Excerpt from Chapter 2 of
The Negotiator’s Toolkit by Allan Parker
Clear purpose and objectives allows you to choose the appropriate style of negotiating. The appropriate style produces smoother, more productive negotiations.
Much has been written over the years about different styles of negotiating. Tactical win/lose strategies obviously mean there is also a lose/win. We often see in many circumstances, particularly in political disputes and in war negotiations, that the negotiations are lose/lose, where both parties suffer significant loses.
More recently we’ve heard a lot more about the win/win concept of negotiating (See Getting To Yes, by Fisher & Ury). In this instance I don’t wish to discuss any of these particular methods in detail, except to say that surely we can work more easily toward agreement. Entering into any process where we both lose is fairly fruitless.
In relation to the win/lose, lose/win style, I would simply ask if you were going to vote on preference, would it be on the win/lose or the lose/win side? It’s my experience that not many people favour the lose/win approach, however, some people do end up on that unfortunate side of the negotiation.
It is also my observation that often they are the people who subtly, behind the scenes, tend to get even in some way, shape or form, often by what they don’t do. Thus, when we disadvantage someone else, taking care of our own needs, the benefits are usually short lived.
If we could approach our interactions using the skills that create mutually beneficial results in our negotiations, we’d be inclined to get a great deal more co-operation over the long term.
As we obtain greater co-operation, we increase the likelihood of generating agreement. As we generate further agreement and co-operation, we are likely to increase our rapport and empathy. The result is a relationship with greater trust.
I recommend that you reflect back to occasions where you’ve been in a win/lose negotiation and you’ve been the loser. How much empathy for each other’s point of view did you have? How much rapport did you feel together? How much trust for one another did you have? The next time you negotiate with that person, how willing will you be to co-operate, or how intent will you be to get even?
The ten skills listed in this book can be used in any of the methods of negotiation, however, most of them have been selected and designed to increase your likelihood of generating mutually beneficial negotiations and outcomes.