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Global Negotiations: New Executive Certificate Program Coming Online

With globalization accelerating at an exponential rate, acquiring the knowledge and capability to achieve sustainable business success is paramount. It is important for executives to develop their understanding of cross-cultural negotiation tactics, and discover their power position and power approach for successful business.

“Global negotiation courses and cross-cultural communication are the two main focuses for business executives in 2010,” says Erin Wilson, associate director of executive education at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale.

In response to this growing demand, the school created a new online program, the Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations.

“Negotiation is an art,” the school states on its Web site. “All negotiations are delicate operations, and crafting agreements is a challenge no matter who the players are. Stakes are higher and negotiations trickier, however, when the parties involved come from different cultures and customs, it may result in a negotiation session hijacked by misunderstandings or unexpected culture clashes.”

Wilson says the executive certificate is an online program involving three, eight-week courses that may be taken anywhere in the world. Those who participate in the course will be able to interact with other executives via online discussions.

“The courses are designed so that they may be globally offered with no in-person interaction,” she explains.

The executive certificate program was first introduced in February, with additional program dates opening April 5 and June 7
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The certificate program is designed for any professional — at various levels of responsibility — who works in a cross-cultural environment, or for those who want to gain more knowledge about working in this type of environment, Wilson says.

Taken together, these courses provide the participant with a comprehensive education in core global negotiation concepts and cross-cultural relations. While each component course may be taken separately for an individual certificate of completion, they must be taken as a three-course track to earn the Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations.

“The three courses that make up the Global Negotiations certificate have different focuses, but together make a comprehensive package,” Wilson explains.

Certificate participants will learn:
Negotiation approaches for global management.
Strategies appropriate for a wide range of negotiation situations.
Techniques for recognizing and leveraging trust in a multicultural context.
Strategies for identifying cultural preferences and gaps in a multicultural negotiation.
Key methods of preparing and planning for negotiation success.
Strategies for working through an impasse or breakdown.
Techniques for identifying and using “hardball” negotiation strategies.

The courses are broken down into:
Cross-Cultural Communications — Participants will learn to identify cultural communication nuances and strategies for achieving an even cross-cultural playing field. Students will gain insight into overcoming cultural communication obstacles through case vignettes, video role-playing and instructional checkpoints.
Course objectives:

  • Examine the definition of culture, cultural expectations and how these impact business relationships.
  • Review a “framework” for analyzing differences and similarities across multiple cultures based on 10 cultural dimensions.
  • Explore the impact of cultural differences on managerial communications and meeting etiquette.

Essentials of Global Negotiation — Students will examine the theory and practice of negotiation among individuals, organizations and groups in the context of globalization and multicultural social interactions. They will discover techniques for reacting to and addressing cultural differences in communication/negotiation style, while learning to adjust their own style to be most effective in the negotiation setting.
Course objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the nature of global negotiations.
  • Define a basic framework for preparing to negotiate in a global/cross-cultural situation.
  • Learn why strictly following key strategy steps for problem solving is critical in a cross-cultural context.
  • Recognize the role of psychological, cognitive and social dimensions of negotiation.

Managing Conflict with a Global Mindset — Participants will examine the behaviors and conflict management negotiation styles of individuals, organizations and groups in the context of competitive, impasse, breakdown and difficult situations. They will learn to manage communication and conflict by understanding the cultural wants, needs and expectations of others — and adjusting their style and techniques to most effectively confront and overcome conflict.
Course objectives:

  • Explain how the attributes of a “global mindset” affect global negotiation and conflict management.
  • Learn the tools necessary for evaluating and managing conflict and divergent needs in negotiation.
  • Become more sensitive to key psychological factors, emotional issues and behaviors that can be destructive to problem-solving negotiation.
  • Enhance your awareness of the costs, privacy, flexibility and efficiency of alternative dispute resolution and problem-solving mechanisms and techniques.
  • Increase your knowledge of “breakthrough” strategies.

Program participants work independently, Wilson says, but there are three forums that will require class discussion.

“The facilitator will post a topic, which will then require input from the class or the online discussion board where participants are required to interact and respond to one another,” she says. “As this is the first time that Thunderbird will be running the class in this particular format on our own, we are not entirely sure what the class makeup will be. My estimation is that the majority of participants will be currently located within the U.S., though many will be executives that work abroad on a regular basis.”

For more information on the Thunderbird School of Global Management’s Executive Certificate in Global Negotiations, visit www.thunderbird.edu. Allie Bell contributed to this report.