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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Top 10 Negotiations of a New Manager

It's Not Just About Managing People
by Steven Brown

As a negotiation trainer I have found that people who are thrust into new positions have the most need for help. New relationships must be figured out, and in particular, determining the power dynamics. First time managers can easily identify that the people they manage require leadership and negotiation skills they must master.

There are peer groups and new expectations from management that can catch new managers by surprise. While I have seen a few managers lose their jobs due to their personnel management, the biggest challenges are often those from "above".

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows the 4 constituents a first time manager must negotiate with. Fortunately most new managers either lead teams or manage vendors or partners, but not both. Management, processes, peers, and organizations are certain to have expectations when stepping into a management position.

I recently conducted a survey of the "top 10 negotiations of a first time manager". The respondents were colleagues from my various educational, professional, and personal networks. I'm posting the results here to seek continued feedback and refine into a true top 10 list.
  1. Employee compensation packages, work hours, etc
  2. Employee annual objectives
  3. Personal compensation increases
  4. Mid-year benefit (eg - tuition/course, etc)
  5. Merit pay and spot-bonus for employee (negotiated with manager)
  6. Promoting employee rank amongst larger organization
  7. Vendor contracts, terms, pricing, including failure terms
  8. Project objectives, deliverables, timelines, resources, dependencies, etc
  9. Thrown into a vendor/partner negotiation mid-process
  10. Improving standards of performance for inherited team
Let me know if you agree, or have other suggestions!

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