We're The World's Leader For Results-Driven, Highly Customized Negotiation Training.
Common Ground Seminars, Inc. is a consortium of organizations and individuals with an expertise in the fields of negotiation and conflict resolution. We focus on one goal: giving our clients the skills they need to make rewarding and profitable agreements with their customers, employees, vendors, partners, unions, regulators, colleagues, and countless others. Our clients rely on us for practical, no-nonsense, cost-effective solutions.
The Secret of Our Success?
Our negotiating programs are popular because they work! Our clients negotiate significantly better immediately after attending our sessions. And, when something works, the word gets around. Our clients are our best salespeople.
Why You Need Us.
It's not just your imagination–things really are getting tougher. It's harder than ever to manage a business, make a profit, or run a government. And the tougher things get, the more important good negotiating becomes. Today, the average net after-tax profit margin of the S&P 500 companies is a razor-thin 4 percent. Margins of 10 to 20 percent and more used to be typical; only grocery chains and a few other high-volume businesses had 4 percent margins.
Margins have been steadily shrinking for the past half-century, and the global economic landscape has likely changed forever. We all share a future of constrained resources and low profit margins, where ever smaller advantages will determine who succeeds and who doesn't. This is a future where better negotiating makes all the difference.
The Principles That Guide Us
Effectiveness and Practicality
While Common Ground has come a long way from its early years, our original mandate "Just tell me what really works!" still guides us today. Every program, product and service we offer passes through the same, simple filter: Does it work, consistently and reliably, under real-world conditions?
Win-Win Profitable Outcomes
We believe that everyone's best interest is served by win-win solutions that maximize the gain of all parties. Today's problems are too complex and interconnected to be settled on an adversarial basis. We no longer have the resources or recuperative power for the wasteful and prolonged conflicts of the past.
Affordable Programs That Get Immediate Results
Because our instructors have negotiating careers outside of Common Ground, we're able to keep our full-time staff to a minimum. We don't advertise; we don't have to. Referrals provide us an average 50 percent annual growth rate. This allows us to keep our prices low—far lower than our major competitors, and so low that our clients find it's not cost-effective to develop their own negotiation training programs.
We guarantee you'll recover the cost of a Common Ground In-House Session through more effective negotiating within two weeks of the training or we'll refund your money.
The World's Negotiating Coach
Jim is a negotiator, attorney and stand-up comedian.
A day with Jim is an unforgettable event!
From its first day in business, Common Ground has been privileged to be associated with Jim Thomas, "The World's Negotiating Coach." Jim is Director Emeritus of Common Ground, and our advisor, counselor, teacher, mentor and guide. Negotiation has been the focus of Jim's law practice for the past 30 years.
Jim is the top choice of U.S. presidents and their staffs for negotiating coaching and advice. When Fortune 100 companies demand their people learn negotiation skills from only the best, they pick Jim. His presentations on negotiating have been enthusiastically received by tens of thousands in the U.S and around the world.
Before Jim started Common Ground, he founded The Cooper Management Institute in 1983. Jim's experience includes mergers and acquisitions, domestic and international business transactions, U.S. and international arms control, the environment, trade and diplomacy, real estate, labor relations, and a host of other fields. Jim served the U.S. in the successful Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) negotiations with the former Soviet Union and GATT (now WTO) trade negotiations.
In 1977, Jim wrote and presented a pre-negotiation briefing for a client that dramatically improved attendees' negotiating skills. He expanded this material into a workshop, and in 1982 offered it to the general public. The descendants of Jim's original workshop are among the leading negotiation programs in the world and recipients of numerous awards for excellence.
Jim's current negotiating projects include some of today's most newsworthy domestic and international issues. His presentation style is frequently described as a combination of negotiator, lawyer, and stand-up comedian.
"If I can make people laugh, I can make them learn," says Jim. "While negotiating is an essential skill for success, it's not easy to do. In fact, it's the only skill I know that can be technically and emotionally demanding at the same time."
Jim's energy and confidence reaches even the most distant, resistant participant. He provides each attendee a strong, personal sense of calling, responsibility, and empowerment. His success can be seen in the towering marks his attendees give him.
"My job is to create a spellbinding event that is so much fun that attendees can't help but learn!"
Jim is the author of the best-selling business book NEGOTIATE to WIN
and scores of articles about negotiating. He is a frequent guest on national and international television and radio, and is a popular speaker and trainer for corporate, government, trade and professional groups. Jim is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (magna cum laude) and The Georgetown University Law Center. For more information about Jim Thomas, please visit: http://www.jimthomas.info
Unlike Other Negotiation Training Companies Common Ground's Faculty Members Are Experts Who Negotiate For a Living.
If one principle defines Common Ground, it's our rule that all programs must be taught by negotiators who happen to be trainers. We owe much of our success to our extraordinary international team of instructors. Each member of Common Ground's global network of program leaders is a distinguished negotiator with an active, full-time negotiating practice.
Our internationally recognized experts are frequently seen on news programs and talk shows, and quoted in national news magazines, newspapers, and journals. Our network of instructors have broad experience in mediation, arbitration, and other forms of international dispute resolution.
Some of our instructors have participated in GATT, WTO, INF, and MBFR negotiations. Others have represented or assisted the U.S. government in diplomatic, trade, and arms control negotiations. Still others are "area specialists" with particular expertise in specific areas of the economy. All are exceptional teachers with considerable training experience and first-rate platform skills.
Because our instructors negotiate for a living, you'll get the answers you need from experts who deal with negotiation issues every day. The instructor for your program will be selected on the basis of your requirements, schedule, and preference. If your selected instructor is unavailable, we'll provide a substitute instructor with comparable skills, experience, and background.
When you're good the word gets around!
More than 1,000 of the most successful organizations throughout the world enjoy the tangible, benefits of Common Ground programs. Our client partners are a virtual "Who's Who" of business, industry, government and Fortune 500 companies.
American Electric Power
Assoc. University Tech Managers
Bank of the West
Binney & Smith
Biogen Idec Inc.
Black & Decker
Central Pacific Bank
Computer Sciences Corporation
Foth & Van Dyke
Johnson & Johnson
LSU Banking School
Nat. Conservation League
Nat. Railway Labor Conference
National Speakers Bureau
Pacific Coast Banking School
Pratt & Whitney
San Juan Citizen's Assoc.
Sprague Pest Solutions
Tenaska Marketing Ventures
The World Bank
Thermo Fisher Scientific
TREC-Training Resources for the Environmental Community
Utah Bankers Association
Washington Bankers Association
Wells Fargo Bank
Young President's Organization
--and hundreds more*
We've limited this list out of respect for our clients' wishes about the use of their names in marketing literature. However, if you'd like specific referrals to satisfied clients in virtually any business, professional, trade, or governmental area, please give us a call. The Common Ground team's track record of thousands of successful programs delivered to loyal business, industry, and government clients assures you of an outstanding event.