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Accommodation Strategy-D4 Thesis

Negotiation

Unit 3

Summary

Negotiation is a ubiquitous part of everyone’s lives. In other words, people – including you – negotiate all the time. On any given day you will negotiate with friends, your spouse, your children, coworkers, subordinates, your boss, business partners, suppliers, buyers/customers, and just about any other individual of which you can think. In order to effectively navigate the multitude of negotiations in which you find yourself engaged, it is imperative to enlighten yourself about what it is and how to approach it. The purpose of this module is to help you to better understand negotiation and develop tactical competence to improve how you negotiate.

Why do we negotiate?

Research suggests that we negotiate for one of three reasons: (Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders, 2010)

 

To agree about whether and how to divide a limited resource(s)

To create something that neither party could do on their own

To resolve a problem or dispute between parties

What is Negotiation?

Many definitions exist, but a simple (yet accurate) one is:

 

Negotiation is a process by which two or more parties attempt to resolve their opposing interests.

Characteristics of Negotiation

The following characteristics help us to understand what negotiation is and basic elements common in negotiation:

 

2 or more parties – Specifically, negotiation involves two or more individuals, groups, or organizations.

 

Conflicting interests (needs, desires…) – This essentially means that what one party wants is not what the other one wants, or is possibly completely incongruent with the other party achieving their needs and desires.

 

Negotiation is a choice – parties engaged in negotiation do so because they think it will provide them some benefit, or be advantageous in some manner. Typically, individuals think that negotiating is a better alternative to simply agreeing to what is currently being offered.

 

Characteristics of Negotiation (continued)

The following characteristics help us to understand what negotiation is and basic elements common in negotiation:

 

“Give-and-take” is expected – both parties in a negotiation see give-and-take as fundamental to negotiation, such that parties expect: offers, concessions (i.e. moving from one’s position), counter-offers (i.e. responding to one’s offer with one’s own offer), and further concessions (by the other party).

 

An agreement is desired – if parties are negotiating (again, it is a choice), it usually means that they prefer to work to resolve a disagreement or reach a mutual agreement, rather than break a contract or fight openly about their incompatible interests.

 

Negotiation involves tangle and intangible factors – Tangible things often make up the majority of discussions. However, intangibles cannot be ignored, and are sometimes even more important than tangibles.