When negotiating, remember that there are five basic principles:
- be hard on the problem and soft on the person
- focus on needs, not positions
- emphasise common ground
- be inventive about options
- make clear agreements.
Remember to prepare in advance, keeping these objectives in mind:
- consider what your needs are and what the other person's are
- consider outcomes that would address more of what you both want
- commit yourself to a win-win approach, even if tactics used by the other person seem unfair
- be clear that your task is to steer the negotiation in a positive direction.
To do so, you may need to do some of the following.
- Ask a question to reframe. For example:'If we succeed in resolving this problem, what differences would you notice?'
- Request checking of understanding. For example:'Please tell me what you heard me/them say.'
- Request something the mentee has said to be re-stated more positively, or as an 'I' statement.
- Reinterpret an attack on the person as an attack on the issue.
Respond, don't react
- Manage your emotions.
- Let some accusations, attacks, threats or ultimatums pass.
- Make it possible for the other party to back down without feeling humiliated. For example, by identifying changed circumstances, which could justify a changed position on the issue.
Refocus on the issue
- Maintain the relationship and try to resolve the issue. For example:'What's fair for both of us?'
- Summarise how far you've got.
- Review common ground and agreement so far.
- Focus on being partners solving the problem, not opponents.
- Divide the issue into parts.
- Address a less difficult aspect when stuck.
- Invite trading. For example: 'If you will, then I will.'
- Explore best and worst alternatives to negotiating an acceptable agreement between you.
Identify unfair tactics
- Name the behaviour as a tactic.
- Address the motive for using the tactic.
- Change the physical circumstances.
- Have a break.
- Change locations, seating arrangements etc.
- Go into smaller groups.
- Meet privately.
- Call for the meeting to end now and resume later, perhaps 'to give an opportunity for reflection'.
print - back to scenario