Life is a constant series of actions where we attempt to
influence others. We seem forever absorbed in trying to get people to agree with
us. Whatever the case or cause, whenever you communicate with an objective in
mind, engaging in social exchange to affect someone's attitude or behavior, you
are playing the negotiating game. Like it or not, your attitude and actions have
the potential to determine the nature of a relationship, the distribution of
available resources and the satisfaction of those involved.
Above all, negotiation is a pervasive process in which
people ultimately attempt to reach joint decision on matters of common concern
in situations in which there is initial disagreement. Thus, a negotiation always
requires both shared interests and issues of conflict. Obviously, without
commonality there is no reason to achieve resolution. So without discord there
is nothing to negotiate about.
Accordingly, I will be discussing a dynamic process – a
seamless web that is always “in becoming”. When we are first aware of conflict
the fabric is already on the loom. By the same token, where relationships are
continuing, the tapestry is never fully completed.
In short, this process is universal - woven into the fabric
of our business and personal lives.
NEGOTIATION OCCURS WHENEVER WE ATTEMPT TO:
- RECONCILE DIFFERENCES
- MANAGE CONFLICT
- RESOLVE DISPUTES
- ESTABLISH OR ADJUST RELATIONSHIPS
PERSPECTIVE FROM THE PAST
"Negotiation is not limited to international affairs.
It takes place everywhere there are differences to conciliate, interests to
placate, people to persuade, and purposes to accomplish. Thus, all life
could be regarded as a continual negotiation. We always need to win
friends, overcome enemies, correct unfortunate impressions, convince others of
our views, and use all appropriate means to further our projects."
Fortune Barthelemy De Felice -- 1723
A CURRENT UPDATE
Nowadays most successful business people or corporate
executives no longer engage in "hard sell" business practices to make quick
deals. Rather they attempt to establish long-term mutually beneficial
relationships. After trust is established, the focus is on two processes:
CREATING VALUE - Working together to make the pie larger
CLAIMING VALUE - Jointly determining how the pie should