Sonja Rauschütz

According to Sonja Rauschütz from the Vienna School of Negotiation we tend to negotiate anytime and anywhere. Rauschütz has been working as a negotiation coach and negotiation companion – using the Harvard method – for many years.

What interests do women have? Negotiating – and money. At least, if the participants of our Forbes Women’s Summit are to be believed. Out of seven breakout sessions to a wide range of different topics – including “Networking”, “Leading”, “Coding”, Designing Teams” and “Recruiting & Hiring” – the two best-attended workshops were those on “Negotiating” and “Making Money”.

To take account of that interest, we organize a negotiating workshop in Vienna in cooperation with Sonja Rauschütz of the Vienna School of Negotiation – exclusively for women. Whether it’s for more money, the next promotion or enough funding for your own business idea: We provide you the tools to reach your goals.

Negotiating means means to know one’s own interests and being curious about the interests of the other person – assuming that you pursuit a long-term and fair result. That is at least the definition by Sonja Rauschütz for “negotiating”. As the founder of the Vienna School of Negotiation Rauschütz knows exactly what matters when it comes to negotiating. For example: Don’t be stressed. Two-third of the people show signs of physically noticeable symptoms of stress when they hear the word “negotiating”, Rauschütz quotes findings from a Harvard study. “I think, that’s because many people in the Western culture associate the word with a classic fight for positions, the bargaining. And in the West we are weak at bargaining.”

Rauschütz negotiates – along with other methods she has adopted over the years – according to the Harvard model of Roger Fisher, whose right-hand she had been for several years in her time at Harvard Law School. The legal scholar who died in 2012 led the Harvard Negotiation Project in 1980 and co-authored the standard work on targeted negotiations “Getting to Yes”. Fisher not only worked at the university, he also travelled around the world – his work spectrum ranged from peace to commercial negotiations who was also accompanied by Sonja Rauschütz in the late 1990s.

Many people enter into negotiations with pre-set positions and arguments, which Rauschütz rather advises against. “When I drop my position right at the beginning, I haven’t heard nor seen anything yet, but I determined my position. This often leads to the point where people end up walling up each other with arguments without convincing one another.” According to the expert, one must always keep something open. The professional has mastered five styles of negotiating: avoiding, enforcing, yielding, the compromise and the win-win situation. Negotiation shouldn’t be defined as work, the opponent shouldn’t be seen as an “enemy”. Professional negotiators not only enjoy negotiating, they also enjoy the company of the people they are with, according to Rauschütz. And: Negotiating is learnable – and definitely not rocket science.

The article was featured in our may issue 2019 "Europe".

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