The goal of any negotiations is settlements the disputes between the parties. Not always it will cause a conflict situation. But this is what you want to know to be prepared.
Every negotiation process has the same constant stages:
1. Clarification of interests.
2. Discussion stage.
3. Work on the agreement.
Progress in the negotiations depends on the approach to the interaction which will be chosen by each party. Basic approaches are confrontation (bargaining) and partnership (a joint analysis of the problem).
If you are dealing with confrontation, here are the tricks you’ll meet from the other side:
- Pressure in order to force you to agree on the proposed decision from the other side
- Extension of ultimatums
- Overstatement of the original requirements
- False placement of accents (in the tough situation could be a pure extortion)
- Extension of the requirements at the last minute
- Increasing demand
- “Waiting” or “silence” methods
- “Flattery” if the other side is in the weaker position
- “Salami” technique. This is when the other side is giving you the information by very small portions ( “thin slices”)
- “Double interpretations”. Double meaning formulations in the final documents.
If you are dealing with partnership, you may expect this:
- Increasing alternative solutions
- The most pressing issues will be put on a side. The decision will be made not on the full range of problems and controversial issues will be out of the question
- One party will offer the principle of partition (to cut functions, territories, powers) and the other party will have to choose between them
- Increasing the complexity of the issues
You also can expect unethical methods that can be used against you by the other side. Such as:
- Delay of negotiation
- Contracts with hidden dual structure
- Could be used various kinds of tricks
- Failure of obligations
- Emphasizing high self-worth
- Downplaying the other side
- Rejection of the agreements that have been achieved
The best way to disarm the partner who is seeking a confrontation is countered his own communicative competence. What that mean is basically you want to invite him to build a partnership with you by using appropriate methods of communications.
There are several methods and models for the productive negotiations, which we’ll cover in our next blog. But now let’s talk about most common mistakes you can make.
- “It’s all clear!” When one of the parties thinking this way, the situation is overly simplified. After all, once everything is clear, then there is nothing to discuss. So, there is no problem.
- “You trying to seek a mote in other’s eyes when there‘s a beam in our own”. It’s easy to see other’s shortcomings. However, in a conflict situation, you can’t blame just one side. On the other hand, if you’ll try to doubt your own previous actions, with the desire to look at the situation through the eyes of your partner, and to see your own mistakes you’ll contribute cooperation between two parties.
- “I see myself as a generous person!” In every conflict situation, each party will think that the truth is on their side. Everyone feels right, and the opposite party considers unfair. But prejudice is not the best background for negotiations.
- “Double morality”. It’s not even about using “double standards” which exacerbates the conflict. But in a situation of disagreement, each party perceives their own actions, as a legitimate rule, and actions of the other side as impermissible.
Cooperation in that case, as you understand can’t be achievable.
Lots of problems also coming from the personal characteristics of each party, such as their character (choleric and phlegmatic, extrovert and introvert, etc.); their tendency to temper, resentment, irritability; difficulties in the perception of information; inadequate communication technology (partner manipulation, inadequate communication role, communicating position).
It is crucially important to control your emotional sphere. When a person “overwhelm” with emotions, it is impossible to LISTEN to the other side and correctly express your own thoughts.
To be continued…