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Principles of negotiation

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Principles of negotiation

  1. 1. PRINCIPLES OF NEGOTIATION BY ONIKE RAHAMAN Human beings are confronted daily with the challenges of coping successfully when having exchanges in the course of inter-personal existence. Exchanges which could be both ordinary and extraordinary largely define the quality of human lives. The bottom line of such exchanges is that we either gain or lose in the process, and this depends on our mastery of techniques and principles of negotiation. Negotiation is indeed an integral part of bargaining process. It is essential one establishes a set of criteria for the goal to be achieved in any social exchange. At the beginning of any negotiation, it is necessary one establishes some criteria, set out achievable and measurable goals and try to offer good rationales behind the set goals. Of course, negotiation is a means to an end but it is not an end in itself. What negotiation does is to make the possible probable. Another tactical aspect of negotiation is the taking of positions, or making offers or proposals. The opening position or offer in a negotiation will detail the
  2. 2. Obviously, each criterion, each goal you reveal in a negotiation should be accompanied by a rationale. Offering rationale is a tactic that turns your problems, your interests, your hopes into your opponents or the other party’s disadvantage. Negotiation also requires a game plan part of which is the establishment of common ground. Indeed, common ground is extremely important because your opponent’s willingness to concede goal objectives is usually proportionate to the common ground that has been established between you. Generally, until maximum amount of common ground has been established, it is a good idea to refrain from pressing any primary goal objectives that you feel will be difficult for the other party to accept. Style a person adopts in negotiation matters to the success achievable. In this context, style is the general way a person conducts him/herself in a negotiation. Intimidation can occasionally be useful, but only at selected moments. Style can include intimidation, but it also includes persuasion, surprise, amiability, articulation, secretiveness, diversion among others.
  3. 3. The location in which you negotiate can be significant in several ways. One of the ways is that the location might reveal the financial or other circumstances of one of the parties – circumstances that can be used to shape your opponents strategy and tactics. The effect of location as it relates to negotiating strategy is largely psychological. Time is also a vital component of strategy in negotiation. If a negotiation begins too soon, your opponent’s expectations may be too high to effect any significant compromise or concessions. It is generally true in all negotiating situations that the passage of time makes opponents willing to be more flexible in the concessions they make. Somehow, one’s expectations decline when time passes without any positive action. Simultaneous negotiation can be one of the most useful tactics available to ensure maximum goal achievement. Of equal importance is the fear of setting bad precedence. In many negotiating situations, the concern of the respective parties over precedent-setting nature of particular goal concessions will be a substantial factor in the parties’ willingness to make the concessions.
  4. 4. The fait accompli or “thing accomplished” is a tactic whereby one party unilaterally completes an exchange or presents a goal compromise as accomplished fact and hopes the other party will agree to it. A fait accompli is also useful in the contractual phase of a negotiation. The use of legal threat could assist the negotiator in reaching a compromise with the other party. The threat of instituting a legal action/litigating is often used to begin or end a negotiation. In the inner game of negotiation, the basic elements are simply concentration, confidence and relaxation. The personality of the negotiators or parties to negotiation also matters in assessing the outcomes of exchanges in bargaining situations. By ONIKE RAHAMAN (07033902827)

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