INTRODUCTION to ROBBINS; Negotiation is a process in

INTRODUCTION

Of a truth, we all spend much of our
professional and personal lives negotiating and managing conflict.  As
organizations become less hierarchical, less based on positional authority and
with many fewer clear boundaries of responsibility, conflict —or at least
differences of opinion— will likely become an even greater component of our
work lives in the future. Studies have shown that negotiation skills are among the most significant determinants of career
success, and while negotiation can be said to be a bit of an art, there
are specific techniques that anyone can learn.

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What
is Negotiation?

Negotiation is the art of working
with a person or group with different views in order to produce mutually beneficial agreement. Negotiations are
formal discussions between people who have different aims or
intentions especially in business or politics, during which they
try to reach an agreement. Negotiation is a technique people engage
in to settle differences. It is a mechanism through which agreement or
compromise is reached in other to avoid contentions and dispute. The discussion
process to arrive at an agreement between different parties, each having their
own interest and preferences can also be tagged Negotiation. Negotiation
ensures a give and take decision
making process involving various parties with different opinions and
preferences.

According to ROBBINS; Negotiation is a process
in which two or more parties exchange goods and services and attempt to agree
upon the exchange rate for them. 

MINTON (2001). The degree to which the
interests of the parties are aligned can facilitate the range and type of outcomes
generated for resolution.

In addition, Negotiation also occurs in
non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, within and
among nations and in personal situations such as divorce, marriage, parenting
and everyday life.  

Self-interests is always involved in
Negotiation as it always forms front and centre, but should not blind either
party to the interests of
the other. Thus, negotiation is
not a zero-sum game, in which people strive to outwit each other
in order to get the best deal they can at the expense of their opponent. It is
not persuasion, in which the persuader triumphs over the persuaded.

 

Features of
Negotiation

·        
Two Parties

·        
Predetermined Goals

·        
Expecting an Outcome

·        
Parties willing to modify their Positions

·        
Parties should understand the purpose of their negotiation.

 Reasons
for Negotiation

·        
To reach an Agreement

·        
To make a Point

·        
To settle an Argument

·        
To Compromise

·        
To beat the Opposition in cases of
positional negotiation

Types of Negotiation

1.     
Distributive Negotiation – (Win – Lose
Situation)

The most distributive
feature is that it operates under a zero sum game. The gain made by one person
is loss incurred by the other person. All parties involved in the negotiation
indicates the point where the settlement will be made. The Sellers goal is to
negotiate the highest price possible; the buyer negotiates as low a price as
possible.

2.     
Integrative Negotiation – (Win – Win
Situation)

Integrative
bargaining (also called interest-based bargaining) is a negotiation strategy in
which parties collaborate to find a “win-win” solution to their
dispute. This strategy focuses on developing mutually beneficial agreements
based on the interests of the disputants. The parties involved cooperate to
maximize benefits by integrating their interests. All conflicting parties
involved in the negotiation process looks at the problem together, try to search
for alternatives and to evaluate them to reach a mutually acceptable decision
or solution for all parties.

 

 

 

 

 

Principles
of Successful Negotiation

 

The art of negotiating is needed in
the everyday life. However, mastering this art in the business world is
critical to be successful in our careers, because poor negotiations can
negatively affect our company’s future or cause us to lose important customers.
Even when most negotiating strategies may seem natural, it’s not uncommon for
people to make mistakes. Luck, charm are not the causes of successful
negotiations. Discipline and perseverance in the other hand, could unlock our
ability to get the best deal possible under any circumstances. In the end,
practice and preparation is what makes a good negotiator. The following are
principles of Successful Negotiation.

1. Gather your
information. Information
is the foundation of effective value creation. Without knowing who our
counterpart is, it is almost impossible to establish any good negotiation
points. We must have adequate information about the person or company we are
negotiating with, as it helps to build cases for our argument. What is the
background of the other party and we should also know about their interests or
hobbies. The knowledge of this makes it easier to generate rapport with them.
It is also important to identify the parties’ history, context, issues and
dynamics. We must be aware of what issues are important to us and what issues
are important to the second or third party as the case may be. Also, we must
identify what our positions are, where our strength lies and their positions,
interests and priorities in the negotiation.

In the words of Chester Karrass, the
following strategies should be applied in other to gather information
accurately for the needed purpose.

What information do we aim to know?
Where can we get this information? – Location
What can we learn from past negotiations with this second
or third party? – History
How much business are we doing with this party?
How well is this company doing? – Success of failure of
the company
What don’t you want the other company to know about
you?

 

2. Build relationships. In handling conflict to result
in a solution, some form of trust is essential and it’s more important when
negotiating. However, trust has to be earned, as it doesn’t magically appear or
has to do with chemical reaction. It must be built or developed through
relationships and friendship. Like any project that is worth the effort,
building relationships takes time and dedication. But how can we do it? We can
start by discovering common backgrounds and interests. For this matter, we can also
include in the negotiation, individuals that have common interest with the
counterpart in the conflict. It should also be noted that first impressions
matter and therefore it is essential to be aware of our body language, initial
statements and dress code. We should also be careful with keeping our promises
and being reliable. Finally, emotional intelligence comes to the fore when
closing a deal. We exhibit it to avoid looking aggressive or arrogant when explaining
our point of view. We should also use it to manage the other party’s emotions through flattery, humor and other methods to break
any possible tension.

 

 

 

 

3.      Know your BATNA and your opponents’
BATNA. To
explain what BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement) is, we could say
that it is what we are going to do if we cannot reach agreement and how good
that option will be for us. We must also know our counterpart’s BATNA. By
knowing that, we could have a better understanding of what the ZOPA of this
negotiation will be (Zone Of Possible Agreement). By knowing our BATNA we could
also define our bottom line or limit. In other words, the most that we are
willing to give or the least we are willing to take to reach a negotiated
agreement.

 

 

4. Listen. Negotiation is not all about
preparing speeches, questions and counter questions. As much as they are
important, it also very sacrosanct to ensure we know how to listen.  Our ideas and plans might change if we listen
attentively to other parties’ argument and counter arguments. Being a good
listener is a good strategy and weapon in hand to win a negotiation and not be
the loser. As Stephen Covey added, “Seek first to understand, then to be
understood”, we must pay equal attention to the verbal and no verbal
communication engaged in before, during and after the negotiation. Adherence to
this principle could cause a great win as better solution could be revealed to
both parties.

     

5. Take care of your target. Target is what you think is the reasonably
possible solution to get out of a negotiation. However, the most vital rule is,
never reveal your target at the beginning of any negotiation, because your
opponent will hardly agree with your first proposition and for this reason and
they could get a better bargain, we should manage our first offers and concessions
to our advantage. But after the first offer has been made, negotiators should make
concessions because they enable the parties to move toward the Zone of
Potential Agreement (ZOPA), they also symbolize each party to bargain in good
faith and finally, they tell the other party of the relative importance of the
negotiating items. It should also be noted that for successful application of
concessions, they need to be clearly labelled and also should be accompanied by
an expectation that the other party will reciprocate with the willingness of
meeting in the middle.

In the application of
the principles during Negotiation, the following should be considered as it
makes the negotiation hitch-free and to your advantage,

1.     
Separate
the people from the problem – in other words, be kind to
people, tough on issues, avoid character assassination and be objective in all
issues.

2.     
Focus on
interests, not positions. The interest of the party in which
you represent should be the utmost aim to be achieved.

3.     
Generate a
variety of possibilities before making a decision and.

4.     
Define
objective standards as the criteria for making the
decision.

Conclusion and Implication for Sustainable development

Negotiation is concerned with the basic way of
getting what you want from someone else, usually using verbal communication. As
much as we negotiate in most of our conversation (formal or informal), there
are principles which tends to guide those conversations to make it fruitful (to
be in our favour) in the end.

The essence of negotiations is for conflicting
parties to work together to solve a problem, and when this is achieved, we can
say the negotiation was successful and this success will be attributed to the
principles the parties involved heeded to. The principle ensures that all
parties see the situation at hand with an unbiased mind, so the objective is
achieved and reasonable agreement is reached.

The initiative that eventually brought the
Sustainable development goals to life went through lots of negotiations and
dialogues with countries before an agreement could be reached on the 17SDG’s
and it should be noted, that in pursuance of the goals by nation-states to be
achieved in their countries, conflicts may arise and negotiations would take
place to achieve development that will be inclusive for all. 

Government is the driver of these goals; equal
representation of all parties in talks that will move the nation forward should
ensure adherence to the principles of negotiation which will go a long way in
helping the government to fulfill their promises and cater for all parties
equally and accordingly.