Negotiation can be defined as a method by which people use to settle differences or get to a compromise. Negotiations are aimed at helping individuals get to an agreement without necessarily getting to arguments or disputes. Nonetheless, individuals aim to achieve the best possible outcome for themselves or for the party that they represent. During the negotiation process, principles of fairness, while individuals seek to maintain a mutual benefit and ensuring that the relationship is kept close is aspects that are important in getting to the outcome. Negotiations are aimed at creating a way of resolving differences or at the same time help parties gain an advantage for themselves or a collective group (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018).
Negotiations just like plain discussions are meant to satisfy various interests. Negotiations are made possible by individuals first putting their position forward and allowing other parties to partially or fully agree to the provisions of the position. Negotiations allow bargaining to take place and each party must be willing to compromise their position for negotiation to become possible. Individuals must commit themselves to the negotiation process if negotiation has to become successful. The degree of trust and the level of openness is a strong factor which usually comes into play when negotiations are brought into context. Negotiation is a wide activity that people engage in daily either knowingly or not since the human desire is always to get a deal or a position that favors them or works for them. Negotiations occur at all stages, and at all levels and thus it can be attributed to being a habit of human beings (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018).
The attitudes adopted by individuals are directly related to the outcomes of the negotiations, and this is an indication that the attitudes are crucial in the whole negotiation process. Attitudes during the negotiation process usually make it easy to convince the other person to see things from your side. Parties involved in negotiations tend to have a positive outlook when there is a nice attitude at play. The main aim of the attitude is to set a precedent on how the rest of the actions unfold. During the negotiation process, my attitude is usually to make haggling and negotiation fun (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). My approach on this is to make low offers while having smiles on my face and this makes it easy for the other party to agree to my terms. In preparation for the process, I prefer to set my mind in the right moods while at the same time ensuring that being sensitive enough.
Getting into the thought process is an important step in setting the right attitude while getting into negotiations (Pruitt & Lewis, 2015). The use of positive language for me makes it easy for individuals to understand what I am trying to present with my negotiations. My attitudes seek to avoid using linguistic language and negatives such as don’t and can’t. To understand the other party better, my attitude is usually to reframe the unhelpful comments that the other party might make and this makes it easy for us to come up with an agreement (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). My attitude us to always ensure that I can focus on the positive side while Eradicating negative thoughts during the negotiation process.
There are different approaches to negotiation with each approach being preferred because of the outcomes it brings to the negotiating parties.
The first approach is the distributive approach or the win-lose approach. The distributive approach is usually meant to let one individual win at the expense of the other individuals or parties. Distributive negotiation approaches are usually characterized by one side winning while the other side us losing, the presence of fixed resources in a way that ensures that whilst one party is gaining the other one is losing. There is no possibility of the two parties be gaining in equal measure (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). The interests of one party usually conflict with the conflicts of the other party. While negotiations are meant to benefit both parties, distributive negotiation is meant to look into the interests of one party while completely ignoring those of the others. Distributive negotiation is usually characterized by many instances of manipulation, forcing and withholding vital information.
The strategy involved seeks to conceal information, misleading the other party and using manipulative actions (Shapiro, 2015). These types of actions usually have negative implications on one party while benefiting the other one. The negotiator in this approach uses techniques like influencing the beliefs of the other person, learning as much as possible about the other person and try to convince the persons to change the mind. Negotiators also strive to promote their objectives as not only ethical and desirable but as inevitable and necessary and this in a way pushes the other party to consent or agree.
A lose-lose approach is usually a negotiation approach that aims to make the interests of the other party threatened simply because their interests are threatened. The overall aim is to ensure that neither if the two parties wins or walks out with a better deal. The greatest undoing of this approach is that both parties end up losing what was there to gain (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). Scenarios where the needs of one party are ignored usually lead to a lose-lose negotiation approach. Human beings are designed to want the best for themselves and test why they negotiate if negotiating does not make it better, they either withdraw from the process or make it difficult for the other party to gain from the negotiation (Shapiro, 2015). Since the needs of one party are usually overlooked, the need for making the other person lose their part of the deal outweighs the need to find an amicable solution to the problem at the negotiation table. The lose-lose approach not desired because of the outcomes and parties usually to avoid this approach by all costs and means.
The compromise approach tends to provide an outcome which is way better as compared to that which is presented by the losing- lose situation. To give up the lose-lose situation, the parties involved usually try to give up what they had initially sought, and a new deal or agreement is set up for grabs. In as much this approach is way better as compared to the lose-lose approach, individuals find it completely impossible to convince each other despite there being a bad deal initially (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). Situations must always be pushed beyond this stage because once they turn to the compromise situation full value is not realized with ease. The best situation is to avoid the lose-lose situation because it only gets to a compromise situation which is not anyway better. Value is an important aspect of negotiations, and it must be upheld at all times as it is the only thing that individuals have for themselves to lose or gain.
The last negotiation approach is the integrative approach or the win-win approach which aims to not only collaborate but also create value for the two negotiating parties. The approach is superior to all the other methods as it does not seek to offer any value to the weak party. The win-win negotiation approach aims to make that all parties achieve what they wanted without anyone being coerced to accept a raw deal. The integrative approach leads to satisfaction to both parties involved (Pruitt & Lewis, 2015). During a win-win negotiation approach, there is a sufficient amount of resources to share among all thd participating parties with no one being left behind. The sole aim in this negotiation approach is to ensure that all parties benefit maximum (Kochan & Lipsky, 2018). Strategies during this negotiation process include cooperation, providing and sharing information, and adopting mutual problem-solving techniques without any party get to g sidelined. During the last parts of the negotiation, individuals walk away with greater value than they initially had when they began the process. Since the integrative approach is the most preferred of the different approaches, it is important for individuals to understand guidelines that can help them become better negotiators.
First, it is important for individuals to orient themselves towards the win-win approach as this is the only way they can be able to approach it in a way that does not sideline the other parties. Planning and developing a concrete strategy is important as it helps to set out what is important, to who abd why. Knowing the best alternative to a negotiated alternative is an important step that negotiators must be able to understand at all times. Separating people from the problems at hand while focusing on interests and not positions is important as it helps the other person see the situation (Shapiro, 2015).
Create options for mutual gains while considering generating a variety of possibilities before one can decide what to do is a vital tool to strengthen the cause for negotiators. Negotiators must always aim for an outcome based on an objective way of seeing things. Experts in integrative negotiation understand that it is important to pay much attention to the flow of the negotiation. This not only makes it easy, but it also helps one avoid pitfalls during the negotiation process. Developing solid communication while taking the intangibles into account is an important aspect that negotiators must focus on if integrative negotiation has to make sense. Lastly, negotiators must consider using active listening skills, ask more questions and understand the other person point of view.
Personal and Professional Approaches
Negotiating at a personal level and a professional level usually involves different dynamics. The expected gain, value abd parties involved might be different this prompting the negotiation processes to be different in many ways. Although the universal aim is to get maximum value, personal negotiations are usually affected by personal dynamics while professional negotiations might involve outside dynamics. In the case of buying a car individuals might be biased with how much to pay, the car model, the type of car and how much they are to pay for the car. Since it is all dependent on their ability, they might decide to buy it or not. On the other hand, if sales executives are involved in the process, they might try to convince him, but the decision to buy is entirely personal. The decision on whether to buy a car or not is purely based on the ability of the person and not other complicated dynamics. In personal negotiations, individuals are not bound by standards unlike in professional negotiations. In professional negotiations especially those involving employers about salary increment, there usually a lot of dynamics involves and professional standards. Individuals must present value reasons as to why they deserve more and employers must be willing to say why they are not the best suited to give an increment. In case other professional organizations like trade unions are involved then they might affect the dynamic of the negotiations. In the event of personal negotiations, individuals are allowed to get to standards acceptable to themselves while a professional negotiation is tied to certain limits.
Enhancing Negotiation Strategies
Enhancing negotiation strategies is the only way to get maximum value out of the negotiating table. Improving this continually as it demands means individuals being able to adopt principles that will help them get maximum value without hurting the other party or undercharging them. Enhancing negotiation strategies is an important aspect for individuals willing to thrive in the world of business (Pruitt & Lewis, 2015). Learning and adopting values like patience, empathy, trust, and confidence is solid in developing further skills in negotiations. Personally, my focus would be in learning to be more emphatic despite being interested in making a valuable deal for myself.
Negotiations are undoubtedly a big part if our day to day lives. In as much as we are not able to recognize it in all aspects, it is clear that we cannot live without negotiations. Organizations, agencies, individuals all strive to have an uppercut in negotiations, and the only way to do this is by learning the art. Based on my understanding, a world where negotiations are embraced becomes more friendly; people understand each other and individuals can get value for things and deals. In one way or another, the world is all about how we strike the deal.
Kochan, T. A., & Lipsky, D. B. (Eds.). (2018). Negotiations and Change: From the workplace to society. Cornell University Press.
Pruitt, D. G., & Lewis, S. A. (2015). Development of integrative solutions in bilateral negotiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31(4), 621.
Shapiro, R. M. (2015). The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins-Especially You!. John Wiley & Sons.