Negotiating Lessons From The Rugby World Cup

No matter how many times I’ve seen it before, watching the New Zealand All Blacks perform the Haka still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. There is something mesmerising about this powerful display of confidence, energy and teamwork – qualities that are just as important in the workplace as they are on the rugby pitch.

So, based on my years of training and coaching clients to become commercial athletes, here are the lessons in negotiation we can learn from the Rugby World Cup.

Adopt A Winning And Confident Mindset

As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right”. Whatever your field of excellence, a winning mindset is crucial to success. The Haka is so effective because it focuses the team prior to the match – boosting their energy levels and confidence. Now I’m not suggesting you should do a war cry outside the meeting room, but before any negotiations always take the time to prepare mentally by focusing on what you are good at and why you should be on the front foot.


Stay Ambitious

To be a world class rugby player you need to have ambition and resilience and being a commercial athlete in negotiation is no different. Always set your sights high and be ambitious throughout the negotiations; at the start, in you win zone and when you close the deal. Raising the bar will help you up your performance so you can achieve even greater commercial success.


Work As A Team

The Rugby World Club is a fantastic celebration of teams working together to achieve sporting excellence in a high-pressured environment. Just as rugby teams need to be united to achieve success, it’s essential that corporate teams are aligned during negotiations. Always prepare ahead and give everyone clear roles so you can support one another throughout the negotiation process.


Practise And Then Practise Some More

As any rugby player knows, excelling at sport takes an enormous amount of practice. It’s the same when you are developing new negotiating skills – it takes hard work and commitment to be the best that you can be. So take any opportunity – either big or small, externally or internally – to put your negotiation skills to the test. I’m a great believer that practice really does make perfect.


If you’d like help developing your negotiation skills, we are offering a one day Master Negotiator Open Workshop on Tuesday 20th October 2015. Book your place today.

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