Ghana Has Lost A Lot Due To Poor Negotiation Skills

Professor John Aheto, a business development consultant, has bemoaned poor negotiation skills among the country's political and business leaders resulting in poor loan and project agreements and a stifled business environment.

According to him, government and businesses sign away many rights of the people because they always look desperate and ill informed at the negotiation table.

Prof Aheto, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said negotiation is not an act or art of begging as viewed by many Ghanaians.

He had held a serminar on "negotiation" for members of the Tema Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tema.

According to him, most projects and businesses fail due to poor negotiations and called for a conscious effort to train political leaders and managers of businesses in the art of negotiations.

"One mistake most businesses commit is how they approach the banks for loans. Their very demeanour gives them away as desperate and ill informed. They start begging even before the terms of the loan are spelt out."

Mr Yusif Barry, Chairman, TCCI, said the members needed to be taught the strategies of negotiations because its implications on businesses are crucial.

"Poor negotiation skills are like a disease plaguing a lot of businesses and families. It closes the mind to fairness and opportunity.Rights become favours."

According to him, "Right from the supplier to the banker, we need to negotiate for better deals. Most often we beg or at best we persuade."

He called on banks to be sensitive to the needs and aspirations of businesses by offering good customer service,well tailored loan packages and facilitate networking among clients.

"It is in the interest of the banks to support the growth and stability of the business environment because at the end of the day, the will pick up deposits needed for on lending activities"', he said.