Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.1. Explain the need for negotiation skills in business.

ryanrori January 7, 2021

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We are living in the era of negotiation.  Around us the world has changed and is still changing rapidly because of and by means of negotiation.  Negotiation is a fact of life: just as we as humans cannot exist without communication, so we can barely exist without negotiating.

It has been realised that because the price of conflict can only be paid afterwards, the price of peace must be paid beforehand.

How did this new thinking come about?  Only through world-wide realisation that, forty years after World War II, great changes can take place when people face each other across a table instead of avoiding each other.  Leaders in all spheres of life have now realised the potential of negotiation.  The world around us has made it an essential requirement that business can and must negotiate.  New labour legislation “forced” managers in South Africa to face their workers more frequently and to bargain according to certain rules.  The well-known Japanese business management author Imai (1986) has stated that, because of the increasing involvement and participation of workers in the world of the future, the manager’s role will be mainly that of communicator, negotiator and decision-maker.

In short, a global culture has emerged which eclipse other ways of limiting conflict – negotiation instead of confrontation.  The entire world seems to agree and subscribe to this cultural movement.

Negotiation can be defined as a process of interaction between individuals or groups that is directed at reaching some form of agreement that will hold and is based on common interests, with the purpose of preventing or resolving conflict and to satisfy the needs of the parties, despite wide differences.  This is achieved basically through the establishment of common ground and the creation of alternatives.  To the present authors, common ground is not just what people have in common but what they could become together.

Negotiation is an exchange of information through communication.  The information is formulated as strategies and techniques.  These strategies and techniques originate from the negotiation relationship between the parties and they serve to continue or discontinue the relationship.  The purpose of this communication exchange is to reach agreement between parties who have certain things in common while disagreeing on others ( Nieumeijer 1988:1)