Effective Education Leaders are Accomplished Mediators and Negotiators
Education leaders know how to get what they want and can be extremely convincing. They accomplish this by tapping into the desires of others and building a sense of trust with people and facilitating a fair agreement. From settling differences to overseeing a massive deal, education leaders should be practical, fair, and firm in their negotiations.
Think Win-Win, not Win-Lose
Of course, this may seem a little counterintuitive, as many of us were taught that the purpose of negotiations was to arrange the most favorable terms for you and your company. As a result, you emerge as the winner, and the other party ended up being the loser. However, this does not have to be the case. You should negotiate in a way that everyone walks away feeling good about the terms of the agreement. In a sense, you create a win-win scenario.
When mediating disputes, you follow a similar strategy, except you have to remain impartial while creating a win-win scenario for each party. Any substantial connection with either party should be disclosed. If you feel that you are too close to the situation, you can always recuse yourself and ask a colleague to become the mediator.
Education leaders understand that establishing a fair agreement is the mark of an ethical leader. They work hard to treat others the way that they would like to be treated and thus approach negotiations and mediations with empathy and sympathy. In the end, they develop a reputation for being fair, honest, and trustworthy, and people enter into negotiations with them in good faith, just based on their reputation.
If you learn anything from reading this article, let it be that creating win-win scenarios should be the goal of mediations and negotiations. Why? Because in education leadership, we are all trying to help students maximize their potential and go on to live productive lives. When we play hardball with other organizations within the education space, we may win, but we also decrease another organization’s ability to fulfill its mission.