Negotiation Essay, Research Paper



“Effective negotiation is not about conflict. It is not about deviance or dishonesty. It is not about posturing, or bullying, or threatening. Effective negotiation is about exhaustive preparation, utter clarity, heartfelt communication, and a sincere, demonstrated desire to fully understand not just your own needs, but the needs of the other party.” Leigh Stienberg: Winning with Integrity.


Does every thing in life revolve around negotiating? Your relationship with family, friends, significant other, school, church, work, does every thing have to be a negotiated? I feel the answer is of course “Yes.” I want to feel I get value for what I m spending, whether it is time, talent or money. As the payer I want the price to drop and you as the payee want the price to go up and get as much as you can. We both want to have a sense of achievement or movement. Reaching a deal reached between us is negotiating. Sounds easy doesn t it. But the reality is that every negotiation is stressful and takes its toll on us.

When breaking Negotiating down into parts I came up with six important categories to keep in mind.


The first is to be prepared. Do your homework before you start negotiating. Have a plan and write it down. Have a vision of where, when and how to set up for success. Don t look at the small picture of how to get an agreement reached for today s issues. Look at the big picture. Where do I want to be in 1, 3, 5, years don t give up something today that you might want down the road. Identify and Prioritize your goals look for obstacles that are going to come up and be prepared for them don t be blind-sided. Commitment is something that came up in my research and I feel is part of being prepared. I had not even considered how important this was to negotiations. I know that you can t negotiate forever and that it must come to an end. One of the analogies that came up was if an agreement isn t reached you must cut off a finger. With the stakes set that high I bet an agreement is more likely to be reached.

Research your opponent whether it s your boss or major national account know what their goals are, look for the hot buttons that make them happy.

If you re negotiating make sure your negotiating with the right person. Does this person have the authority to negotiate and make the agreement stick? Never cut a deal with some one who has to “go back and get the boss approval.” Harvey Mackay Swim With the Sharks With out Being Eaten Alive. Go up you opponents ladder as high as you can reach.

The Second is setting your goals and limits. Set limits before you negotiate. Knowing what your limits are will allow you to make more rapid decisions during the course of negotiations. BATNA? “Your BATNA is your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement” I first read this term in Entrepreneurial Edge Magazine then I did some research and found it s source given to two different parties one being The Harvard Negotiating Institute and the other being. William Ury and Roger Fisher. Getting to Yes I believe the credit goes to both because Ury and Fisher were part of the Harvard Negotiating Project. Anyway what does BATNA really mean; it is the best way to fulfill your needs and interests without the other s agreement.

Knowing your limits gives you the strength and confidence to walk away when needed. Try and not back yourself into a corner with no way out. Leave an alternative when ever possible. Having set limits are good but don t make the bottom line so inflexible that you can t reexamine someone s offer in a different light. Knowing when no deal is the best thing for you can be a hard decision at times. What will happen if I can t reach an agreement? Letting go of the pressure for a deal may lead to another deal down the road. Knowing when to fish or cut bait is important. “There s always another Deal around the corner.” Nelson Bunker Hunt Your goals need to be weighted in terms of importance to you. What can you give in on and what can t you give in on are important to know before you start.

Okay enough with this BATNA stuff. I m a pessimist and what is the WATNA or Worst Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. I started to research this on a whim and found it does really exist. Of course leave it to lawyers to come up with the term. WATNA (WATNA or Worst Alternative TO a Negotiated Agreement) Young Lawyer American Bar Association For the lawyer it is a tool to tell his client not only the best thing that can happen if an agreement isn t reach but also the worst thing that ca happen.

Third was Listen with your ears and eyes. “Listen” is the one statement that stands out. First listening to yourself. In negotiations, listing can be more important than how persuasive you are as a speaker. The difference between listing and hearing is so important. I need to be able to listen between the lines. To understand the meaning of what is being said. Good listening requires your total attention. I need to not think about anything other than what is being said at the time. Leigh Steinberg tagged this a “Zen-like approach to listing.”

Active listening is the term used most. It is listening with all the senses. I found in my reading on this that most emphasis was put on what I would prefer to call reflective listening. That is when you repeat back to someone or rephrase what they say to clarify what they are saying. It has you actively participating in the conversation. Don t think ahead.

I don t feel enough emphasis was given to the power of intuition and body language.

The inner voice that each of us has is a powerful tool. It is this inner voice that has saved me in the past and not listening to it has cost me a lot of time and money. The inner voice isn t inner critic that tells you how to judge someone by how they look it is more of that gut feeling, intuition or a hunch about something. It is the ability to ask questions of your self and just listen to the answer and not forcing it one way or the other. It is a subconscious state of mind that controls this inner voice.

Body language tells us so much and most of us pay little attention to it. In the book BodyTalk by Desmond Morris. He was quick to point out that Body language can vary it s meaning by country or gender. Example would be how close to stand to the other party when talking to them. The answer varies by country and gender. In negotiations how the other person crosses their legs or folds their arms can give you a good clue as to what is really going on. How a person sits in a chair places their hands all this can help give you an understanding to the whole picture of what s going on. Don t believe every thing you see, just as you shouldn t believe every thing that you hear. Use each part as a clue. Using the sum of all the parts will give you the best understanding. Don t forget your inner voice, listen to it.

Fourth is clarity of your position. Clear communication is the flip side of effective listening. You can never be to clear. Being clear simply means when you speak, write, or other wise communicate, your listener understands your intended message. Know what it is you are negotiating for. Is it money, fringe benefits, quality of life, it says to first write down your values and goals and then to prioritize them? Negotiating fore dummies had a technique call the “P.R.E.P.”. P.R.E.P. is to negotiating as the 5 horsemen are to writing or journalism. “Who, what, when, where and why,” The P.R.E.P. concept being ” Point, Reason, Example, Point, My point is The reason is My example is So, my point is ” this works for any presentation you make. It forces you to be organized and helps lay out a formula for clarity. I like it because acronyms are easy to remember and I like how it forces you to make you point twice in one presentation. If you make your point twice it s more likely that the listener will understand what you re trying to communicate.

To avoid conflict, ask not just “What do they want? But why do they want it” Steven P. Cohn. HARVEY MACKAY said to this point “No one is going to show you their hole card. You have to figure out what they really want.” And with some sarcasm he said, “Since the real reason is never the real reason, you can eliminate the given reason.” Finding what they want may be harder than you think!

Fifth was emotional control. In negotiations I need to take my ego out of the negotiations. I need to stay calm and not react to any words or physical threats of intimidation.

The best way to keep your emotional distance is through a technique called pushing the pause button. Negotiating for Dummies Said “The first response in your head need not come out of your mouth. You have a pause button. When you push it, you realize that if you utter your first response, you won t get the job done and you may alienate the other party. (Remember, friends come and go; enemies accumulate) ” One piece of advice that was given is to push the pause button on every request for a concession. Treat every concession the same in having importance. If you don t treat it as being significant you ll run the risk of being perceived as not have given anything! When dealing in situations that I have a strong emotional attachment to, it is this pause button that has been my savior in the past. Stopping to think with my mind not my heart or emotions has saved me from making a bad deal or adding to the list of enemies I have.

Steven P. Cohn President of The Negation Skills Company put had a different spin on this and it is “Only one person is allowed to get angry at a time” and “Yelling is not negotiation; it s confrontation!”

Leigh Steinberg broke down four basic negotiating styles.

The Dictator, These are people who often get their way and feel they are superior and show intransigent behavior (I did have to look up the word intransigent meaning lack of ability to moderate or compromise). They are augmentative and try to pick apart every thing you say to devalue your position. They tend to deny you your opportunity to make your presentation. To disarm this type of person Stienberg suggest to stop and tell the other party that you will allow them every opportunity to speak when your finished and that you will not take their being silent for consent or agreement of your point. .

The Screamer, This type of person thinks losing your temper is a technique of negotiating. They are trying to intimidate you into backing down. Steinberg suggests that Silence showing no response is the best way to deal with this type. He points out that if you stay calm, the other person will yell himself or herself out, the anger will be gone then you can start to negotiate again. Don t be pulled into loosing your temper and giving them fuel for their fire.

The Manipulator, They will tell you how much better off you ll be with their offer. They are quick to point out the life style changes that you can have now that they are “giving” you this money. They are always trying to stay away from the real issue and that is the value of the product or service your providing. To combat this type you need to stay on the topic of what value you deserve for what you re providing. Don t let them discuss your personal situation.

The Equivocator. I have to admit that when I negotiate with some one I tend to be this type. I break down the proposal into smaller pieces and try to get the other part to agree to one piece at a time. I look for one concession from them on the big items and I ll concede on the smaller ones. I have to always keep my eye on the big picture and make sure I understand how all the pieces are going to come together as a whole. To deal with this type you need to pin them down specifics of their proposal. Make concessions on the total package not the pieces individually.

Knowing these different styles and being able to recognize what the person using them is trying to accomplish, I feel helps me be able to keep my emotions under control and on top of what I m trying to accomplish.

Sixth is Win- Win Negotiating to enter a deal. The term “Win Win” is from the Book The Win-Win Negotiator by: Ross R. Reck and Brian G. Long The basis of the book is negotiation is not a game trying to focus on a single objective. It is about getting effective long-term agreement that work and building relationships with the other party that last. Negotiating with integrity and not using tricks to get your way.


Steinberg s Twelve Rules in Negotiating

1. Align yourself with people who share your values.

1. Learn all you can about the other party.

2. Convince the other party you have an option.

3. Set your limits before the negotiation begins (BATNA).

4. Establish a climate of cooperation, not conflict.

5. In the face of intimidation, show no fear.

6. Learn to listen.

7. Be comfortable with silence.

8. Don t play split the difference.

9. Emphasize your concessions; minimize the other party s.

10. Never push a losing argument to the end.

11. Develop relationships, not conquest.

In summary of how does this apply to me? It doesn t matter who or what I m negotiating. I need to listen and understand the other parties viewpoint and what their needs are. Be prepared before I negotiate. I need to have a clear idea of what my goals are. I have thought that “In business you only get what you negotiate! Nothing of value is given to you. You need to earn it through hard work and honest business practices.”

The one thing I have always tried to do is to speak and negotiate from a position of knowledge and understanding of what it is I m after. Know what you want and what you re willing to settle for before you negotiate with someone (BATNA). Know the personality of the person your negotiating with. Ask questions about the person get as much information about how he negotiates before you enter the negotiations. Be prepared!

“Effective negotiation is not about conflict. It is not about deviance or dishonesty. It is not about posturing, or bullying, or threatening. Effective negotiation is about exhaustive preparation, utter clarity, heartfelt communication, and a sincere, demonstrated desire to fully understand not just your own needs, but the needs of the other party.” Leigh Stienberg: Winning with Integrity.


Michael C. Donaldson and Mimi Donaldson. Negotiating for Dummies

IDG Books Worldwide 1996

Roger Fisher and William Ury. Getting to Yes “Negotiating Agreement without Giving In”

Houghton Mifflin 1981

William Ury. Getting Past No “Negotiating with Difficult People”

Bantam Books 1991

Desmond Morris. Body Talk “The Meaning of Human Gestures”

Crown Trade Paperbacks 1994

Digby Diehl .Leigh Steinberg Has A Game Plan

Entrepreneurial Edge Volume 4 1998

Steven P. Cohen The Negotiations Skills Company.

www.negotiationskills. com

Harvey Mackay Swim With the Sharks With out being Eaten Alive

Ballatine Books

David Hoffman The Young Lawyer

Copyright American Bar Association

Stephen R. Marsh Breaking Impasse copy right 1998

Dealing With Difficult People and Difficult Situations

Center for Management Research Inc. copyright 1998

Eric C. Gould The Negotiation Resource Center Newsletter May 1998

Batna. Com copyright 1998

Susan H. Allen Nan Problem Solving Workshop

Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution ,George Mason University 1997


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