Negotiating issues at work

One can be more effective at negotiating if he uses the following five recommended behaviors in his work environment.

Begin with a positive overture:

Studies on negotiation show that concessions tend to be reciprocated and lead to agreements. As a result, begin bargaining with a positive overture perhaps a small concession and then reciprocate the other party’s concessions.

Address problems and not personalities:

Concentrate on the negotiation issues, not on the personal characteristics of the individual with whom you’re negotiating. When negotiations get tough, avoid the tendency to attack this person. Remember it’s that person’s ideas or position that you disagree with, not him or her personally. Separate the people from the problem, and don’t personalize differences.

Pay little attention to initial offers: Treat an initial offer as merely a point of departure. Everyone must have an initial position. These initial offers tend to be extreme and idealistic. Treat them as such.

Emphasize win-win solutions:

Inexperienced negotiators often assume that their gain must come at the expense of the other party. That needn’t be the case. There are often win-win solutions. But assuming a zero-sum game means missed opportunities for trade-offs that could benefit both sides. So if conditions are supportive, look for an integrative solution. Frame options in terms of the other party’s interest and look for solutions that can allow this person, as well as yourself, to declare a victory.

Create an open and trusting climate:

Skilled negotiators are better listeners, ask more questions, focus their arguments more directly, are less defensive, and have learned to avoid words or phrases that can irritate the person with whom they’re negotiating (such as “generous offer,� “fair price,� or “reasonable arrangement�) In other words, they’re better at creating the open and trusting climate that is necessary for reaching a win-win settlement.

In this context of negotiation here it does not necessarily mean for procurement or selling. It may be connected with intra organization

and inter-organization issues or even with government. An executive needs to learn the skills of negotiation to create a win-win situation in any issue and not leading the negotiations to a breaking point of no return on some artificial prestige. Even after the best efforts from both the sides there is a disagreement on both the sides the executive or leader must take initiative to keep issue in such a position that it can be resolved in future under changed circumstances.