The word ‘negotiation’ has become a very popular word nowadays – and the opinions of people vary when it comes to their personal concept of it. Some believe there are certain issues which are simply not negotiable, other people believe that pretty much everything is up for negotiation. The fact is, however, that most every aspect of the world we live in is decided by negotiation.
How’s that possible, and – how should we understand this? Here’s for those who have some issues to deal with and need to have opposite parties meet them: here’s all you need to know about negotiations: the top facts and information.
What’s a negotiation?
In essence, it’s a process whereby an agreement or compromise is reached between two different parties who both have common interests and conflicting interests. In order for a negotiation to succeed and be successful, both parties need to see that their own interests have been furthered at a minimum of price – that which is gained is worth that which might be lost.
The various stages
In general, there are six stages of negotiation – each with its own purpose, and each with its own pitfalls. They are:
- Preparation – Both parties need to clarify their own position, and the mediator needs to establish rules on the way this should be done. Preparation will make sure you can clarify your own position and avoid wasting time.
- Discussion – It’s important to take notes during this part of the negotiation process, to make sure it can be reviewed later on. During the discussion the various positions are explained and explored. Or, to make it easier, have it recorded, then transcribed later on. Transcription services are particularly useful for this, but make sure the transcription services you get are accurate and reliable.
- Clarification – That’s why the note-taking or recording is so important; there are sure to be issues which must be clarified at a later stage.
- Seeking the win-win – Unless there is a win-win outcome, one party will feel they have lost and may not be amendable to the proposed solution. The win-win is only possible if both parties are honest and forthcoming.
- Agreement – When both parties have considered the various positions, solutions can be proposed and agreed upon.
- Implementation – This is the process of carrying the agreement through. It should be realistic and measurable, and each party is held accountable for following through on promises made.
You should understand that, at certain points, the process of negotiation can get stuck – and in order to avoid a total breakdown of the process, it’s often wise to call for another meeting. It’s imperative that the parties don’t get stuck in a heated discussion or argument, as this would not only be a waste of time, but might actually have detrimental effects on future dealings. Negotiations often take time, so it’s important to be patient.