Is society teaching its up and comers to negotiate?
High school, college, and graduate students are all taught a variety of substantive skills: math, science, technology, literature, and others. But does the next generation know how to communicate effectively? Do they know how to negotiate to get what they want yet still meet the needs of their counterparts?
The answer isn’t so clear. Negotiation consultants, mediators, and conflict coaches all too often see people unwilling or unable to communicate effectively with one another. (It makes me wonder: Were they ever taught how??)
WDR wants to disrupt this, to change the way society educates its students. WDR wants to help students at every level develop the skills to communicate effectively, listen actively, and negotiate collaboratively!
The kicker is that the basic concepts aren’t hard to learn. They may be a little uncomfortable to work with at first, especially in the face of a seemingly contentious conflict. To misquote an old adage, ” Not everything that’s hard will be worth it, but I’m damn sure everything that’s worth it will be hard.”
Learning and practicing conflict management skills at an earlier age means that, later on (when it counts), students will already have the foundational habits to be highly effective, no matter what their walk of life is.
The key to building negotiation and conflict skills is, of course, practice. But it’s more than that. Students of conflict and negotiation need to start small and build their repertoire bit by bit. It’s easy to take on a huge overhaul, fail, and then give up. Starting small and working up takes more time, but it produces better and more consistent results.
WDR needs your help. Share this post with your friends in education. We need to start disrupting education. We want to give short, engaging seminars on negotiation and problem solving to high schools, community colleges, and universities. We want to help students and recent graduates earn the so-called “soft skills” needed to make a huge difference in their lives. Pass the word on for the opportunity to host a low-cost, engaging seminar!