The following quotes are from the phenomenal book Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In By Roger Fisher and William Ury & for Second Edition, Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project
This resource is highly recommended…we all need to effectively negotiate through differences from time to time.
Start by being a “principled problem solver” by “negotiating on the merits as an alternative to positional bargaining”.
According to Fisher and Ury, “taking a position” and “arguing for it and making concessions to reach a compromise” (p. 3) is inefficient “as more attention is paid to positions, less is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties.” (p. 5) “As an alternative, strive for principled negotiation or negotiation on the merits…boiled down to four basic points.” (p. 10) The goal is a wise outcome reached efficiently and amicably.” (p. 13)
Separate the people from the problem. (p. 13)
“…before working on the substantive problem, the people problem should be disentangled from it and dealt with separately. Figuratively if not literally, the participants should come to see themselves as working side by side, attacking the problem, not each other.” (p. 11)
Focus on interests, not positions. (p. 13)
“Behind opposed positions lie shared and compatible interests, as well as conflicting ones. We tend to assume that because the other side’s positions are opposed to ours, their interests must also be opposed. In many negotiations, however, a close examination of the underlying interests will reveal the existence of many more interests that are shared or compatible than ones that are opposed.” (p. 42)
Invent options for mutual gain. (p. 13)
“…explore interests (and a wide range of possible solutions.” (p. 11) Avoid having a bottom line.” (p. 13)
Insist on using objective criteria. (p. 13)
“A constant battle for dominance threatens a relationship; principles negotiation protects it. It is far easier to deal with people when both of you are discussing objective standards for settling a problem instead of trying to force each other to back down.
Approaching agreement through discussion of objective criteria also reduces the number of commitments that each side must make and then unmake as they move toward agreement. In positional bargaining, negotiators spend much of the time defending their position and attaching the other side’s. People using objective criteria tend to use time more efficiently talking about standards and solutions. (p. 83)
Ury, W. and Patton. B. (1991) Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. 2nd ed. New York, New York, Penguin Books.
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