What exactly are Negotiations

on Wednesday, 18 June 2014. Posted in General

Negotiations can be tough, they can be complex processes, especially for those without the appropriate skill sets. But what exactly is a negotiation? Well it is defined as "Any communication between two or more persons with an intention to influence or persuade." Or as is easier to say, "it is the art of letting the other side have YOUR way."

Or as is easier to say, "it is the art of letting the other side have YOUR way." Negotiation is a crucial skill in business and management, and we all do it every day. We negotiate everyday in life with family and friends, in law and business, political life. More obviously we negotiate in Deal Making, Conflict Resolution and Problem Solving. 


Problems associated with Negotiations

If they are not approached in the right manner, negotiations often fail, deals are not made, disputes grow and relationships become damaged. This is because most people approach negotiations in the wrong way, they lack preparation, are unaware of how their behaviour affects the other party, and they view negotiation as purely distributive, a zero sum game, where one side wins, one side must lose.

Negotiate effectively to get Good Results

Despite what most people think there are volumes of theory about negotiations, the skills can be taught and we don't just learn through practice.The key is to know what is a good result and then to know how to get it. So a good result must be better than your BATNA, meet your interests well, be the best of many options, be objectively measured, based on clear communication, improves or doesn't harm relationships and gives firm commitments.

It's all about the process, there are some basic elements to the process and each needs to be done separately and effectively. In preparing for any negotiation these seven elements take time and effort but they deliver Increased Value. Increased value is reaching the best deal possible from the options, which makes both parties better off, or at least one better off without making the other worse off. It means there's an increased chance of selling the deal to each party or who they represent. There are many ways to increase value but the key is in preparing, sharing interests and exploring all options openly. The differences between the parties, when understood provides a good source for value adding. I've written before about expanding the pie, that's what adding value is all about. A much bigger pie that benefits all parties is far easier to split than a small pie where two sides squabble over one issue, the money issue.

Do you need help with negotiations?

If you need training on negotiations skills or a consultant to help you through a difficult negotiation then contact us today. We offer group training courses, these can be tailored to individual companies, political, or community groups. We also offer individual negotiations support tailored to your needs.

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