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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

ADR Services, Inc.

She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Extreme Negotiations at HBR

Check out Extreme Negotiations at Harvard Business Review this month (kicker:  What U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have learned about the art of managing high-risk, high-stakes situations).

I have to tell you that I believe every one of our She Negotiates graduates understands and knows how to use the bullet point takeaways from Extreme Negotiations below.  Let me also say it's not enough to read about these techniques ~ you must practice practice practice practice.

Get the Big Picture

  • avoid assuming you have all the facts
  • avoid assuming the other side is biased but you're not
  • avoid assuming the other side's motivations and intentions are obvious and nefarious
  • instead, be curious ("help me understand"); humble ("what do I do wrong?") and open-minded ("is there another way to explain this?")

Uncover and Collaborate

  • avoid making open-ended offers ("what do you want")
  • avoid making unilateral offers ("I'd be willing to . . . "
  • avoid simply agreeing to or refusing the other side's demands
  • instead ask "why is that important to you?"
  • proposed solutions for critique ("here's a possibility - what might be wrong with it?")

Elicit Genuine Buy-in

  • avoid threats ("you'd better agree, or else . . . "
  • avoid arbitrariness ("I want it because I want it."
  • avoid close-mindedness ("under no circumstances will I agree to - or even consider - that proposal"
  • instead appeal to fairness ("what should we do?")
  • appeal to logic and legitimacy ("I think this makes sense because . . . ")
  • consider constituent perspectives ("how can each of us explain this agreement to colleagues?"

Build Trust

  • avoid trying to "buy" a good relationship
  • avoid offering concessions to repair actual or perceived breaches of trust
  • instead explore how a breakdown in trust may have occurred and how to remedy it
  • make concessions only if they are a legitimate way to compensate for losses owing to your nonperformance or broken commitments
  • treat counterparts with respect, and act in ways that will command theirs.

Focus on process

  • avoid acting without gauging how your actions will be perceived and what the response will be
  • ignoring the consequences of a given action for future as well as current negotiations
  • instead talk about the process ("we seem to be at an impasse; perhaps we should send some more time exploring our respective objectives and constraints."_
  • slow down the pace:  ("I'm not ready to agree, but I'd prefer not to walk away either.  I think this warrants further exploration.")
  • issue warnings without making threats:  ("unless you're willing to work with me toward a mutually acceptable outcome, I can't afford to spend more time negotiating")

I'll be blogging on each one of these steps in the negotiation process for the next two weeks so stay tuned.

Cross posted at She Negotiates and the ABCs of Conflict Resolution.

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Heather Atkinson - January 6, 2011 5:13 PM

All the points identified and described in this article are valuable, but only IF one assumption proves true. The article assumes and presupposes that all the parties to the negotiation are rational, or want to resolve the issue and dispute. This is a false assumption and often inaccurate, especially in litigated or contested matters.

My experience is that in most contested disputes or negotiations, irrespective of what the parties or their counsel say, there usually is one or more parties who has a vested interest in the status quo, or leaving the issue unresolved. The reasons for this attitude are many, but the most insidious or vexing reason being an emotional, guttural, or cellular response that undermines progress and which most people have difficulty controlling at the conscious level.

The real challenge in dispute resolution and negotiation is in identifying rules when you have yet to uncover the other side’s motives, or their hidden interests in whatever is at stake. How to negotiate with difficult people? This skill requires a different set of rules.

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