It has been reiterated and reiterated by experts in the field this year, that engineers should be furthering themselves with non-engineering skills that they could use in their engineering job. The emphasis on entrepreneurship in engineering has pushed engineers to try and achieve more than just mastering their studies but also finding the business opportunity in the industries they fall into. MIT has been championing these sorts of engineering add-ons and now they have announced that they will be hosting a course named Entrepreneurial Negotiations: The MIT Way.
Bhaskar Pant, the executive director of MIT Professional Education, said: "Negotiations in the entrepreneurial arena are critical, but incredibly complex. We are fortunate to be able to offer a course on the subject from a world-renowned authority at MIT."
The professor who lead the course, that costs a mere $475 for six weeks, Professor Lawrence Susskind, said: "Many engineers can dream up promising inventions; they can even produce a business plan and find interested investors. What they don't know how to do, though, is negotiate on their own behalf. By taking the course, engineers will gain skills and strategies they need to get buy-in, sell their ideas, and achieve success." She says that 'engineering logic' without any negotiation training can lead to serious negotiation mistakes. "The exercises we use cover new ventures in biomedicine, aerospace, and real estate. Some of MIT's own entrepreneurs who have launched successful businesses will also provide their insights on their most difficult negotiation challenges."
The Dean of Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology, Steve Mackay, agrees that engineers need negotiation skills. In his YouTube series, the Engineering News Network, in the episode 'Negotiate for a win-win outcome', he said: "The trick with negotiation is 'don't destroy the other party'. You will be horrified how many people go into negotiation with the approach of destroying the other party, screaming into the ground and making a lot of money." He outlines a list of things to look out for whilst in the process of negotiating a deal.
Mackay's proven techniques:
- Avoid the you-lose-I-win strategy
- Try and build trust in a negotiation
- Try and look for hidden issues
- Research the other point of few with exquisite detail
- People are so anxious to negotiate, they don't have time to communicate their positions clearly
- Reframe the problem in a different way
- Once you've done your proposal, the trick is to shut up and wait for the response
- Always look for solutions, try and use natural thinking
"Finally, when you finish your negotiation, always, always, write it down and make sure both parties agree with what you've written down. It's horrifying after a successful negotiation session, you come back three weeks later and you start negotiation again because you didn't actually agree or you forgot what the deal was.," Mackay concluded.