Overview of Negotiations and Conflict Resolution Principles

This webpage of Professor E. Wertheim, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, provides an excellent overview of relevant concepts and suggestions for more effective negotiations, including the following:

"Pay particular attention to these generalizations:

Conflict is an ongoing process that occurs against a backdrop of continuing relationships and events;

Such conflict involves the thoughts, perceptions, memories, and emotions of the people involved; these must be considered.

Negotiations are like a chess match; have a strategy; anticipate how the other will respond; how strong is your position, and situation; how important is the issue; how important will it be to stick to a hardened position

Begin with a positive approach: Try to establish rapport and mutual trust before starting; try for a small concession early

Pay little attention to initial offers: these are points of departure; they tend to be extreme and idealistic; focus on the other person's interests and your own goals and principles, while you generate other possibilities"


"Keys to Integrative Bargaining

Orient yourself towards a win-win approach: your attitude going into negotiation plays a huge role in the outcome

Plan and have a concrete strategy...be clear on what is important to you and why it is important

Know your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Alternative)

Separate people from the problem

Focus on interests, not positions; consider the other party's situation:

Create Options for Mutual Gain:

Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do

Aim for an outcome based on some objective standard

Pay a lot of attention to the flow of negotiation;

Take the Intangibles into account; communicate carefully

Use Active Listening Skills; rephrase, ask questions and then ask some more"

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