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The Art of Negotiation Book Synopsis

As the PT Business Corner job acquisition series continues this week, we are going to review a book that should be a cornerstone of any job seekers arsenal. The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World by Michael Wheeler provides a step-by-step approach that readers can use to obtain their goals. Negotiation is a common skill that is used on a day to day basis unbeknownst to many. Unfortunately, individuals tend to view it as a debate or an argument whereas Wheeler suggests that negotiation is more of an art form like beautiful music.

Let’s see if we can apply some of Wheelers findings:

1. Planning is Paramount

As with all major goals in life, prior to beginning you need to have a clearly defined outcome and some intermediate targets to be achieved. In physiotherapy negotiations, your overarching goal may be to increase your overall fee split percentage. However, it is important to have a backup plan in place, in case your negotiations don’t pan out as you expected. In this case, you may be able to obtain added healthcare benefits or an increased educational allowance, which can serve as intermediate goals. Having a plan allows you to have confidence in your targets and provides concrete objectives, which in turn help to ensure your success.

2. Improvisation is a Must

As a physiotherapist in a busy setting, you will often be required to improvise on a daily basis when juggling your patients and other obligations. Learning the skill of improvisation will allow you to think clearly and quickly, two valuable components of any negotiation. Wheeler advises readers to think of themselves as actors. When an actor misquotes their line during a play, the other actors stay relaxed under pressure and seamlessly continue. Similarly, if an employer proposes an offer, do not simply respond with “no,” unless what they have offered is not remotely in line with your goals. Instead, tell them that you will take some time to consider and then you’re able to mentally reset and provide a counter-offer if able. A simple moment of panic and hesitation can be enough to offset weeks’ worth of negotiations.

Overall, Wheeler highlights that negotiating is a skill that can be learned with time, effort and of course, studying. No two negotiations will be the same, however treating the interaction as a conversation rather than an argument or debate will relieve some of the associated stress. We hope you’re able to use some of these negotiating tips to help you land your dream job, happy job hunting!


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