Brexit: The Soft Skills you Would Need to Negotiate your own Deal
It is reportedly ‘a key moment in Brexit negotiations’ which would suggest that an agreement between the UK and the EU could be finalised any day now. Yet it appears that any solution could also be far from being on the horizon and those optimistic for a decision to be made soon will likely have to continue to be patient.
Awaiting an agreement has likely caused a number of us to think: “If I just got on and did this myself this would all be over in time for tea!”’
Let’s imagine you did. Of course, it would require some specific hard skills such as an education in Politics, International Affairs and maybe Finance. But let’s discuss the Soft Skills you would need if you were to step in and negotiate your Brexit deal before the UK says see EU later.
No matter which side of the Brexit coin you agree with, if you are going to negotiate your terms you are going to have to effectively communicate your position.
In his eBook Soft Skills, Bookboon Author Manmohan Joshi refers to the Three Key Elements of Communication:
You: You will need to bring your strengths, experience, and opinions to the table.
Your Audience: Communicating your position will require distinguishing who you are speaking to, how they like to consume information and how to best address them.
Your Message: Determining what you want to say is crucial but communicating your message effectively is just as important. The Key Characteristics of Effective Communication are quite simple; Ensure your message is Clear, Complete and Correct.
Now that you have a clear message and you have identified your audience, the next step is persuading that audience that your side of the Brexit debate is the one to jump on board with. In order to do so, you will need the Soft Skills of a dynamic leader. Leadership is related to motivation and the process of communication through which a person influences the behaviour of other people. Joshi writes that a good leader inspires, explains and influences long-term changes in attitude.
Problems and Politics go hand in hand. Every leader, no matter how strong, will inevitably run into problems. Problem-solving is one of the most widely sought-after soft skills. Whether it be issues involving your team, your opposition or agreeing on the terms of a deal, problematic situations are unavoidable.
Joshi tells us that problem solving can be broken down into five steps. Successful problem solvers must:
- Identify the problem
- Define the problem
- Examine the options
- Act on a plan
- Look at the consequences
Decisions, decisions. It has been said that decision is the ultimate power and for any Brexit negotiator, good decision-making will be a fundamental Soft Skill.
As much as it doesn’t appear we are close to a Brexit agreement yet, we likely won’t be in suspense forever. Utilising your decision-making skills will be essential to your successful Brexit negotiation.
According to Joshi the role of the decision-maker is concerned with three main classes of decision:
- Decisions regarding the allocation of available resources
- Decisions regarding the direction to pursue; and
- Decisions relating to monitoring or checking.
Next, Joshi tells us that before deciding upon the best solution one must consider the following:
Risk: Examine the risk involved in making a particular decision. In order to minimize the risk factor, they must consider the possible consequences of a decision.
Economy of Effort: Sustained effort and avoidance of frequent changes of plans go a long way in making a suitable decision. In short, make a decision you’re going to stick with.
Timing: Any decision has to be timed well. Making a rash decision may prove to be damaging, however, procrastination also does not contribute to effective decision making either.
There you have it! With these soft skills under your belt, you should be well equipped to win your side of the Brexit negotiations. Now, if only those in charge would give Manmohan Joshi’s Soft Skills a read and become as soft-skills-savvy as you are now.
PS: Neither Bookboon nor any of its authors want to express any political opinion with this article – we just believe soft skills are at the heart of any negotiation process!