SUBSCRIBE TO CMA'S BLOG
Tag Archives: negotiation skills
Senior Consultant Tyla Locke offered this advice in a recent interview with The Age:
These include setting goals and preparing ahead of the actual negotiations. “Preparation is key,” says Locke. The Seven Elements of Negotiation can serve as a preparation checklist.
See the other point of view
Negotiation is essentially trying to influence the other person’s decision making, says Locke, and to do that you need to know what they want, so ask lots of questions in the negotiation.
“If you’re seeking to influence their decision making, to be persuasive you need to take into account the other person’s perspective, otherwise they’re unlikely to agree to any solution you’re putting forward,” says Locke. “You need to know their concerns, their fears and their goals.”
Don’t be too adversarial
Locke describes adversarial negotiation as being like a tug of war – who can pull the hardest? “But what ends up happening is that parties end up leaving a whole lot of unexplored value on the table because they’re been so adversarial and so fixed on their original positions.”
CMA Learning group tries to teach people to come up with “high value, low cost” options, which Locke describes as being of high value to one party, but low cost to the other party.”
What are some high value options you could offer in your next negotiation?
For the full article, read: http://www.theage.com.au/business/momentum/become-a-master-negotiator-20121030-28hb4.html#ixzz2BUCq6YAS
“Solutions are not the answer.” Roger Fisher
The world lost one of its great thinkers and humanists this week, and one to which CMA, among others, owes a personal debt. Professor Roger Fisher, co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project (today the Program on Negotiation, or PON) and co-author of the seminal text on negotiation Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In passed away at the age of 90. He leaves behind him a legacy of collaborative negotiation that has had a lasting impact around the world in the way people deal with each other, from international conflicts through to interpersonal workplace communication between colleagues, and even within the family dynamic.
Professor Fisher visited Australia twice. On the second occasion in 1994 he and his colleagues delivered a series of highly acclaimed workshops which enabled the establishment of CMA by its founder Eliezer Kornhauser. In the years that have followed, CMA has helped hundreds of organisations enhance and harness their ability to negotiate, achieve buy-in and resolve differences in ways that generate maximum value and strong working relationships. Always cognisant of Roger’s enduring aphorism “solutions are not the answer”, rather the best outcomes rely on carefully crafted, well executed process.
As well as its transformative effect in the business world, the foundations of the conflict resolution work Roger and his colleagues began has had enormous impact in world politics. He is credited with assisting in critical international events including the Camp David peace agreement in 1979, summits between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1985 and workshops to negotiate the end to South African apartheid in 1991.
The New York Times said: “Over his career, Professor Fisher eagerly brought his optimistic can-do brand of problem solving to a broad array of conflicts across the globe, from the hostage crisis in Iran to the civil war in El Salvador. His emphasis was always on addressing the mutual interests of the disputing parties instead of what separated them.”
We thank Roger for his contribution to transforming cultures and conflicts across the world. We are proud that through our work of helping people to deal with people, we continue the quest which had its genesis over 30 years ago – that negotiation outcomes are best served by a collaborative approach which seeks to create mutual value for all parties.
The team at CMA
For full article from New York Times click here
We received a recent email from one of our clients – a customer service manager in a large, manufacturing company. Here’s an excerpt from her question, and our response…
The idea of win-win outcomes in negotiation is all good in theory. But how do you make offers to the other side when dollars are involved?
This week I began negotiating with a long-term customer over how much compensation to offer her for our delivery of faulty metal sheeting. We want to help her, she’s an important customer. But we also have serious financial and policy limits. I’m tempted to offer what I think is a reasonable amount (around $20K), but I’m worried that she’ll just come back with some high-ball, ambit figure. Maybe I should get in first by starting much lower.
What do you think?
This concern is understandable. You begin reasonably; they come in high. And suddenly the parameters of the negotiation have changed: what you thought was a fair offer is now just the low-end, starting point of a tug-of-war.
You now risk ending up with a mere compromise between your two offers (a figure that’s much higher than you think is fair). And, if you simply dig your heels in, you risk causing them to seek other, less desirable avenues to get what they want (in your case, they may head straight for court). If those outcomes seem unpalatable, what are your choices?
Anchoring the negotiation
As you mention, one tactic is to pre-empt their extreme claim by starting low yourself. That is, you ‘anchor’ them, so that when they start high, any compromise will be between those two points – enabling an outcome that accords more closely with what you think is fair.
While this strategy could lead to a more reasonable outcome, there are drawbacks: you still risk damaging the relationship due to the adversarial, haggling process, and you potentially miss out on opportunities to create even more high value options. Instead, experience suggests a different strategy.
Framing the negotiation as a problem solving discussion
First, rather than just giving some arbitrary, low-ball offer (or waiting for her to do so), initiate a discussion about:
- The standards you would each consider in determining what’s fair and reasonable
- Each of your business needs.
You could say: “Before we talk about specific options, it might be helpful for you understand where I’m coming from: I’m basing any offer on the following criteria…, as well as a number of important business concerns, including… What benchmarks are you using to determine what’s fair? And are there any pressing needs that I should be considering when we discuss possible solutions? That way you send two important messages: that any options must exist within objectively justifiable parameters; and that you’re genuinely concerned about meeting their needs as well as your own.
Then, instead of simply offering one ‘reasonable’ figure, use the information you’ve gleaned to inform an open discussion around many creative solutions – solutions that are even better than the ‘reasonable’ outcome you were initially seeking.
Multiple options with balanced value
Latest research suggests that one helpful way of starting that discussion is to put forward multiple options of equivalently high value. In your case, you might suggest:
- $20k, with a commitment to continue the business relationship
- A lower figure (eg. $10-$15k), but with provision of free off-cuts and unsold stock, which wouldn’t cost you much but could be highly valuable to them
- A much lower figure (say $5k) with an offer to repair the faulty goods
Putting forward several proposals that you would both value highly increases the chances of meeting the other side’s needs, helps build the relationship by demonstrating flexibility and yields creative solutions that often far exceed a mere compromise.
The CMA team
Facing your own negotiation challenges? Join us at our upcoming negotiation skills workshops and develop skills to manage these effectively.