In the complex world of negotiation, coming up with a deal that the parties can live with in the long run, is no easy task. How negotiators GET there become crucial. Besides the relationship & trust building, determining of BATNA's, trust building, counterpart cultural & style saavy, there are other considerations leading to better agreements.
Here are some tips to increase your chances for better agreements:
Excerpts from "Keys to Negotiating for Mutual Gain - A Collaborative Approach" by I. Zucker, Copyright 2012 VerbaCom®.
Labels: collaboration, collaborative approach, collaborative negotiation, negotiating process, negotiating style, splitting the difference, tough negotiators
Sooner or later, we all will have to negotiate with internal or external clients, bosses or colleagues, and vendors about something important to the parties involved. Being able to navigate through the negotiation process and knowing when to make the appropriate strategic move, could determine whether you cut a deal or whether you end up in a no deal or empasse.
Negotiating is about the parties approaching a "problem" that needs to be resolved by coming up with a workable solution. In an effort to appear fair and collaborative, parties often resort to "splitting the difference". This may seem like a good thing, i.e. you and I get the same size piece of the pie which is fair. A closer look at this strategy often reveals that it doesn't take into account the inherent, untapped potential value within the 2 halves themselves. Dr. Roger Fisher, of Harvard's Program on Negotiation Research Project, uses the classic orange analogy to make the point. In this analogy, a baker and juice maker have one orange. Each wants it for a different reason (one for the juice, the other the rind for baking). They could have simply split it in half (fair) but in doing so the baker has no need for the juice in his half and alternately the juice maker has no use for the rind in his half. Had they collaboratively brainstormed, they could have doubled their take by having the baker take the whole rind, the juice maker, taking the juice. This created more value for the parties than they would have had by simply splitting the difference. The parties made the pie bigger through dialogue and probing questions to determine the other's needs as well as their own.
Excerpts from "Keys to Negotiating for Mutual Gain - A Collaborative Approach" by I. Zucker, Copyright 2011 VerbaCom®
Labels: collaboration, collaborative approach, collaborative negotiation, negotiated agreement, negotiation, splitting the difference
Try as they may, clients and their respective attorneys sometimes fail to come up with a negotiated agreement that they can all live with and arrive at a no deal situation also known as an empasse. Before taking on expensive litigation, some parties try to make a last ditch effort to resolve their problems through mediation, in which a neutral mediator helps the parties resolve their conflict. Some parties also acquire an attorney to serve as a legal advisor during the process who will "watch their backs".
In an article entitled, "How Mediation Works When Both Parties Agree They Need Help Resolving the Dispute", edited by Harvard’s PON Staff, it was pointed out that the mediation process involves two stages:
Stage One: The Joint Session whereby the parties are typically brought together to a) educate the Mediator about the reason for the "dispute", b) to uncover different perspectives on the facts and c) to determine what it would take for the parties to arrive at a satisfactory resolution.
Stage Two: If emotions run high, the Mediator may proceed to separating the parties in an effort to continue settlement efforts. In separate sessions, called Caucuses, the Mediator meets with each party separately, assuring the parties that any information shared in the caucus would not be divulged unless given permission to do so.
In both Stages, the Mediator should be aware of the importance of asking the right questions. Since the Mediator is privy to the perspectives of both sides of the mediation, it can be a real challenge to remain neutral, especially if the Mediator sees a solution that is heavily weighted toward one side. The Mediator’s job is to remain neutral at all costs and refrain from offering advice to one or both parties. Doing so can backfire, especially if a suggestion made to a party is perceived as leaning to the advantage of the opposing party and will then jeopardize the Mediator's position of neutrality. One way to avoid a biased position is to ask questions that get the parties to "think about" certain options. Because the mediation's core interests are all about a successful negotiation, a good Mediator will ask the parties specific questions to flush out underlying issues, their reasons for positional thinking, and possible options leading to a resolution. Phrases like, "Have you thought about…." or "What do you think would be the consequences/benefits of that option to you or the other party?" Questions, if formulated correctly and wisely used by the Mediator to help parties create value for themselves and the other side, can be a path for the parties to come up with a resolution themselves. In essence, the Mediator facilitates the process of creating and claiming value, brought about by the parties themselves. This usually leads to better resolutions and greater by-in by both of the parties.
Labels: asking questions in mediation, caucus during mediation, mediation process, mediators, negotiation