‘Ghanaian leaders lack 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.

He said government and businesses signed away many rights of the people because they always looked 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 seminar on “negotiation” for members of the Tema Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) in Tema.

According Prof. Aheto, most projects and businesses failed due to poor negotiations, and urged 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,” he said.

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

He said “Right from the supplier to the banker, we need to negotiate for better deals. Most often we beg or at best we persuade.”

Mr. Barry urged 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, they will pick up deposits needed for on lending activities”‘, he said.  – GNA

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