Conducting EA Negotiations: How to Communicate, Influence and Adapt at the Bargaining Table

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A 1-day practical focus on ‘what actually happens at the bargaining table’. Gives in-depth understanding of verbal and non-verbal communication, and how one can influence the thinking of the other party. The emphasis of this workshop is primarily on behaviour and communications.   Suitable for all levels of management designated to be at the bargaining table, especially those who have previously completed our EA Negotiations:  The Essential Steps for Business Professionals workshop.  Also for persons who have previously been involved in EA negotiations and felt uncomfortable and out-of-their-depth.      

This 1-day workshop covers:

  • Understanding and learning how and when to communicate at the bargaining table
  • How best to deal with difficult people who make absurd claims at the bargaining table
  • Practical communication techniques for dealing with abusive and chaotic behaviour at the bargaining table
  • Tools for influencing the other parties thinking and getting your claims accepted at the bargaining table
  • The confidence to be able to handle most situations faced by management at the bargaining table
  • Solid mental preparation and the ability to adapt and stay calm during the exchanges at the bargaining table


Negotiating Behaviours

  • The pros and cons of each of the four negotiating styles and how each can impact on negotiation discussions
  • How to determine your own dominant negotiating style and how this changes when under pressure
  • How and when to change your behavioural style during negotiations to gain leverage
  • Tuning into your opponents negotiating style and be able to respond to this in a manner which creates a climate for agreement
  • Verbal and non-verbal messaging: How to use this to ensure the correct messages are getting through
  • Understanding the different union approaches to negotiation: How best to respond to this in a constructive way

An organisation's Lead Negotiator

  • Understanding the special skills required to be successful in EA / Union negotiations
  • What is a structured yet flexible approach?
  • The ability and wisdom to be able to manage internal and external side-shows and different interest groups
  • How to lead and how to communicate when faced with disagreement and opposition


  • Recognising the main types used by unions during negotiations and how to respond in a way that does not de-rail the discussion
  • How to move away from positional game-playing, towards the real business issues faced by employers and employees


  • When and how to work with union negotiators to achieve acceptable outcomes
  • Reacting to signals experienced union negotiators send when seeking agreement on a topic
  • The different techniques and methods for dealing with difficult or unreasonable negotiators
  • The challenge when dealing with inexperienced or incompetent negotiators at the bargaining table

Please note, the workshop program may be subject to minor content and session order changes. 

At the end of this one-day session you will

  • Be a confident and more relaxed, all round negotiator and communicator
  • Be able to handle difficult individuals at the bargaining table
  • Adapt and stay in control of the verbal exchanges at the bargaining table
  • Know how, when and when not to respond to union tactics
  • Be an empowered negotiator, with a clear appreciation of what happens at the bargaining table 

Who should attend?

  • All managers who are directly involved in discussions at the bargaining table.  This can include HR, Operations, Service Managers and IR/ER specialists
  • Newly appointed or recently promoted persons, nominated to lead or actively participate in upcoming EA negotiations
  • Operations & Line persons managing groups of people in highly unionised organisations, with a history of difficult and/or drawn out EA negotiations
  • Senior Executives or Business owners managing unionised businesses 

Can’t see what you want? Contact the team to discuss a fully-customised in-house training option.