Negotiation is a method by which people settle the dispute outside the court. It is a process by which people compromise and reached at one solution while avoid argument and dispute. In any disagreement individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position. However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship are the keys to a successful outcome.

Negotiation is an open process for two parties to find an acceptable solution to a complicated conflict. There are some specific conditions where negotiation will achieve the best results:

  • When the conflict consists of two or more parties or groups
  • A major conflict of interest exists between both parties
  • All parties feel that the negotiation will lead to a better outcome
  • All parties want to work together, instead of having a dysfunctional conflict situation

STAGES OF NEGOTATION

In order to achieve a desirable outcome, it may be useful to follow a structured approach to negotiation. The process of the negotiation includes the following stages:

  1. Preparation
  2. Discussion
  3. Clarifying the goals
  4. Negotiate towards a win – win outcome
  5. Agreement
  6. Implementing the course of action.

PREPARATION

Before any negotiation takes place, a decision needs to be taken as to when and where a meeting will take place to discuss the problem and who will attend. Setting a limited time – scale can also be helpful to prevent the disagreement continuing. This stage involves ensuring all the pertinent facts of the situation are known in order to clarify your own position.

DISCUSSION

During this stage, individuals/members of each side put forward the case as they see it i.e. their understanding of the situation. It is extremely important to listen as when disagreement takes place it is easy to make the mistake of saying too much and listening too little. Each side should have equal opportunity to prevent their case.

CLARIFYING THE GOALS

From the discussions, goals, interests and viewpoints of both sides of the disagreement need to be clarified. It is helpful to list these factors in order of priority. Through this clarification it is often possible to identify or establish some common ground. Clarification is an essential part of the negotiation process, without it misunderstandings are likely to occur which may cause problems and barriers to reaching a beneficial outcome.

NEGOTIATE TOWARDS WIN – WIN OUTCOME

This stage focusses on what is termed a win – win where booth sides feel they have gained something positive through the process of negotiation and both sides feel their point of view has been taken into consideration. A win – win outcome is usually the best result. Suggestion of alternative strategies and compromises needs to be considered at this point.

AGREEMENT

Agreement can be achieved once understanding of both sides viewpoints and interest have been considered. It is essential to for everybody involved to keep an open mind in order to achieve an acceptable solution. Any agreement needs too be made perfectly clear so that both sides know what has been decided.

IMPLEMENTING A COURSE OF ACTION

From the agreement, a course of action must be implemented to carry through the decision.

WIN – WIN STARTEGIES

There are 5 strategies under win – win process which are as follows:

  1. Make multiple offers
  2. Include a matching right
  3. Try a contingent agreement
  4. Negotiate damages upfront.
  5. Search for post settlement

MAKE MULTIPLE OFFERS

When you put only one offer on the table at a time, you will learn very little if the other party turns it down. By contrast, think about what happens when you simultaneously present multiple offers, each of which is equally valuable to you. If the other side refuses all of your offers, ask her which one she likes best. Her preference for a specific offer should give you a strong clue about where you might find value-creating, win-win trades and generate mutual gain. In addition to identifying potential win-win moves, when you make multiple offers simultaneously, you signal your accommodating and flexible nature, as well as your desire to understand the other party’s preferences and needs. So, the next time you are about to make an offer, advises Bazerman, consider making three that you value equally instead.

INCLUDE A MATCHING RIGHT

In negotiation, including a matching right a guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—can be a classic win-win move, Imagine that you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to keep the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while the prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as she wants. Offering the tenant a matching right—the power to match any legitimate third-party offer—would allow you to preserve your own flexibility while giving the tenant the opportunity to avoid the disruption of a move. In this manner, matching rights can improve the odds of a win-win agreement.

TRY A CONTINGENT AGREEMENT

In negotiation, parties often reach impasse because they have different beliefs about the likelihood of future events. Contingent commitments often create incentives for compliance or penalties for noncompliance. You might propose paying specified penalties for turning your project in late or agree to significantly lower your rates if you go over budget, for example. To add a contingent agreement to your contract, begin by having both sides write out their own scenarios of how they expect the future to unfold. Then negotiate expectations and requirements that seem appropriate to each scenario. Finally, include both the scenarios and the negotiated repercussions and rewards in your contract. A contingent agreement can greatly increase your odds of being satisfied with whatever remedies are in place—and help generate a win-win deal.

NEGOTIATE DAMAGES UPFRONT

If one party sues the other side for breach of contract down the line, the plaintiff (if she wins) will be awarded monetary damages rather than the specific goods or services that were lost. Therefore, negotiating upfront exactly how much will be paid for each late or missed delivery, for example, may streamline any alternative dispute-resolution measures or lawsuits that arise. In addition, negotiating damages puts a new issue on the table—and thus expands the potential for value creation. In this manner, adding new issues to the mix increases the opportunity for win-win negotiations.

SEARCH FOR POST SETTLEMENT

Imagine that you’ve just reached an agreement. You are fairly happy with the deal but suspect you could have eked more value out of it. you should quit talking about the agreement with your counterpart and move on, lest you spoil the deal. asking the other party whether he would be willing to take another look at the agreement to see if it can be made better. Explain to your counterpart that you would each be free to reject a revised deal if it doesn’t improve both of your outcomes. This type of post-settlement settlement can lead to new sources of value to divide between you. It can also help generate a win-win contract if you didn’t have one before. Your success in hammering out your initial agreement may have established the trust needed to explore the possibility of an even stronger deal.