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Negotiation is the process whereby interested parties resolve disputes, agree upon courses of action, bargain for individual or collective advantage, and/or attempt to craft outcomes which serve their mutual interests. Given this definition, one can see negotiation occurring in almost all walks of life, from parenting especially with three kids up to the courtroom.
In the advocacy approach, a skilled negotiator usually serves as advocate for one party to the negotiation and attempts to obtain the most favorable outcomes possible for that party. In this process the negotiator attempts to determine the minimum outcome(s) the other party is (or parties are) willing to accept, then adjusts his demands accordingly. A "successful" negotiation in the advocacy approach is when the negotiator is able to obtain all or most of the outcomes his party desires, but without driving the other party to permanently break off negotiations.
Traditional negotiating is sometimes called win-lose because of the hard-ball style of the negotiators whose motive is to get as much as they can for their side. In the early Seventies, researchers began to develop win-win approaches to negotiation.
In this paper, I will discuss how the negotiation class and the practical exercises had shaped my way of negotiation behaviour, what did I consider as my strength while negotiating with my counter parts, and what was my weakness’. I will also shed some lights in how did I enhance and develop my learning negotiation curve while progressing through different exercises.
Negotiation usually arise when there is a conflict of interest between two or more parties. The parties negotiate because they think they can use some for of influence to get to a better deal. Moreover, when parties negotiate they both expect give and take situation.
Preparing for a Negotiation Session
Before one engage in a negotiation session, he should prepare and organise his negotiation strategy, plan what type of frames this negotiation would require. The extensive of this preparation and how it will develop and executed depends on one’s goal. Negotiators must anticipate what they want to achieve in a negotiation and prepare for these events in advance. Moreover negotiators should specify their goals and objectives clearly. Negotiation goals can be simple like a one time purchasing of goods with limited concern of the present or future relationship. Other negotiation goals can be complex that will require the initiating a sequence of negotiation episodes; a strong relationship with the other party in this case is usually needed. This discussion bring me to the first negotiation exercise “Bradford Negotiation” in which Ross and myself where engaged. In this exercise, I played the role of the mayor delegate. I was single minded on taking the best out of the pie, with no consideration about Ross’s share. Although Ross immediately specified that he was about 75% satisfied with the settlement and that he also felt I extremely treated him with dignity and respect, he specified after he saw the output of the others that he would hesitate to negotiate with me again. This exercise taught me that yes I might win a deal but lose a friend. Moreover further exercises also taught me that there are two types of active engagement that I would like to elaborate on
o Competition (distributive): known also as win-lose bargaining in which the prime objective for each party is to maximize the value of single deal. Distributive bargaining are important, as it accounts for most of the day-to-day type of bargaining, also some of the interdependent situations that negotiators face are distributive. Moreover, many peoples use distributive bargaining strategies and tactics almost exclusively. It should be noted that while distributive tactics are useful, it could also be counterproductive; it is usually cause negotiators to focus on their differences and ignore what they have in common. Negotiators need to know what is important to them and to the other party, create their bargaining mix as some items will be of obvious important for both parties while other items might be of importance to only one of them.
In a distributive bargaining negotiator need to learn about other party’s outcome values, resistant point, motives and feeling of confidence, the more information one can gather about the other party the higher chance of striking a favourable agreement.
This was the approach I used with Ross. I was aggressive in my opening offer started at $2,000,000, which might have led Ross to walk away from a deal. I cornered him in an area that he wasn’t well prepared for, the net revenue from the project to him, and asked