The important distinction between a negotiation and an argument is a successful negotiation should end with mutual agreement. By the end, both party’s relationships should not be severed or damaged in anyway. Efficiency is also very important because no one wants to feel like he or she is wasting his or her time. The longer a negotiation lasts the more of a risk a person will lock in to a position. With any negotiation, the positions will flex and change as the sides reach a compromise. The more a position is set and focused on the less attention will go to the real concerns. There is such a thing as being too aggressive or too friendly when focusing on the position. An even bigger problem occurs when one side is softer than the other side. If a person is too willing to compromise and wants to avoid any disagreement then that person will not come out satisfied.
There is a way to avoid taking a hard or soft approach on positional bargaining called principled negotiation. The Harvard Negotiation Project first thought up this method. It can be broken down into four sections: separate the people from the problem, focus on interests, not positions, invent options for mutual gain, and insist on using objective criteria. Getting the person away from the problem is an important first step because if the negotiation is not focusing on the problem then attacks on a person can happen, which could ruin the relationship. The interests are what are crucial because that is what is at the core of someone’s position. The position is the easy part to focus on but when looking at the interests of both groups there is a higher chance of mutual satisfaction. A third way to help a common gain is to create interests that both...
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...o gain an advantage, the best defense is to be prepared enough to notice deception or false statements. Sometimes mentioning what they are doing matter-of-factly can quickly dissolve this.
The book “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” presents many great ways to leave a negotiation satisfied. There are three points that it ends on: you knew it all the time, learn from doing, and winning. Most of the stuff in this book can seem like common sense, but being mentioned in an analytical way this book helps show what strategies worked and why. With any great skill, the only way to master the craft is to keep practicing. With each new negotiation, a person should think about these skills so it becomes second nature. It is important to remember with negotiation that sometimes what a side is trying to win is a better way to negotiate.
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