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Successful Negotiation: Essential Factors Essay

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Updated: Nov 17th, 2020


Negotiations strive to achieve a consensus among parties that have differing opinions. Ideological differences are common among individuals and whenever they take place, negotiations need to be instituted so that the differences receive required solutions. For negotiations to be effective, the parties to the conciliation need to utilize factors such as effective communication, accept change, be keen listeners, and avoid emotional flare-ups. Consequently, the cases provided by the paper are very practical in presenting the relevance of the factors that lead to successful negotiation. These cases clarify the reasons why parties need to ensure that successful negotiation should be a win-win situation.


Negotiations characterize our daily activities. Decisions concerning education, work, and places of residence are outcomes of negotiations. Although individuals may not realize that a certain decision is arrived at after a process of negotiation, the decision may always require some level of negotiation. In advanced levels, people negotiate to get answers that solve various challenges that come their way. Conflicts that cut across borders or issues that arise between organizations compel concerned parties to engage in a process of negotiations in the quest to address the situation. While many people engage in negotiations, some do not understand the factors that facilitate successful negotiations. As such, the individuals enter into a negotiating session without prior preparation a phenomenon that at times leads to disappointing results. It is within this context that this essay explains the factors that are essential for a successful negotiation and uses two examples to highlight negotiations themes.

Essential Factors for Successful Negotiation

Effective Communication

Negotiation involves two or more parties who are focused on solving conflict and attaining an acceptable outcome that satisfies the interest of all negotiating parties. For successful negotiations, there is a need to engage in practices that utilize effective communication. It is paramount to assert that communication is vital in ensuring that the issues under examination receive the requisite redress. In the perspective of Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2016), communication is a process where a sender encodes and sends the message to a recipient who decodes it and provides feedback. Concisely feedbacks depend on the message and the scale of understanding. Poorly encoded messages are susceptible to unwanted responses. The response acquired after sending a message relies on the process of encoding and packaging the information. Smart negotiators understand that to receive good results, they need to practice exceptional encoding strategies, which relay the information to the other party in its right content and quality.

Staying from Emotional Flare-Ups and Negative Feelings

Emotional flare-ups and negative feelings disrupt negotiations and yield disappointing results. Flare-ups and negative feelings are indeed the challenges faced by negotiators each time they address a conflict. Poor listening skills and bias are among the factors that trigger negative feelings and emotions during the process of negotiation. It is important to explain that negotiations should lead to a win-win situation and no one should be a loser. In the advent that one of the parties feels downgraded or belittled, the likelihood of emotional flare-ups is high. Successful negotiators understand that bias and win-lose situations are not acceptable in an arbitration process. In effect, emotional flare-ups, feelings of embarrassment, and anger limit the effectiveness of negotiations. The ability to think critically and provide a rational statement is impaired by flare-ups and negative feelings. In the words of Zait (2016), negotiators need to exercise level-headedness all through the process of conflict resolution. Critical thinking and effective problem-solving skills transpire when negotiating parties stay away from emotions and negative feelings.


For a successful negotiation that yields satisfying results, there is a need for attention. Parties involved in a negotiation process need to listen keenly to each other so that they can make informed decisions. The absence of attention leads to the omission of important details that could help in solving the conflict in question. Moreover, if the parties to the conflict do not listen carefully, they may fail to address the conflict and instead focus on less important issues. Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2016) explain that parties to a conflict need to be attentive so that they understand the issues raised and provide solutions that address the issue comprehensively. The explanation is not only practical but also beneficial to the parties involved in the process of negotiation. Fundamentally, listening is critical in understanding the issues raised by the other party.

Smart negotiators usually take their time to understand the perspective held by the other party. After listening to the other party, it becomes easy to persuade or change their mindset and enjoy a rewarding negotiating session. The ease in persuading the party to the negotiation emanates from the comprehension acquired after carefully listening to the points raised. By being attentive, one is in a good position of pulling out details from parties in the negotiation and address issues amicably. Sharma, Bottom, and Elfenbein (2013) state that mediators can at times repeat statements to confirm that the issue raised by negotiating parties is correctly understood. Furthermore, gestures and facial expressions can help in unearthing the intentions of the negotiating individuals and are easily observed when the negotiators pay keen attention during the arbitration session. It is momentous to state that a combination of verbal and non-verbal expressions is one of the major factors that lead to productive negotiation.

Readiness for Change

A successful negotiation should practice the concept of give-and-take. As such, the parties that are negotiating need to be ready to accept a mutually viable outcome. Sticking to a singular point of view and refusing to accept any other proposal leads to poor results. Since negotiation is a win-win situation, the parties need to understand that for positive results, they should be ready to sacrifice some of their standpoints and arrive at a common ground. According to Stoshikj (2014) as well as De Pauw, Venter, and Neethling (2011), readiness to sacrifice is a good ingredient that facilities effective negotiation. Notably, when negotiators are willing to change and accept mutually beneficial results, the process becomes smooth and efficient. Selfishness and refusal to sacrifice limits the room for productive negotiation. Practically, the basis of a successful negotiation is a mutual agreement that takes place after negotiating parties attain a mutual consensus.

Negotiation Cases

The two cases selected are from the book ‘Essentials of Negotiation’ by Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2016) pages one and two respectively. The first case concerns two women Jocelyn and Janet, who live in one room, while the second case is the airline case that is on the verge of bankruptcy. While these cases are different, they display some similarities because they compel the concerned parties to enter into some kind of negotiation. In the first case, a conflict is looming between Janet and Jocelyn. The conflict emanates from the different lifestyles led by the two women. While Janet loves a quiet way of life, Jocelyn likes interactive and noisy lifestyle. To solve the issue, the two women who are parties to the conflict need to negotiate and arrive at a solution that best addresses their issue. Presently, Janet plans to initiate a process of negotiation so that her interests are not violated. It is important to explain that the themes of negotiation are applicable in this scenario since the process requires these themes for a successful mediation.

The second case, which concerns the airline company, is another practical example of negotiation. The conflict in the airline context transpired because of the challenge of bankruptcy that compels the company to look for alternative solutions. According to Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2016), one of the best solutions arrived at by the airline executives is to reduce the expenditure by cutting down pilot salaries. To address the issue amicably, there is a need to include the parties involved that comprise the pilot union and the airline executives. The themes that facilitate essential negotiation such as flexibility, avoiding negative feelings and effective communication play a pivotal role during the conciliation process. For successful negotiation that will yield a positive outcome, the pilot union, and the executives have to find a common ground that will not only save the company from bankruptcy but will also address the issue of pay cuts.


Negotiation is a very important concept, which determines decisions that people make as they undertake their daily initiatives. It is important to emphasize that the difference between unsuccessful and successful negotiation lies in the themes utilized in the mediation process. Parties that apply themes such as flexibility, attention, effective communication, and avoid emotional flare-ups are likely to achieve a rewarding outcome during the negotiation process. The ability to reach an informed decision transpires because the parties can think critically, provide rational statements, and apply problem-solving expertise during the session. The cases highlighted are very vital in understanding the practical and real-life challenges that need an application of themes that facilitate successful negotiation.


De Pauw, A., Venter, D., & Neethling, K. (2011). The effect of negotiator creativity on negotiation outcomes in a bilateral negotiation. Creativity research journal, 23(1), 42-50.

Lewicki, R., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. (2016). Essentials of negotiation. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill Education.

Sharma, S., Bottom, W., & Elfenbein, H. (2013). On the role of personality, cognitive ability, and emotional intelligence in predicting negotiation outcomes: A meta-analysis. Organizational psychology review, 3(4), 293-336.

Stoshikj, M. (2014). Integrative and distributive negotiations and negotiation behavior. Journal of service science research, 6(1), 29-69.

Zait, A. (2016). Conceptualization and operationalisation of specific variables in exploratory researches–an example for business negotiation. Scientific annals of economics and business, 63(1), 117-123.

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