3 Tips For CIOs To Become Better Negotiators

by drjim on November 5, 2014

 Negotiating is how CIOs can get what they want

Negotiating is how CIOs can get what they want

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It’s interesting to realize just how important the skill of negotiating is to CIOs. Sure, we all know about the importance of information technology , but when you think about it, we spend a great deal of our time negotiating no matter if it is with vendors, other departments, or even members of our IT team. Since we do so much of this, we should always be looking for ways to get better at it…

3 Ways To Become A Better Negotiators

First off, when we dive into a negotiation be it with a vendor or with someone who works for our firm, all too often we just start things off with a vague idea about what we’d like to accomplish. We know that we need to create a deal, but we’re not 100% what that deal is going to look like. However, we believe that we’ll recognize it when we see it.

What this mean to you as the person with the CIO job is that before your next negotiation starts, you really need to do some homework. By taking the time to prepare for a negotiation, you’ll have an advantage over the person that you’ll be negotiating with. Doing your homework can be as simple as coming up with a plan for what you want to propose to the other side. When you do this, the next step is for you to highlight the key details in your plan that you want to make sure that are part of the deal that you reach.

When we are negotiating with someone, all too often it can be easy to assume that they have more power than they really do. They may represent a big company or a powerful internal department. We need to take a step back and realize that they are just a peer – no more, and no less. If you can see them as someone just like you, it can remove a great deal of the intimidation that they may be presenting to you and you can focus on getting what you want from them.

Finally, don’t worry if what you are asking for has never been done before. Hey, there always has to be a first time, right? Make your case and explain to the other side how things will work. If they still seem nervous about agreeing to a deal, you can create checkpoints that will allow them to determine if the deal is being implemented in the way that they agreed to.

What All Of This Means For You

At the heart of what it means to be in the CIO position is the ability to communicate well. One form of communication that we all need to take the time to master is that of negotiation. Since we negotiate so often and with so many different types of people we need to get better at doing this.

There are three ways that we can become better negotiators. The first is to make sure that we always show up prepared to negotiate – we need to do our homework. Make sure that you see the person that you’ll be negotiating with as a peer – they do not have any special powers. Finally, just because something has never been done before does not mean that it can’t be done now.

As a CIO, you never seem to have enough time to get everything done. When you are trying to decide where to spend your time, learning to become a better negotiator is one thing that will be on your plate. Among all of the other things that you have to do, this is a good way to spend your time. Time spent becoming a better negotiator is time well invested.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: How much time do you think that a CIO should invest in preparting

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

One of the joys (?) of being the person with the CIO job is that you often get asked to make speeches where you can talk about the importance of information technology. Everyone thinks that you know what is going to happen in the future and they are hoping that if they can get you to deliver a speech, you just might let a hint of the future slip out. These are great career opportunities; however, in order to make the most of them you need to know how to command the room during your speech.

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