Achieving Positive Outcome in Negotiations
Understanding the keys to achieve a positive outcome in negotiations, it is imperative that we define the term. While the term, ‘negotiation’ sounds cliché to the majority of people who associate the term with convincing a seller to lower a price; the truth is that this assumption is far from the truth. The term ‘negotiate’ is derived from the Latin word ‘negotiari’ which is defined to mean ‘the act of carrying on business(Saunders 2017).’
Based on the preceding definition, the primary goal of negotiations is to continue doing business with another through engaging each other and reaching a reasonable agreement. In essence, negotiation refers to the communication process between different parties or entities aimed at solving a problem through dialogue and thereby reaching a resolution. It is easy to overlook the role of negotiations in our every day lives, but the reality is that we knowingly and unknowingly engage in negotiations daily and with almost everybody. A quite common eventuality is where we find ourselves negotiating with our siblings over who will watch their favorite tv show.
Having dispelled the misconceived notion of what the term negotiation refers to; the first key to positive negotiations is to understand that the goal of any negotiation is to reach an amicable agreement(Shell 2018). In light of this, the first key to positive negotiations is to build value in your bargaining chip or offer. In business negotiations, the solution that a product or service offers becomes the primary focal point of all negotiations. The price of the service or product is a secondary focal point to the extent of the value that a product or service offers a consumer.
The second key to positive negotiations is thorough preparation. In the process of preparing for a negotiation, it is of paramount importance to consider interests, options, the legitimacy of the service or product, alternatives of the products or service, the relationship of the parties and commitment of each party to reach a reasonable agreement(Opresnik 2014).
The advantages of Effective preparation include; it increases the likelihood of achieving positive outcomes because the in-depth preparation gives valuable insights into the interests of both parties by considering the effect of each outcome from the different parties. Secondly, effective preparation gives an opportunity to the parties to increase or create value through negotiations. Thirdly, preparation allows parties to add legitimacy to their agreements by creating a sense of fairness.
Emotions inspire all our actions or omissions. Therefore, positive negotiations cannot be achieved if the emotions of the negotiating parties are not considered. This is not to mean that one party should forego their emotions to please another. Positive negotiations offer a win-win situation to the negotiating parties. As such, it is important to consider the effect of each compromise and the emotions that it may elicit.
The fact that parties have agreed to come to the negotiating table means that each party values the input of the other and also values their relationship. More so, it means that each party is willing to make compromises to ensure that their relationship continues. However, these compromises are not clear from the onset of negotiations; otherwise, there would be no need for negotiating. As such, positive negotiations are only reached through an intensive process of unraveling these compromises and agreeing to an amicable solution.
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