6/24/2007

10 Key Negotiation Lessons

Dr. David Ventner offers these ten negotiation lessons:

Lesson 1 - Know your Aspiration Base...Negotiators with high aspirations consistently outperform those with low aspirations. They start out as ambitiously as possible, staying just clear of losing credibility. By adopting a high aspiration base, negotiators create sufficient room to make and request the necessary concessions needed to achieve a win more-win more outcome...By making the first offer negotiators can "anchor" the negotiation and thus compel it in that direction...

Lesson 2 -Know your Real Base
As important as it is to develop a high aspiration base, negotiators must also know when to walk away from the negotiation...

Lesson 3 - Know your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement [BATNA]...A BATNA is the best outcome a negotiator can expect if the negotiation results in an impasse. It is, as Fisher and Ury (1981: 104, 111) explain it, "the standard against which any proposed agreement should be measured" as it "determines what a minimally acceptable agreement is" ...

Lesson 4 - Focus on Interests not Positions
Negotiators generally enter a negotiation with predetermined positions underpinned by one or more interests - basic needs, fears, desires, hopes, expectations, etc. Whereas positions represent an approach they have decided to adopt, interests are that which gave rise to their decision to adopt certain positions...

The challenge for negotiators is to look beyond the positions initially communicated and to uncover and explore the interests that gave rise to these positions. Once the parties have explored their respective interests, they very often are able to agree an outcome not initially contemplated by either, but which satisfies their respective interests far better than a long drawn-out test of strength...

Lesson 5 - Check your Assumptions - They tend to be Wrong...

Lesson 6 - Always aspire to joint opportunity finding...not merely...joint problem solving...

Lesson 7 - Negotiation is primarily a process, not an event...it is essential that negotiators at all times remain aware of the impact their negotiation strategies and tactics have on the relationship between the negotiating parties...

Lesson 8 - Information is power in negotiations...

Lesson 9 - Framing is a strong determinant of a negotiation outcome...

Lesson 10 - Trust and Credibility are the cornerstones of Win More! Agreements...

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