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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Moving Mountains: Negotiating and Influencing Skills


Our roles within the organisation require us to influence others just about all the time, whether this is to gain support about our ideas or suggestions, to inspire others or to persuade them to follow a particular course of action. When influencing others we are engaged in communicating our thoughts and feelings. Successful influencing is about understanding yourself and the effect or impact that you have on others and about changing how other people perceive you.

This workshop enables participants to learn and practice a number of behavioural skills that lie at the heart of successful influencing.


By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Develop strategies to gain win:win agreement
  • Employ a range of approaches to influencing others
  • Make powerful assertive statements
  • Develop productive long-term relationships
  • Use a narrative approach to understand and solve interpersonal difficulties


  • Negotiating: what goes wrong...
  • Win:win agreements - the theory and practice
  • Push and pull: the behaviours of influential people
  • Skills practice and feedback
  • Strategies for influence
  • A Narrative Approach to understanding and resolving differences
  • Co-coaching to develop action and application plans


  • Participants will be better able to plan for and conduct negotiations
  • Will be more confident and more effective when seeking to influence others
  • Will draw on a wider repertoire of skills, and have more strategies for addressing resistance when introducing change


We draw strongly on research-based approaches to influencing (Push & Pull styles and Cialdini) and negotiating (Harvard’s Principled Negotiation) in this workshop, adapted through experience to the academic environment and culture. We also include an introduction to narrative approaches to resolving interpersonal difficulties. As with any behavioural skill, guided practice with good feedback is a key part of the learning process. The programme will feature a mix of tutor input and discussion, case studies, self-evaluation, practice sessions with colleagues, giving and receiving feedback, and co-coaching.

Who is the course suitable for?

This course is suitable for all those who need to get things done and influence others in situations where they do not have, or do not wish to exercise, direct authority.

Which of the ‘Realising Your Potential Approach’ Behaviours are supported by this course

This workshop will generally help indirectly with most of the Realising Your Potential Behaviours but specifically connects to:

Achieving Results

  • By developing the ability to negotiate win:win agreements that meet both personal and organisational needs

Using Resources Effectively

  • By being perceptive in identifying the information and knowledge or other resources people may need during the negotiation process to meet objectives
  • By identifying ways in which resources can be used flexibly and imaginatively for the benefit of the whole University within agreed limits

Respecting Others

  • By gaining an understanding that respect for others is at the heart of both the influencing and negotiating approaches explored on this workshop

Providing Excellent Student Services and Professional Support

  • By effective development of confident influencing and negotiating skills will assist growth of long term positive working relationships

Finding Solutions

  • By learning how to use effective negotiating techniques to produce win:win solutions

Working Together

  • By understanding and utilizing the influencing and negotiating approaches explored on the workshops to help people work together more productively


Full Day – Lunch Provided