NEGOTIATION

Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution.

Negotiation occurs in business, non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, among nations and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting and everyday life. The study of the subject is called negotiation theory. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as union negotiators, leverage buyout negotiators, peace negotiators, hostage negotiators, or may work under other titles, such as diplomats, legislators or brokers.

The word "negotiation" is from the Latin expression, "negotiatus", past participle of negotiare which means "to carry on business". "Negotium" means literally "not leisure".

What is negotiation?

Negotiation is the means by which people deal with their differences. A business negotiation may be a formal affairs that takes place across the proverbial bargaining table, in which you haggle over price and performance or the complex terms of a partnership venture. Negotiation is a dialogue intended to resolve disputes, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective advantage, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is the primary method of alternative dispute resolution.

Negotiation occurs in business, non-profit organizations, government branches, legal proceedings, among nations and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting and everyday life. The study of the subject is called negotiation theory. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as union negotiators, leverage buyout negotiators, peace negotiators, hostage negotiators, or may work under other titles, such as diplomats, legislators or brokers.

Etymology

The word "negotiation" is from the Latin expression, "negotiatus", past participle of negotiare which means "to carry on business". "Negotium" means literally "not leisure".

In simplest terms, negotiation is a discussion between two or more disputants who are trying to work out a solution to their problem. This interpersonal or inter-group process can occur at a personal level, as well as at a corporate or international (diplomatic) level. Negotiations typically take place because the parties wish to create something new that neither could do on his or her own, or to resolve a problem or dispute between them (The parties acknowledge that there is some conflict of interest between them and think they can use some form of influence to get a better deal, rather than simply taking what the other side will voluntarily give them). They prefer to search for agreement rather than fight openly, give in, or break off contact.

When parties negotiate, they usually expect give and take. While they have interlocking goals that they cannot accomplish independently, they usually do not want or need exactly the same thing. This interdependence can be either win-lose or win-win in nature and the type of negotiation that is appropriate will vary accordingly. The disputants will either attempt to force the other side to comply with their demands, to modify the opposing position and move toward compromise, or to invent a solution that meets the objectives of all sides. The nature of their interdependence will have a major impact on the nature of their relationship, the way negotiations are conducted and the outcomes of these negotiations.

Mutual adjustment is one of the key causes of the changes that occur during a negotiation. Both parties know that they can influence the other's outcomes and that the other side can influence theirs. The effective negotiator attempts to understand how people will adjust and readjust their positions during negotiations, based on what the other party does and is expected to do. The parties have to exchange information and make an effort to influence each other. As negotiations evolve, each side proposes changes to the other party's position and makes changes to its own. This process of give-and-take and making concessions is necessary if a settlement is to be reached. If one party makes several proposals that are rejected and the other party makes no alternate proposal, the first party may break off negotiations. Parties typically will not want to concede too much if they do not sense that those with whom they are negotiating are willing to compromise.

The parties must work toward a solution that takes into account each person's requirements and hopefully optimizes the outcomes for both. As they try to find their way toward agreement, the parties focus on interests, issues and positions and use cooperative and/or competitive processes to come to an agreement.

 
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