Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

3.3. A point-by-point summary of the proposal is compiled to ensure that both parties have a common understanding of the nature and extent of the proposal.

ryanrori January 7, 2021

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The beginning of any relationship is critically important as each person sizes up the other, categorizing them against stereotypes and other internal models. The negotiation thus effectively starts well before the talking starts in earnest. When meeting the other person, you should thus seek to create the desired impression right from the start. If you want to negotiate collaboratively, then you might start with an agreeable and friendly greeting, whilst for a competitive approach, you may take a strongly assertive or even aggressive position in order to intimidate and dominate the other person.

Whatever style you use, it is important to be confident and show that you know what you are doing and where you are going. If you seek to be collaborative, then this encourages the other person to trust you. If you intend to be competitive, it positions you as capable of doing whatever it takes. A part of confidence is not  needing to feel apologetic about what you want. It can be useful to demonstrate the need, but you should not use floppy language.

A good question in all stages of the negotiation is ‘who goes first?’ If you open first, then you are showing a lead and forcing the other person to follow. If you put a good case, then you may upset the applecart for them, forcing them to try and counter your early initiative. Especially if you have a good idea of the position they are going to take, you can support or disrupt it as you choose. If you open second, then you have the opportunity to respond to whatever the other person says. If you are smarter, you may upstage them. If you are competitive, you can nullify their position by the position that you take. Controlling the process includes making sure that you or the other person goes first as will suit you best. This requires proactive and often subtle management of the situation

The context around a negotiation provides information that justifies and explains the need. Thus, for example, when selling your car, you might start by explaining how your wife is pregnant and will be giving up work soon, thus setting the context for your explaining later how you cannot accept a low price (whilst also justifying your need to sell the car and suggesting that it is not because it has any inherent problem).

Telling stories here can a useful way to help the other person understand and sympathize with your situation. Be careful with this to legitimize your later arguments whilst not showing that you are in a weak negotiating positions, for example that you are desperate to sell the car.

Also match the length of the story to the negotiation — if it is a quick exchange, then keep it to a few words. If you are expecting to negotiate all day, then a somewhat longer explanatory preamble may well be appropriate.

Explain what you need as a result of the contextual situation. Show that your need is real and legitimate. Make it clear what you want from the other person .In some situations this is clear and simple, whilst in others you may have multiple needs, for example if you are negotiating an employment contract then there may be many terms and conditions to consider.