Optimise your negotiation experiences and outcomes

Image by Sue Styles from Pixabay

We all see the world differently. We all have different perceptions of what is valuable and what is fair. So, imagine how much time we expend attempting to find agreement with others.

Negotiation is a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution. Bargain-based negotiation seeks resolution largely by transferring various ‘elements of value’ from one party to the other. Since these ‘elements of value’ are likened to chips used in casinos, they are often referred to as ‘bargaining chips’. These ‘chips’ are often bargained for one by one and the bargaining process can inch forward chip by chip, until both sides agree that the process has reached an acceptable conclusion. The ideal is generally seen as gaining as many chips from the other party as possible, while releasing the minimum amount to them.

More recent views on negotiation have shifted to what is termed ‘interest-based’ negotiation. Based on a deep understanding of the issues, interest-based negotiation seeks to achieve creative solutions that endure the test of time. When both the outcome and the experience of the process are positive for all parties, this creates the desire by all to happily do business with each other in the future. This is the golden nugget of interest-based negotiation.

In reality, negotiation occurs along a continuum between these two points and may readily dance between the two throughout any individual negotiation journey.

In the middle of these two approaches lies the compromise which is generally termed the ‘win:win’ solution; this is because win:win outcomes invariably involve some sort of compromise. The downside to compromise is that the relief of agreement can later turn sour when the realisation that ‘we didn’t get what we wanted’ strikes home.

When coming from the bargaining side win:win is often seen as the best outcome, achieving an equitable re-distribution of value. From the interest side it would merely be seen as a starting point.

Being able to negotiate effectively can help us agree shared goals, achieve objectives, develop positive relationships and significantly enhance our productivity. The key to successful negotiation is being clear on the outcome we want to achieve, having a plan to achieve it, and the flexibility in mindset, skillset and toolset to explore possibilities that create a sustainable win for all.

Because we are all different, we invariably approach negotiation differently which means every negotiation is different. However, by creating a negotiation framework we can map these differences and learn to navigate that map to our advantage.

The Performance Negotiation Framework© provides such a map that offers a route for dissolving confusion, eliminating constraints and releasing conflicts. The resulting landscape is then much more fertile for nurturing opportunities which would have previously been considered impossible.

© The Performance Learning Company 2020

The Performance Negotiation Framework© forms the basis of our Leading Negotiation course and comprises 5 key elements:

• Context

• Stages

• Traits

• Styles

• Points of Persuasion.

The Framework helps you to reflect on past negotiations as well as plan, track and review all future negotiations. In this way, it supports insightful reflection and deliberate practice, both of which support the development of enhanced capabilities.

Leading Negotiation is an online practice-based programme. It will help you build competence and confidence in a productive negotiation framework that enables you to optimise both your negotiation experiences and outcomes.

Develop your winning habit by enrolling on the Leading Negotiation course today.

Leading Negotiation is a self-managed online programme which you can complete at your own pace, on your time (within a 180-day course limit). It is currently available at a discounted price of £24 (the standard price is £30).

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