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Negotiations are a part of everyday life. They occur not only in business but also in ordinary everyday situations. Determining how well someone does on standing his or her ground can be a measure of success. Negotiating is a talent given by nature, yet it can be developed by following a set of rules. The elements of successful negotiation include the ability to share an idea and to get allies, the power position, timing, improvisation, language, and the ability to find a compromise.
Every negotiation starts with an idea. The principal similarity between the participants of dialogue is that they believe that their idea is better than the other one. The key idea is to make an opposing party believe that he or she was wrong, and other perceptions could work better. One of the most beneficial techniques is to share a vision of the problem. It could be useful to put oneself in the position of the other party. Understanding the opposite point of view would provide knowledge of what is important for other people (Siedel 9). When an opposing party sees all the benefits he or she could get from a proposed solution, it would be easier to accept this idea. Even if someone insists on the benefits of one idea, the task of negotiators is to not give up on the original perception. They have to stick to their idea while proving the other one is not as good.
When a negotiation takes a form of a group discussion, it is extremely important to make at least some other people believe that the idea is worth accepting. Human psychology is created in a way that does not allow people to agree with proposed solutions if not many people are supporting it. People are social creatures, and the community’s opinion may influence their decisions. For instance, if an employee tries to convince a boss to optimize a process, he or she would need the support from a line manager and an accountant executive since they are able to prove that the measure could be financially productive.
One of the most important elements that predicate the outcomes of a negotiation process is power (Mehta 40). Having an influence on other participants of dialogue creates a situation when they are not comfortable with opposing an offered solution. The level of power is not always matching the social or intra-organizational roles. During negotiations, it is usually dictated by the need. For instance, if a person is desperate to find a job, an employer can dictate the company’s position, making a candidate agree with terms he or she would never accept in another situation. Money usually matters when a dialogue is associated with the business. This resource, along with governmental ties, can be a measure of power. Ordinary people engage in arguments that often lack the financial side. Hiding the interest is one of the most important parts of the negotiation process.
The time resource proves to be important while determining the side who possesses the most power. The more time someone can spend on discussing terms, the less he or she is in need of changes. Thus, it would be harder to convince such a person to accept another point of view. Actions like arriving late also work towards this perception. People who do not rush to make a decision create an opinion that they do not require any changes to the existing state of things, and they would be rather sticking to the convenient plan.
Timing is also important for changing the point of view of other people. The longer a negotiation process goes, the harder it is to make any changes since people who are tired are not able to create any product ideas. When they realize that they cannot think critically about the problem anymore, they decide to refuse the acceptance of any proposed solutions. Thus, it is better to postpone a discussion until parties have the possibility to think about it again.
Language is the most important tool in negotiating. Depending on how it is described, an idea may seem appealing or not. People who wish to prove their solution is accurate should use words that would make others believe in it. For instance, when trying to convince investors that the project is worth paying for, it would be great to describe large incomes that they would receive as a result. Selling a house takes a real estate agent telling about the happy moments that a family would experience in that location. Thus, words help to visualize the positive results that are potentially the most important for others.
Emotions and body language are just as important. They support the overall opinion of a person being sure of his or her words (Wheeler 159). It is unacceptable to shout or pressure another party, for aggression would only distract people and make them want to finish a discussion as soon as possible.
Of course, the described set of rules does not always have to be followed. The most important idea in negotiating is that all discussions must flow naturally. It is good to have a plan and follow it during a dialogue, yet being stuck to an artificial behavior could help others believe that a speaker is not genuine. Since trust is one of the key elements that makes people engage in interactions with others, this opinion can serve as a bad sign.
A speaker must feel the flow of dialogue and adjust to it. For instance, there is no need to keep a serious tone when everyone else around is joking. It is also important to change the theme when there is a threat of open conflict.
It is almost impossible to make others accept an idea without sacrificing something instead. The art of compromising makes others accept an idea more readily since they understand that a speaker is willing to give up some of the benefits to satisfy the needs of others. Listening is also, to some extent, a part of compromising (Galluccio 94). It helps not only to detect the mood of other participants but also to create a perception that their opinion is valued.
Negotiating is a complex process that requires speakers to keep in mind a lot of elements of behavior that determine the success of its outcomes. Sharing ideas through language and emotions, taking time, and getting supporters while leaving a place for listening and compromising are some of the necessary conditions for a successful dialogue. People have to learn how to use words and emotions, as well as understand the psychology of others, to effectively stand for their ideas.
Galluccio, Mauro, editor. Handbook of International Negotiation: Interpersonal, Intercultural, and Diplomatic Perspectives. Springer, 2015.
Mehta, Steven G. 112 Ways to Succeed in Any Negotiation or Mediation: Secrets from a Professional Mediator. AuthorHouse, 2009.
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Siedel, George. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills. Van Rye Publishing, LLC, 2014.
Wheeler, Michael. The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World. Simon & Schuster, Inc, 2013.