The Art Of Negotiation Essay, Research Paper
The Art of Negotiation
Negotiation is a part of life for everyone. When people confer and discuss everyday problems, they are negotiating. This is a type of back and forth communication designed to achieve one’s goals. Even though we negotiate all the time few of us are very good at it, there are many things that we can learn by active listening and the body gestures that are expressed during the conversation. In negotiation there are different types of strategies and tactics that might be used as well as traits a negotiator might possess. In a successful negotiation both parties reach their goals, but more often than not one party will reach their goal while the other does not. By possessing the right qualities as a negotiator one can reach his or her goals easier.
There are different strategies that a negotiator can use to accomplish his or her goal. One strategy is to be a soft-negotiator. In this type of strategy he or she will avoid personal conflict and so makes concessions readily in order to reach agreement. This person will negotiate in a friendly manner, but often will end up feeling spiteful. This negotiator is loyal to the opposing party, and will more likely give in to the opposing party’s request. Another strategy is to be a hard-negotiator, someone who will fight at any cost to win. He or she finds any opportunity to express their opinion to the extreme, yelling if need be. This person will soon deplete his options and lose faith and trust from the opposing party. “The strategy of principled negotiation developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project is to decide issues on their merit rather than through a haggling process focused on what each side says it will and won’t do.” (Fisher 18) This method allows one to find a mutual gain among the conflicting interest. Among the strategies this one is the most effective because if the opposing party knows this is your strategy than its all the better.
Tactics can allow a negotiator to control and determine the outcome of a negotiation. Good tactical planning is having knowledge or previous experience with a certain situation. Different tactics like where one should meet, how should one start, how long should one pursue, and how much risk should be involved is all determined by the situation and ability of the negotiator. “Your BATNA-Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, is the standard against which any proposed agreement should be measured. Prepare all proposals to your BATNA to satisfy one’s interest.” (Fisher 100) As long as the BATNA is high than one can try new techniques further challenging the opponent’s interest. “Negotiation Maneuvers are tactics that a negotiator can use to better oneself in confrontation. They are: timing, inspection, association, authority, amount, brotherhood and detours.” (Karrass 172) These maneuvers are thoroughly discussed in Chester Karrass’s book The Negotiating Game. Various tactics and maneuvers will be used as the negotiator gains experience.
In every good negotiator there must be an inner desire to achieve. In order to achieve one’s goals one must obtain certain traits. A few traits that may help are planning, power exploitation, personal integrity, verbal clarity, clear thinking under stress, and the ability to gain the opponent’s respect. One question that comes to mind is “Could a man be effective if he were not knowledgeable but possessed other attributes?” (Karrass 232) A negotiator could survive, but how dependable could a person be if he were not knowledgeable about a given subject. Intelligence on the matter at hand is almost a must. Negotiating on a topic that one knows nothing about is like fishing without a hook. Rarely will he or she achieve their goals without knowledge of the subject. By possessing these traits it will allow one to access all of one’s negotiating potential.
Negotiation is a form of communication that has been used for thousands of years. This is a basic way of getting what you want from others. “The ideal negotiator should have a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty as well as the open-mindedness to test his own assumptions and the opponent’s intentions.” (Karass 37) To become a good negotiator one must be strong mentally and also have courage to learn from others. The better negotiator one becomes the more power they behold.