Negotiation is defined as a dialogue aimed at reaching a common and beneficial conclusion in cases where two or more parties differ in ideas or interests. In this sense, its scope is broader than just dialogue between states or legal entities. Both conversations you make with your friends about which movie to watch and your company’s merger negotiations are in the scope of negotiation. For this reason, mastering the negotiation techniques carries the person forward in every area of life, helps to achieve beneficial results and avoid conflicts. This competency plays a key role in managing the most successful result for themselves and their institutions through the negotiations they will hold.
First of all, we should put the concept of negotiation in the right position in our minds. Negotiation should not be perceived as producing tactics with the sentence “I will win.” in mind. It should not be forgotten that the main purpose is to reach a common decision that will have a beneficial result for both sides.
Negotiation is essentially based on trust. To ensure this trust, the parties must fulfill their commitments to each other. A manager who has previously met with that institution and has met the terms of the agreement can use the established relationship and the trust he has created in favor of future negotiations. Being consistent, sincere and believable, seeing these values above interests helps to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust. Of course, when it comes to the subject of negotiation, the importance of the interests is undeniable, but the trust environment to be created serves the interests of all parties in the long run by making it easier to achieve common benefit and strengthening the relationship between the parties. The belief that the negotiating parties will feel in that common interest is aimed is essential for the common ground to be achieved. If one of the parties feels that the interests have been imposed on them, they may have been damaged by the negotiation, or that the other party’s purpose is to prevail in the negotiation, the communication channels necessary to reach an agreement can be ruptured.
Negotiation is not an art of winning but reconciliation. The most important factor of this art is healthy communication. Being a good listener and asking strong questions allows us to determine the priorities of the parties. When we shape our demands according to these detections, reconciliation becomes more likely. Using our intuition to predict what the other person feels at that moment, and shaping the way we negotiate accordingly, prevents conflicts.
In order to get to know the parties, conducting research about the manager and the institution to be negotiated before the negotiation and making use of the observations during the negotiation are the cornerstones of the success. Asking the other party about their priorities is perhaps the most effective way to recognize them. It should not be forgotten that the person negotiated is not our enemy, but on the contrary, it is our partner that we aim to achieve a positive output by collaborating. It is important to determine what we will demand as well as how we will demand it. Studies show that the concept of justice is the most important value of about 80% of people. Therefore, the fairness of our position and demands during the negotiation helps us reach them. The manager should be careful to take a sincere, kind and positive attitude during the negotiation. Focusing on negotiated issues rather than disputes helps strengthen the negotiating ground.
It is as important to know your interests well and achieve a common result as well as establishing a healthy negotiating ground. For this, the manager should be prepared for the pressure factors that may be encountered during the negotiation, and should avoid causing these elements to make more concessions than necessary. A mutual compromising environment should be created, nothing should be given without taking anything. It should be planned in advance that what can be a subject to compromise while what should not be compromised.
Reviewing all the possibilities that may arise in the negotiation and planning the negotiation process several times in the mind ensures that the process is carried out in a prepared and confident manner. It is always possible that an agreement could not be reached in the negotiations. For this reason, an action plan should be drawn and alternatives should be determined in case of no agreement. The identity, needs and priorities of the parties, the cost of the agreement to the parties, the environment in which the negotiation will take place and the time frame should be analyzed in depth. Despite all these efforts, it is not possible to create a written scenario for all possibilities in the negotiation processes.
Therefore, it is important to be agile, to adapt our position to new situations that may arise during the negotiation process.
Negotiations carried out with proper planning and healthy communication lead to a negotiation process and mutual cooperation results that the parties will be satisfied. It is possible to specialize in negotiation techniques with practice. This competence, which will provide the reward of the learning and application hours it requires, strengthens the social competencies of the manager such as listening, observing, and empathy, and supports the fact that he is a practical, successful business person.