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It is a question any negotiator faces: whether to make the first offer or wait to hear from the other side. The buyer will haggle, of course, but research shows that negotiation outcomes are strongly influenced by the first offer—by where the negotiations begin. The disadvantage to making the first offer is that you reveal information that your opponent can use to his or her advantage. For example, by making the first offer and asking to be assigned to Kuala Lumpur, the recruit allows the firm to infer that Kuala Lumpur is a congruent issue, and the firm can now use that information strategically.

So the decision about whether to make the first offer involves weighing the advantage of the anchoring effect against the disadvantage of surrendering information. Lys says that in general—and contrary to popular wisdom—it is best to make the first offer, especially if you are well prepared. Typically, a negotiation proceeds roughly along these lines: you set up a meeting, you exchange information strategically, and you come to a final agreement.

But what if there were a way to get even more value from the exchange? In some cases, Lys recommends arranging a post-settlement settlement. Once we have an agreement, you and I are better off than we were at the beginning. That makes the situation less adversarial, because we have both benefited from the interaction.

See a Problem?

Of course, in some situations this approach may not be the best strategy. When Lys and Neale conducted seminars in the Middle East, they found that a post-settlement settlement often led to a total breakdown when one party found out that their counterpart benefited more than they did.

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  • Negotiation?

Reappraise your emotions. Emotions can affect our ability to negotiate. Lys says this is because we often seek two things simultaneously—emotional satisfaction and value—and that as a negotiation progresses, people tend to confuse the two. Lys says emotions that arise in a negotiation should not be suppressed—in some cases, they can be used to your advantage. If a homebuyer tries to lower the price unfairly after inspection, the homeowner may find that an angry response—coupled with an explanation—causes the buyer to back down.

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  8. That understanding can mitigate your emotional response and can change how you assess the situation. Suppressing and fabricating emotion both require cognitive energy that is then not available for solving the dispute.

    Is Your Negotiation Strategy Wrong?

    Our brains are great at blocking out everything but what we believe to be the essential facts. This sort of necessary hyperfocus is required to negotiate, but it's also where we most often trip ourselves up in any complex negotiation. We become myopic and lose sight of the context and larger goal of the negotiation. It's easy to do when you're stuck inside of your own head trying to understand both your own motivations and guessing at those of the other party.

    As much as you try to see outside of your own biases and preconceptions, you can't. We draw hard lines around our perception when what we actually need is to blur them just enough to see what lies outside of our focal range. The only way I've found to do that is by bringing along what I call a silent observer. It's ironic that most people don't even consider doing this since negotiation is inherently a collaborative process in which you are attempting to work with someone to achieve an outcome that benefits both parties.

    Yet, we are all drawn to the image of the sole negotiator who can single handedly bring his opponent to his or her knees. It doesn't work that way. The reason the vast majority of negotiators fail is because of ego and an inability to hear what the other party is saying when it doesn't fit what they want to hear. The silent observer tempers the former and amplifies the latter.

    He or she is someone who is on your side but whose role it is to observe, both you and the other party, in order to expand your field of view and to better prepare you for the ongoing dialog that leads to informed resolution Their role is not to participate in the actual negotiation by contributing during the time that the two parties are at the negotiating table.

    Doing this right means that you have to define the role of the observer clearly, and without compromise, as someone who will not contribute in any way to the conversations between the two parties. Although they are present during the entire negotiation the value they bring is on the offline conversations that you need to have in order to separate the substance of the negotiation from the emotional backdrop. This means that they are diligently paying attention to the many subtle nuances of both parties actions and behaviors, which provide valuable clues and insights that are almost always lost in the heat of the moment.

    Think of this in the same way you might that of a navigator on the flight deck of a complex aircraft. They may be capable of flying the plane but they do not. Their role is to provide the information necessary to guide the pilots in making correct decisions about their actions and the implications of their actions.

    Negotiating strategically : one versus all / Andreas Nikolopoulos - Details - Trove

    For example, changes in body language, intonation, use of language, and pretty much anything that signals emphasis, retreat, increased interest, or exposed nerve endings of either party will be abundantly apparent to a silent observer. In addition, while most people will not agree to being recorded in audio or video during a negotiation, having another person in the room is almost never opposed. The silent observer has six specific roles in a negotiation. While the importance of each may vary based on the negotiators and the specifics of the conversation, the silent observer needs to be constantly thinking about how he or she can do all of these.

    Every negotiation has an emotional undertone that is the equivalent of metronome for a musical performance.

    source url Emotions will ebbed flow. However, as with a group of musicians playing together, when one picks u the tempo the others will typically follow.

    Negotiation Caselets

    This can lead to a dangerous feedback loop that quickly escalates emotions to undermine the negotiation. Recognizing this is exceptionally hard when you're an active participant in the escalation. How may times have you walked away from an emotional argument wondering to yourself, "Why did I let that happen as though I had no control of it? It's amazing what you can tell from just observing facial expressions and body language. We all give away tells or signs that indicate discomfort, anxiety, anger, frustration, and acceptance. These are hardwired so deeply in how we we behave that we rarely have any clue that we are even doing them.

    Worse yet, when we are in a tense situation we are even less likely to see these same indicators in others. However, the good news is that when we are calm and dispassionate it is easy to recognize these changes others. Which a little knowledge about what to look for a silent observer can quickly identify these tells, in both parties, giving valuable clues as to what is being communicated outside of what is being said. One of the most important aspects of any negotiation is regularly walking away from the table to process what's being said and how each party is reacting or receiving the specific points being discussed.

    This avoids a "bold the ocean" approach by breaking down the negotiation into its pieces and dispatching each one individually. Breaks all provide a chance to quietly think through the negotiation's trajectory and adjust accordingly. Professional mediators understand this and use it as a standard part of how they work with two parties by quickly moving from a session in which all parties are at the table to alternating between both parties when they are separated from each other.

    It's fascinating to hear and negotiator and a silent observer offer their individual accounts of a negotiation. Often the perspectives will not only differ but include fundamental points that were entirely missed by the negotiator. This is the result of the narrow tunnel vision I described earlier. Remember that I said you need to focus in order to negotiate; you're bringing your game and that requires laser tight attention.

    The silent observer isn't emotionally vested. Her or she is your peripheral vision, allowing you to capture a degree perspective of what's going on. It's like the difference between driving by just looking straight in front of you versus having six windows along with rearview and side mirrors, and a backup camera to boot. Unless you are a heartless, flat-lined automaton you will get emotionally vested.