Negotiating Skills: Building Win-Win Solutions
Although people often think of boardrooms, suits, and million dollar deals when they hear the word “negotiation,” the truth is that we negotiate all the time. For example, have you ever:
· Decided where to eat with a group of friends?
· Decided on chore assignments with your family?
· Asked your boss for a raise?
These are all situations that involve negotiating! This book will give you an understanding of the phases of negotiation, tools to use during a negotiation, and ways to build win-win solutions for all those involved.
To help you decide if this is the right book for you we have provided the table of contents followed by a short preview/passage from the book.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at two basic types of negotiation. We’ll consider the three phases of negotiation and the skills you need to become an effective negotiator.
The two basic types of negotiations require different approaches.
· Integrative negotiations are based on cooperation. Both parties believe they can walk away with something they want without giving up something important. The dominant approach in integrative negotiations is problem solving. Integrative negotiations involve:
· Multiple issues. This allows each party to make concessions on less important issues in return for concessions from the other party on more important issues.
· Information sharing. This is an essential part of problem solving.
· Bridge building. The success of integrative negotiations depends on a spirit of trust and cooperation.
· Distributive negotiations involve a fixed pie. There is only so much to go around and each party wants as big a slice as possible. An example of a distributive negotiation is haggling over the price of a car with a car salesman. In this type of negotiation, the parties are less interested in forming a relationship or creating a positive impression. Distributive relationships involve:
· Keeping information confidential. For example, you don’t want a car salesman to know how badly you need a new car or how much you are willing to pay.
· Trying to extract information from the other party. In a negotiation, knowledge truly is power. The more you know about the other party’s situation, the stronger your bargaining position is.
· Letting the other party make the first offer. It might be just what you were planning to offer yourself!
The three phases of a negotiation are:
· Exchanging Information
These phases describe the negotiation process itself. Before the process begins, both parties need to prepare for the negotiation. This involves establishing their bargaining position by defining their BATNA, WATNA, and WAP (see Module Three). It also involves gathering information about the issues to be addressed in the negotiation.
After the negotiation, both parties should work to restore relationships that may have been frayed by the negotiation process.
It is essential to pay attention to all the phases of negotiation. Without the first phase, the exchange of information, and the establishment of bargaining positions, the second phase cannot happen in any meaningful sense because no one knows where they stand. It sets a scene for demands to be manageable and reasonable. Negotiations are, after all, about the art of the possible. Without the third phase, anything that has been decided during phase two cannot be formalized and will not take hold – leading to the necessity for further negotiation or an absolute breakdown in a relationship.