There’s a common saying that the one thing we fear the most is speaking in public. Given the number of conflicts we’re seeing between various parties in sports, business and political circles, it’s not hard to imagine that the next thing most of us would dread is having to negotiate a deal.
Indeed, it seems that most negotiations today tend to erupt into conflicts between the vested parties, thanks to there being a greater interest in escalating talks towards a showdown than focusing on trying to ascertain where some common ground can be found on which to establish an agreement.
According to William Ury, co-author of the best-selling book “Getting to Yes”, the reason why we’re seeing more conflict in negotiations today is due to the fact that “we’ve been used to a pie that was expanding. Now it feels like the pie is shrinking, and that engenders finger-pointing, unproductive behaviors and lose-lose-lose outcomes that make things worse for both sides and for the surrounding community.”
Ironically, those who are most successful at negotiating understand that it’s not about proving that your position is right, which understandably leads to defensive posturing from the other party, if not also allowing for escalating emotions to enter into the fray. On the contrary, to be successful in your negotiations requires one to be attentive and aware of the needs or concerns of those you’re negotiating with and understanding how your own position impacts those factors in order to create a mutually-agreeable solution.
So how can we keep conflicts out of our negotiations so that both parties can achieve what they’re after from the interaction? In her article “You Want What? Four Tips for Civilized Negotiating”, business strategist and author Barbara Findlay Schenck shares four steps to take to ensure both a conflict-free and successful outcome from your negotiations.
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