conducts training courses on negotiation techniques, was the key speaker for the evening.  The seminar was held on March 12 at the Holiday Inn, Downtown.

Neil McCallum has been an Associate Advisor to the British Council globally on anti corruption initiatives, records management and information rights since 1996. He is a UK Government trained organisational analyst and a current member of the UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit. He is also an author whose work has been published in several countries. He currently arranges training courses and study programs for an international clientele.

The seminar focused on the top 20 negotiation principles and the keys to make effective negotiation possible. Following the introduction, McCallum talked about his expertise which encompassed 30 years of negotiation experience in countries like the UK, Africa and even India.  He introduced the top 20 basic principles that are important to develop successful negotiation techniques, and then proceeded to elaborate on each one.

For the important principles, he emphasized them by drawing on examples from his dealings with clients in different countries. Aside from including humor in his talk, his attempts to relate to the audience and help their understanding made him an engaging speaker.

With two relevant examples, he illustrated how seemingly small oversights can damage an otherwise promising negotiation and how following simple rules can greatly maximize the prospect of a ‘win-win’ outcome. The audience found the speech fascinating and jotted down notes which would definitely be useful in their daily job interactions.

There were several key ideas addressed during McCallum’s presentation, such as the concept of ‘power and authority’, which were two separate entities; how negotiations are about solving problems and all negotiators have to stick with an ethical code and show commitment to negotiations.

His gave an example of Mahatma Gandhi as a person of power over Lord Mountbatten, someone of authority, emphasizing the point that negotiators should respect power as someone of authority may not be a key decision maker. McCallum also touched on many negotiating points that would get greater mutual gains for both parties involved, that mainly included behavioral tips, mindset change and evolving their personal perception.

McCallum also emphasized on the importance of understanding the other party’s interests and goals in order to manage the assumptions, behavior and expectations that are always part of negotiations. This is especially true for processes and rituals in an organization, which he established through his personal decision to miss his flight rather than cut short an important tea ceremony with an important client. Similar stories of personal negotiation meetings and office drama solidified his points and captivated the audience.

ICAI sponsored the session to emphasize the members’ responsibility to provide the best service to their clients and to act in a disciplined manner wherever they might be representing ICAI. The ICAI members occupy many key positions in corporations, and they are required to know good negotiation skills in order to perform well. The organization stands for members who contribute their experiences and talent that reflect only the best that the person has to offer.

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