Common elements in Negotiating

Everyone negotiates, be it a householder trying to get a reduction in the estimate for electrical repairs, or a manager bargaining the terms of the union’s demands. The nature of the negotiation may differ nevertheless there are some common elements in negotiation. These are:

Negotiation must involve two or more parties. It is not possible for anyone to negotiate in isolation. To achieve the outcome desired, the involvement of all the parties is necessary. The negotiation ceases if a party finds any problem in accepting the other party’s position.

At the start, the parties involved in negotiations start with different interests and objectives. It is the process of negotiation which leads them to the joint settlement of disputes and differences.

Negotiation is considered the most acceptable process for resolution of disputes and difference. The matter can be resolved by other methods like coercion, arbitration or by legal action. However, these alternatives are usually seen only as options if the negotiations fail.

There is no situation like a party’s position being wholly unchangeable. Each party in negotiation must consider that there is some possibility of persuading the other to modify their initial position.

Each party must retain the hope that an outcome is possible in the negotiation. Without this hope, the negotiation becomes meaningless.

Each party must have some degree of power to influence the acts of others. If one party were entirely powerless, there will be no purpose in the other resorting to negotiation process.

Hence with this background, negotiation can be defined as a process of interaction, by which two or more parties who needed to be jointly involved in an outcome, but who initially have different objectives, seek by the use of argument and persuasion, to resolve their differences in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution.

Process of Negotiation:

Negotiation: It is the process of interaction by which two or more parties seek to resolve their differences through persuasion and argument to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

In negotiating, knowledge is power. Thorough preparation is essential to give you this power, but it is also essential for you to be able to demonstrate to your colleagues, why your preferred route is the most appropriate and why your selection of the person or people to do the negotiating is correct. Preparation covers the following main areas in negotiation. This are:

1) Identification of needs, wants and desires
2) Identification of objectives
3) Collecting and analyzing information
4) Defining the strategy and selecting the tactics to be employed.
5) Utilizing the skills in finalizing the deal
6) Making the close.

Identification of Needs, wants and desires:

Both the parties involved in the negotiation process should first identify their respective needs, wants and desires to be fulfilled at the end of the negotiation.

Needs: Needs represent the minimum possible set of achievements that you must expect to gain from this negotiation. If you are unable to achieve these, then you should certainly pull out and not seek a deal at all. Needs have to be expressed in relation to each single aspect that has been identified as possibly arising in the negotiation and., if other aspects become part of the process, needs must be identified for them as well. Thus, in every respect there is a need defined, below which the negotiator wants.

Wants: Wants represent the reasonable position that should be achieved as a result of good positive, well prepared negotiation. Achieving your wants will give you a good outcome from the deal and deliver to your organization what was required. Needs are absolute but with a limited amount of flexibility to change under extreme circumstances whereas wants can be changed within an acceptable position.

Desires: Desires represent the position to which one might aspire if his side of the negotiation thoroughly prepared, presented competently, argued with excellence and pursued with flexibility and courage so as to overwhelm the opposition. Desires, thus represent positions which you do not seriously expect to achieve, but would be delighted if you could.

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