Roland Gombas is the Country and Pharma CFO in the Netherlands for Novartis. He studied on the 5 day intensive Negotiation course.
Taking negotiating to the next level
I came to the Negotiation course at LSE with many years of experience under my belt, but some new challenges on the horizon.
Within my organisation as we move forward, the nature of our negotiations with different stakeholders and groups is set to become increasingly complex, so I was looking for a learning experience that would give me the inside track on the very latest thinking in negotiation – but that would also push and challenge me to develop my own hands-on negotiating capabilities, and take them to the next level.
I was drawn to this particular programme for a combination of reasons. Firstly, the five-day format appealed to me. Over a full working week you have a real opportunity to the immerse yourself in the learning, and negotiation is something you really have to experience if you want to build the right skills. Then there was the reputation of the school itself. I felt – and rightly so – that the calibre of LSE faculty would not only make the learning experience first-class, but that it would also attract the kind of international talent that I wanted to share the experience with and learn alongside.
The programme absolutely exceeded my expectations. The LSE professors were highly experienced and highly expert not only at delivering a deep understanding of the latest thinking on negotiation and research highlights, but at giving us an experiential understanding of the dynamics involved. We spent a lot of time in class simulations that really brought the learning into the moment: the emotions you experience, the time pressure and the adrenalin are not things that you can fully learn from a text book. And this is exactly the kind of learning experience that I was looking for – experiencing the heat of the moment, managing emotional response to achieve objectives, building a different, embedded level of understanding and taking the time to reflect and learn from the experience. It was expertly delivered in a way that reallyt brought the theory to life.
The impact of the programme on my day-to-day life has been significant. I am much more aware of the dynamics within my own team and other groups, and I have a far greater understanding of the different interests and the position of different stakeholders when we meet to negotiate. I’d say I also have a heightened sensitivity to the cultural differences that can shape group dynamics also.
I think one of the really great aspects of the programme is that the learning is so deeply embedded you can remember it all with real clarity – you can recall it when you need it. Where I might have gone into negotiations with groups more trenchantly in the past, I now always take the time to understand, to do my research, to think deeply my interest and other parties’ interest, and to map out the best strategy. As a result, I am better at preparing, aligning and leading my team across complex negotiations.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the LSE Negotiation course to anyone looking for a rich, energising and fufilling learning experience.