Strategic Leadership and Decision Making
The greatest misunderstanding about the negotiation process is that it is adversarial in nature. In actuality, it is not designed for those with a trial and debate mentality. It is a problem solving process in which each party may look across the table and regard its counterparts as [potential] advocates.
Decision making-and the strategic leadership of decision making teams-is a process which moves an individual or a group toward common goals. However, people are not alike in their values and beliefs; there are huge differences among people within a single organization, and even greater differences between people in different organizations.
Strategic leaders must know how to operate across such boundaries that mark differences in expectations and perspectives, and competing values and goals. It is one thing to influence a group essentially in agreement; it is quite a different thing to influence a group with goals in conflict with those you want to pursue.
This sounds formidable, but we do it all the time. We call it negotiation.
WHAT IS NEGOTIATION?
Negotiation is a process whereby two persons or groups strive to reach agreement on issues or courses of action where there is some degree of difference in interest, goals, values or beliefs. The job of the negotiator is to build credibility with the "other side," find some common ground (shared interests), learn the opposing position, and share information that will persuade the "other side" to agree to an outcome.
One element of common ground advantageous to a negotiator is a common culture. Those belonging to a culture (team, family, military organization, race, nation, religion, etc.), have common values, beliefs and goals. We consider them to be on the "same sheet of music." Members of groups such as this have shared expectations that reduce conflict and facilitate collective effort. These cultural "norms" evolve from the storming and norming phases in the life of a group. Thus, the process used to arrive at these norms is a bargaining process- negotiation. Negotiation is different from arbitration and other forms of decision making. Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator or an adjudicator, the power to determine the facts, define the process and to make the decision in negotiations rests with the participants, not with a third party. In adjudication processes the objective is to create doubt in a third party's mind (judge, arbitrator) about the "facts" presented by the opposite side, with the goal of winning. In negotiations there is no third party; the party you must convince is your opponent.
Many failures in negotiations result from misunderstanding the basic fact that right and wrong are defined by the parties themselves, not by a third party; and decisions can be implemented and perpetuated in direct proportion to the relationship and reasoning of the participants:
Spouse A: I didn't cook anything tonight. I thought we would go out.
Spouse B: I'm exhausted. We had a terrible day today, and I have to be in the office early tomorrow to continue this program review we are doing.
Spouse A: It's the same old story. Always exhausted. Always busy.
Spouse B: You're right. We need more fun. But tomorrow really is important. Just give me a break this one time, and we will go out Saturday, and do that more often; any Saturday you want.
Spouse A: That sounds like a deal.
A norm-forming negotiation led to agreement by Spouse A not to push to have dinner out on a particular night, in exchange for Spouse B's agreement to go out more often. In this case, we can assume the context is one of disagreement on specific expectations within a framework of shared objectives and trust, based on successful outcomes from previous negotiations. The initial needs are different; however, a shared interest is quickly found: the negotiation becomes a shared expectation-a norm. Norm-building is an essential aspect of cooperative and collegial effort. It is a kind of negotiation that depends on the trust that already exists in an established group, or partnership.
Negotiation in its purest sense is bargaining, a process in which two different sides attempt to resolve their differences by finding one set of goals or objectives that each accepts. When this happens, they have found common ground. Fisher and Ury, in their classic book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, contrast two different bargaining concepts, positional negotiation and principled negotiation. The following concepts are drawn from their writings and those of Colosi in On and Off the Record.
Positional negotiation is essentially adversarial. The negotiators see the process as "win-lose," in which any gains by the opponent are losses by the home team. A classic example of this type of negotiation is contract negotiations in the automobile industry. A union tactic in recent years has been to identify one of the "big three" manufacturers, one particularly vulnerable to the effects of a strike. This company is then targeted for hard negotiations around some key issue. When neither side yields on the issue, a strike ensues and persists until some agreement is reached or one side collapses under the cost of the strike. There are definite winners and losers in this type of negotiation.
Positional negotiation can be illustrated on a more personal basis by the bargaining that accompanies the purchase of a new car. The salesman has a sticker price to begin with. The customer has a desired purchase price. Each wants to come as close to his own figure as possible. The salesman's commission is based on the profit margin achieved, directly from the customer's pocket. The customer wants the lowest possible profit margin, directly from the salesman's commission. Each gains at the other's expense. It is true zero-sum and adversarial. These are examples of "hard" positional negotiation. The negotiators are demanding and unyielding. Positional negotiation can also be "soft." A "soft" bargainer is quite willing to make concessions to "keep the ball rolling." The two negotiators start at different positions in a bargaining range and compromise toward the middle. In "soft" bargaining, agreements are reached quickly. However, "soft" bargainers run a great risk if they happen to encounter a "hard" bargainer. Furthermore, "hard" and "soft" bargaining is zero-sum in nature. Both aim at splitting the pie in order to get what they want. In positional negotiation, each side stakes out its position, and simultaneously (a) attacks the other position and (b) defends its own.
The problem of positional negotiation is that an opponent may become an enemy by a demeaning personal attack. Fisher and Ury and Colosi consider this a big mistake. They think the goal of every effective negotiator is to get the opponent onto their turf-essentially onto their side of the bargaining table-so viewpoints will be similar. If the negotiation is successful, each negotiator will believe that the agreement is a good one. So, if you are a negotiator, your former opponent is going to be advocating a bit of your arguments to his/her boss, and you will be doing the same thing for him/her with your boss.
PRINCIPLED NEGOTIATION REQUIREMENTS
Principled negotiation has a great deal in common with the process of Consensus Team Decision Making. First of all there are four conditions which are essential if a principled negotiation is to have a successful outcome.
A positive relationship.
Shared interests (goals or objectives).
Satisfactory zone of possible agreement.
Mutual trust comes from experience, either within the negotiation process or from previous contact. If it does not already exist, it must be built. A negotiator can be trusted when experience shows that person (a) is dependable and will do what he/she promises to do, and (b) does not create surprises. Surprises can take many forms: a sudden demand "out of the blue," a sudden opponent's threat, or an unexpected shift in position. In this sense, trust is a kind of conclusion about the credibility of the other side. Clearly, one of the objectives of a negotiator is to establish his/her credibility in the eyes of the other negotiator.
As a negotiator, your goal is to have more influence on the other side than they have on you. Your goals and objectives must be seen to gain merit while the goals and objectives of the other side lose merit. This means your presentation of "facts" and other evidence must be convincing. You must also create some doubt in the mind of the other negotiator about the validity of his/her position. In essence, you will be influencing that person's belief system, about both your position and his/hers. A positive relationship with the other negotiator is essential if you are to have this kind of influence. This sounds difficult, especially in view of the fact that negotiation has the potential for conflict. However, experienced negotiators emphasize that it is both possible and required.
A positive relationship makes possible the development of common ground; in principled negotiation the common ground can include similar goals and objectives. Instead of negotiating against each other, the negotiators form a team and negotiate "against" the problem. They now have shared interests.
Finally, a Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA) must exist. As a negotiator, you must know what your zone is. This may appear to apply more to positional than to principled bargaining because a ZOPA is the least favorable agreement you would accept, and the most favorable one you believe the other negotiator would accept. However, with a bigger pie, the ZOPA shifts for both in the positive direction.
A negotiator must also have a Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). As part of the preparations prior to beginning negotiations, each negotiator must decide at what point it is best to cease negotiating and to be satisfied. Although the BATNA may change slightly as negotiations proceed, a negotiator will use the BATNA agreed upon by his team as a touchstone throughout the negotiation process. With a BATNA a negotiator never feels cornered or under pressure to yield to pressure from the other side-- the predetermined goal has defined the point at which negotiations are no longer profitable and may be ended.
Negotiators rarely have the authority to make final decisions. They are sent as representatives of those who do have that authority, who are the "closers." As "closers," they have a significant advantage. They are protected from the possibility that in a weak moment they will accept an impossibly poor agreement. In addition, if principled negotiation has not been possible, there may be times when the negotiator has no easy reply to a hard bargaining opponent. It may be useful to end a session with the need to go back and discuss options with your "closer." By the same token, a negotiator would never want to enter negotiations without detailed instructions from the "closer" as to what options are satisfactory and what options are not; i.e., the Zone of Possible Agreement and the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.
THE PRINCIPLED NEGOTIATION PROCESS
Once you have established the necessary conditions for negotiations, what is the advantage of principled negotiations? As with Consensus Team Decision Making, there is a process for principled negotiations. Each of these steps is discussed in detail below:
Principled Negotiation Requirements
People: Separate the people from the problem
Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
Options: Generate several before deciding what to do
SEPARATE THE PEOPLE FROM THE PROBLEM
A common failing when there is a difference of opinion or goals is to attack the opposing person while attacking the opposing position, especially if the attack is demeaning. It will unfailingly have negative outcomes in both decision making and bargaining. Experienced leaders and experienced negotiators separate the people from the problem. Some of the ways Fisher and Ury suggest are:
The primary goal of principled negotiation is to achieve rational outcomes in the best interest of both parties. However, sometimes this just doesn't work, and positional bargaining is the only option. Then it becomes imperative to know the issues well from your opponent's perspective while denying that advantage in turn. In that way, you can control your opponent's perceptions better than your opponent can control yours.
Perceptions come in many ways. Colosi makes a point of the importance of body language and tone as communications channels that give information, sometimes information of crucial value, to the other side. Fisher and Ury emphasize such things as acting inconsistently with expectations. For example, they believe an important part of the peace process between Israel and Egypt was that Sadat upset Israeli-and Arab- expectations by flying to Jerusalem in November 1977. "Holding the door" for your enemy is inconsistent with the perception of being an enemy; so do it.
If under personal attack, promise -- don't threaten: You might say, "These are personal attacks which are not relevant to the substantive issue, and for that reason they are unfair. If they continue, I am going to leave and return tomorrow. Perhaps we can make more substantive progress then." The essence of promise versus threat is that the statement takes the form of what the speaker will do as opposed to what will be done to the other party (Colosi).
These are only a few of the many ways to build a positive relationship. Your image as a negotiator must be that of someone who is credible, reliable, trustworthy, and principled. In many negotiations, this image can be used as a tool to move toward negotiating on the merits of the case, rather than on the relative hard-headedness of the negotiators.
If a positive relationship can be established with the other negotiator, the only remaining ingredient for principled negotiation is finding shared interests that can serve as the common ground for generating creative options. (Remember that the defining characteristic of principled negotiation is making a bigger pie.) Interests are a key issue because interests are the factors underlying the decisions.
Fisher and Ury provide an example of how an understanding of the underlying interests may lead to a win-win solution, a bigger pie. In the Camp David negotiations between Israel and Egypt in 1978, the positions seemed to be non-negotiable. Israel occupied the Sinai and was not about to cede it back to Egypt. Egypt wanted it back and was not about to sign a peace agreement with Israel until that happened. Examination of the underlying interests, however, was revealing. Israel did not really want the Sinai; what it wanted was security. And Egypt did not really want to threaten Israel's security; what it wanted was the land back. So the solution to the problem (not the negotiated middle ground between two positions) was to return the Sinai to Egypt, on the condition that it be de-militarized. Once the interests were properly framed, the solution was relatively easy.
There is one final reason for an in-depth understanding of both sets of interests. Sometimes principled negotiation is not possible and harder positional bargaining must be used. When that is the case, it pays to know if there are divisions in the enemy camp. Colosi points out that there probably will be "stabilizers" who would bargain "soft," and "destabilizers" who would bargain very "hard" indeed, and might scuttle the negotiations if they could. A thorough understanding of the other side's case is essential for the exploitation of their differences.
It is here that negotiators have the best opportunity to expand the pie. It is also here that principled negotiation begins to look a lot like Consensus Team Decision Making. There are three strong points of similarity. The first is that neither can go forward without common ground. In CTDM, it is shared goals and objectives; here it is mutual interests. The second is that a divergent, or creative, thinking phase is required. The third is that creativity can be squelched, and by much the same thing: premature evaluation and/or early closure. Fortunately, many of the tools that work for CTDM also work here.
The primary obstacle to expansion of the pie is that convergent thinking takes place too early in the process. For example, taking a narrow view of what is possible, or focusing upon obstacles rather than on possibilities. As in CTDM, these obstacles can be avoided by leadership that keeps options open and deliberately challenges tendencies toward closure. To make this happen, the negotiator must concentrate on actually leading the process, as opposed to being a participant in it. Here we see another similarity to the CTDM process, where one or more interested parties must monitor a process while they are also participating in it.
As long as options are kept open, many avenues for creative ideas may appear. One of the more interesting examples given by Fisher and Ury concerns dovetailed interests for mutual gain. These may result when the participants have different beliefs about possible outcomes and are willing to "bet" on their beliefs: An aging baseball player wants a salary increase and is confident he can perform well in the coming season. His manager does not agree. The player offers to bet on his belief. The manager agrees and a deal is struck. Each gets what he wants in the negotiation.
A Salary Negotiation
Buck: I'm sorry, Mr. Walden, but your salary offer just isn't good enough. I had a good year last year and I know that I can win at least 20 games this year.
Walden: Well, it is about the best we can do. After all, you are 38 years old and I don't think your arm is going to hold out for another season-- not to win 20 games.
Buck: I am willing to bet it will. How would this be? I'll sign for what you are offering if you will give me a bonus for each game I win-- one twentieth of the difference between what you are offering and what I want.
Walden: Why not?
If there is one theme in principled negotiation, it is that the process should be rational and objective. Every effort must be made to de-personalize the process, to make it as far divorced from win-lose conflict as possible, and based on principles as firmly as possible.
In the CTDM process, explicit recognition is given the importance of monitoring and maintaining a high conceptual level. This is similar to metacognitive awareness in an individual which occurs when a person thinks about how he/she is thinking. In CTDM we monitor the process to provide feedback to the decision making team. In principled negotiation, a similar monitoring task is adopted to be sure the process does not drift off into conflict. The principled negotiator must avoid being drawn into a contest of wills, or into a subjective debate about whose view of an issue is better. If the process devolves into winning and losing, it becomes positional and contentious.
The vaccine against conflict is a continuous push for objectivity. If attacked on belief, ask where data might be found to check the accuracy of the belief. An excellent example given was based upon Law of the Sea negotiations about ocean bed mining. The United States wanted to pay no license fee for mineral rights to a parcel of sea bed. Some developing nations wanted a very hefty license fee imposed. Neither would budge. The deadlock was broken when an economic model was brought into play, which showed the probable profit from the mineral wealth in a parcel. It was evident that no company could afford the gamble that would be imposed by the fee the developing nations wanted. On the other hand, it was equally evident that some fee would be affordable. This model allowed a dispassionate examination of the problem and addressed the interests of both parties. The negotiators came to agreement on fees.
Pressure in negotiations can come from many sources: bribes ("... if you will just agree to this one point, we can get out of here..."); threats ("...if you don't agree to this, which is my bottom line, we will strike tomorrow ..."); manipulation ("... why can't you bring your boss; he would approve this deal even if you won't ..."); refusal to budge from a position ("... I won't go a cent lower."). The response is to look for an objective principle that can relieve the pressure.
Senior executives make a strong point about good manners in negotiations. Abusive behavior, and hitting back-giving them as good as you got-always backfires. The negotiator must constantly be in command of his or her behavior, particularly emotional responses to the behavior of the other side. Unprincipled negotiators may try to de-stabilize the opposition by any number of tricks and pressure tactics. The point is that it takes two to play. If the principled negotiator doesn't play, the unprincipled one is left huffing and puffing alone. It takes a great deal of patience, maturity and experience to refrain from responding in kind.
NEGOTIATIONS WITHIN NEGOTIATIONS
One aspect of negotiations seldom addressed is that of the negotiations which take place on each side of the table, in contrast to those which take place across the negotiating table. In reality, the most difficult aspect of the negotiation process can be reaching consensus with your ratifier or your team members. Experienced negotiators prepare relentlessly and set aside time and energy for these "internal" negotiations. The effective management of your relationship with your organizational hierarchy may be the most important issue to ensure success.
WHEN PRINCIPLES WON'T WORK
Sometimes, even with the best of intentions and skill, a principled negotiator cannot bring the other side around. Sometimes, the other side simply won't play fair and use bullying, psychological warfare, or deliberate deception tactics. And, on occasion, there may be no evidence of dirty tricks but the issues are so monumental that trust is unthinkable. SALT negotiations is an example. There was ample evidence that both sides had a shared interest in negotiating a downsizing of the nuclear arsenal, both to lessen the global threat and to reduce its maintenance cost. But the potential consequences of possible deception in implementation made trust impossible. The talks could not bear fruit until both sides could agree on methods for inspection compliance.
The point is that trust doesn't exist in negotiation until it is established by credible actions. Even then agreements must be backed up by iron-clad ways of verifying compliance. Rose-colored glasses seem to be the favorite apparel of ex-negotiators who were taken to the cleaners by their previous opponents. Any negotiator must remember that he/she is entering a contest. There is a mandate for ethical behavior in this contest, and there are gains if it is principled. However, there are no judges or referees in this contest, and the assumption that an opponent will be playing by your ethical and principled rules is unwarranted. Trust may be a conclusion but trust may never be an assumption.
One of the essential elements of negotiation is knowing if there are viable alternatives. Again, this is like strategic leadership. When strategic goals are being nailed down, a good strategist envisions options and asks about the downside of each. Creative vision is necessary to identify the options, but it must be paired with analytic rigor in the evaluation phase.
What happens if they simply won't agree? With a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement), the question is already answered. Without a BATNA, a negotiator doesn't know how important the negotiations are, and will be vulnerable to pressure from the other side -- and that pressure will come. With a BATNA, the pressure switches to the other side, unless they also have prepared one. So the first element in preparation strategy is to develop the best BATNA possible. That doesn't mean just knowing that there is an alternative. It means searching for a good one, and even working hard to improve it. Negotiation may not be necessary if a good BATNA can be developed.
A Good BATNA
Joan smiled as she walked in her boss's office for her annual appraisal. The letter in her pocket felt good. It offered a starting salary in another firm 25 percent higher than his.
"Joan," said the boss, "you've done great work this year but we are really in a pinch on the raises we can give. I'm going to put you in for a 5% raise."
"Boss," said Joan, "I have two new patents that will make this company a bundle. I am worth more than that."
The boss asked, "How can you be so sure of that?"
Joan said, "I can be sure."
THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS
There can be no doubt that the process is a contest where each negotiator can take nothing for granted, and can never relax. Even if it is possible to establish mutual interests and move into the principled negotiation mode, prudence demands risk analysis and control. The more consequential the issue, the more important risk management is. The key to a successful negotiation process is preparation. Experienced negotiators say that you should prepare, prepare, prepare.
The Negotiation Process
Discover what the other side knows
Educate the other side on your position
Create doubt about the other side's position
Make the other side advocates for your position
Determine enforcement means
Enhance implementation through good relationship
Until the other side establishes trustworthiness by credible performance, you must learn as much about the other side's position as possible, while revealing as little as possible about one's own:
First, you should have completed preliminary work, to scope out what the other side's position and strategy will be, so you aren't hearing it in negotiations for the first time. Second, you should have selected your team with an eye toward enhancing your ability to figure out the other side -- its strengths and its weaknesses. And your team should be highly disciplined in order to establish a good relationship. It should also be understood who talks for the team .
The second principle is to get the other side to lose confidence in its position while gaining confidence in yours. This is where "education" comes in- the process of selectively revealing information that strengthens your case while questioning that of the other side. It sounds like a breach of ethics to reveal information selectively to strengthen your case while weakening your opponent's. However, until trust is established, negotiation is a contest. You would not use your weak arm to arm-wrestle with a stranger. Ethics in negotiation has to do with being principled and fair, and neither demands complete disclosure.
The "decision" in negotiation is whatever the negotiators agree on, and can convince their ratifiers to accept. This, incidentally, is another reason for intense preparation prior to the actual negotiation. If you are not going to reveal weaknesses, you can be sure your opponent will not. You will need to discover them through meticulous spadework before the fact, with careful attention to body language, tone, and what your opponent does not say.
This leads to the third principle: creating doubt about the other side's position. As you educate the other side to see the advantages of your position, you want to undermine their confidence in their own position. These two principles, educating the other side on your position and creating doubt about their own position, are a cyclical process.
The fourth principle is to make the other side an advocate for your own position. Neither you nor they will have the power to decide. That power has been withheld by those who sent you to negotiate for them. They are your "ratifiers," your "closers." You are a better negotiator than they are, or you would not have been sent to do that job for them. So a part of your strategy is to manage the other side's access to your ratifiers. You don't want someone as good as you are to have access to your own decision makers.
Customer: This dickering is getting on my nerves. I'll give you $15,599 for that car and not a penny more. That is my last offer.
Salesman: I don't know if we can do that, but I'll take it to my manager and see if he will approve it. (Later) I'm really sorry but my boss said we can't do that. We would lose money.
Customer: Well, if you don't know what kind of deal your boss will buy, I'm through negotiating with you. Bring him out and I will deal with him.
Salesman: I'm sorry. He was leaving just as I was talking to him. He won't be back until tomorrow.
Customer: Well, you know my position. Tell me what you think he will approve.
First, the customer and the salesman are doing positional bargaining. Given a "hard" position, the salesman takes the offer to his ratifier, thereby posturing as the customer's advocate, but protecting himself from having to say no. The ratifier, who may not even have been there, refused. The customer now demands to see the individual who has the authority to decide, but the salesman cannot afford to have his ratifier brought into the process. The customer then seeks to co-opt the salesman by asking him to frame something the ratifier will approve. This still may not work, but the salesman is now on the defensive, for at least a few moments. Negotiators must be very skillful in their use of psychological advantage. This remains true, though a less critical consideration, in principled negotiation.
The fifth principle is to enhance both enforcement and implementation by building in objectively verifiable means. Even with principled negotiation and trust, future doubt or suspicion can be avoided by including in the agreement some objective means for checking that the agreement is honored by both sides, and for enforcing compliance. Sales contracts, for example, have clauses that address the potential for default. A house loan is secured by a deed of trust. Equally, negotiated agreements should be written with some consideration of how non-compliance would be treated.
The sixth principle is that it is essential to maintain a good relationship with the other side. A good relationship enhances the operation of the preceding principles, and, indeed, may be essential to some of them. Further, if initial initiatives toward principled negotiation get no response from the other side, maintaining a good relationship "in spite of it all" may produce a change of heart with your opponent. Principled negotiation can emerge at almost any time, so long as one negotiator has been behaving in a principled manner all along. So the other side must be treated with courtesy and respect.
PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE
You may not have total discretion about the membership of your team. However, you are still responsible for the outcome. You also want to obtain basic understanding of the other side. If at all possible, you should include someone who has that understanding. That person will need to educate you before negotiations begin, and watch the other side as negotiations continue, interpreting the meaning of events you might miss. (Remember the process observer used in CTDM?) You also need experts on the substantive issues to be negotiated. Finally, you need a "second" who is an expert in human behavior and the negotiation process itself. This "second" will be your process observer, providing feedback on your behavior, how the other side is responding, and how your own team is reacting. Your "second" can also be a sounding board if a change in strategy seems necessary.
Your own team did a lot of debating on strategy and positions to be taken. Certainly, the other team also debated. A part of your team's charter is to look for evidence of that debate, to determine where the dissent is on the other side.
Your effort consists of using the full resources available to you to scope out the other team, their track records, their power structure, their ratifier, and whatever personal information you can discover to help you establish a positive relationship with your counterpart. Your might even include assigning responsibilities to your team members for developing counterpart relationships that would be supportive of those you will establish.
Your homework must include a detailed organization of your own team. All teams, yours and the opposition, will have "stabilizers" and "destabilizers." Stabilizers are members who make too many concessions in "soft" bargaining, and destabilizers are members who would make "hard" demands and even break off negotiations. Your task is to control your own team and exploit differences on the other team by identifying their stabilizers and destabilizers who can be managed to your own advantage.
The organization of your own team should plan for contingencies, ensuring that you have an accurate and comprehensive record of what has transpired. At least one team member should be assigned the task of taking notes, and the negotiator should use these notes to get agreement from the other side as to what has transpired. If the other side can be induced to sign the notes, then you have gained an even greater degree of control.
A final note on team discipline added by Colosi is that information is contained in everything that happens. If a note is passed, the mere act of passing it may reveal that the current discussion has high relevance, and may also indicate a weakness or objective. Sudden whispering among team members is highly revealing. You, as an experienced negotiator, will have learned all this, but your team will not. Your preparation needs to include a "ground school" for your team on the tone and other psychological aspects of negotiation, and how to manage this facet of the negotiations.
Finally, you must establish a solid relationship with your ratifier. You need unambiguous understanding of his/her expectations, and ZOPA. You and the ratifier need a positive relationship because you are going to come back with something that is not exactly what was desired. You must build trust with your ratifier. A part of this will be keeping the ratifier informed as negotiations progress.
This chapter has only begun to explore the intricacies of strategic negotiations, an extraordinarily important part of our professional leadership and personal lives. With our negotiating skills, we protect our critical interests, make agreements that reduce conflict about expectations, encourage collective effort, and establish the foundations for long-lasting partnerships. Negotiation is not a war, nor is it a cause for antipathy. Properly principled, negotiation is a problem solving process in which initially opposing viewpoints can be brought into the fortunate circumstance of mutual gain-creating a bigger pie which then can be shared by all.
| Return to Top | Return to Contents | Next Chapter | Previous Chapter |