Negotiators Need Social Skills

Sociologists have studied the ways primates learn. One of the studies included very young chimpanzees and children. The combined group was given a basic demonstration on how to open a device. Afterwards the chimps and children were given their own devices.

The chimps diligently tried to open the devices. They applied their proven skill of random experimentation. The children, on the other hand, applied what they had been shown and tried to open the device with that technique. The children were far more successful.

We, humans, learn through socializing. We observe others, collect those observations and store them away to use in the future. Chimps, on the other hand, attack each new task with vigor but with little application of what they have just observed in fellow chimps.

Negotiators need social skills to capitalize on the preliminary social interaction. Insights potentially useful in the actual negotiation are gathered and stored for future reference.

In today’s fast paced environment building a relationship is often neglected in the interest of saving time and getting to the point. This can be a costly mistake. Negotiators are humans and humans respond to the personalization of any situation. It is our nature as social beings.