Negotiation is a basic means of getting what you want from others. It is a back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed. Negotiation serves two primary purposes for a team: (1) a method of resolving conflict within the team and (2) an integral part of the team decision-making process.
The Four Points of Principled Negotiation
PRINCIPLE #1 - Separate the people from the problem.
Learn to separate people difficulties from substantive issues. Be soft on the people and hard on the problem. Use psychological tools to handle psychological difficulties, analytical tools to address substantive issues.
PRINCIPLE #2 - Focus on interests, not positions.
Positional bargaining causes people to dig in their heels and maintain their position to avoid losing face. Learn to look behind positions for interests, some of which you may share.
PRINCIPLE #3 - Invent options for mutual gain.
Work with your partner to create additional options to explore. Use brainstorming techniques to create a larger number of quality ideas to serve your common interests.
PRINCIPLE #4 - Insist on objective criteria.
Appeal to objective standards and outside sources to judge the quality of your agreements. This not only helps "separate the people from the problem, but also allows negotiators to work together to identify possible measures of fairness. (Fisher, R., Ury, W. & Patton, B., 1991)
BATNA - Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement
(from Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In)
Goals of a wise negotiation: Protect yourself from making an agreement you should reject. Make the most of your assets so that any agreement that you reach will satisfy your interests as well as possible.
The Bottom Line vs. BATNA
The Bottom Line limits your ability to benefit from what you learn during negotiation. It inhibits imagination and is likely to be set too high.
Your BATNA determines what will you do if you do not reach an agreement. It invent a list of actions you might conceivably take if no agreement is reached and it explores some of the more promising ideas to convert them into practical alternatives. Selection should be made tentatively by brainstorming and narrowing the choices to the one alternative that seems to be the best BATNA for the situation.
Remember: BATNA in action gives you the confidence to reach a wise agreement.
Judge every offer against your BATNA. The better your BATNA the greater your ability to improve the terms of any negotiated agreement.
The Problem with Positional Bargaining
(from Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton, Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In)