Issues in the Negotiation Process (Manning & Robertson)

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Suku Mathews
Analyst, India

Issues in the Negotiation Process (Manning & Robertson)

Negotiation should be viewed as a process of compromise, involving parties with different sets of objectives and values, based on their different vested interests.
It is assumed that more effective negotiators, whilst recognising these different objectives, values and interests, work towards achieving win-win in the longer term.
It is further assumed that it is useful to think about negotiation as a process, with various stages, and with key issues running throughout the whole process. These stages and issues are described more fully below. Specific negotiations are typically face-to-face encounters that are themselves episodes in an ongoing, longer-term relationship.

Within the 4 main stages in the process of negotiation of Manning & Robertson, there are a number of issues which run through the whole process of negotiation.
These Issues in the Negotiation Process are (Manning & Robertson, 2003):
1. Clarity of focus. This involves ensuring that: issues are clearly defined; information from variety of sources is used; the supporting case is clear and simple, and is based on the ideal position; the case appeals to both “head” and “heart”; the individual takes time to respond to proposals, avoiding hasty decisions or actions; and monitoring and review procedures are clearly established.
2. Flexibility of strategy. This involves: consideration being given to a wide range of options outcomes and long-term considerations; issue planning and a flexible agenda; no immediate counter-proposals; a willingness to concede and to signal this; the use of adjournments in meetings; and other long-term strategies, e.g. trial periods, meeting again.
3. Win-win – values. This involves: finding out about the other party and what they want; identifying areas of agreement; creating a co-operative and open climate; targeting your case on the other party, on what is in it for them; and giving them time to present their case and respond to yours.
4. Win-win – interactive skills. This involves: showing personal warmth, encouraging co-operation; seeking information, asking questions; the use of open, emotionally expressive, non-defensive, non-aggressive behaviour; and the use of behaviour labelling.
- Fisher, R.; Ury, W. and Patton, B. (1991), Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving in; Random House Business Books, Cox & Wyman Ltd, Reading, Berkshire
- Kennedy, G. (1993), Everything is Negotiable: How to Get the Best Deal Every Time, Arrow Books, London
- Manning, T & Robertson, B (2003), “Influencing and negotiating skills: some research and reflections – Part II: influencing styles and negotiating skills”, Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 35 Iss: 2, pp.60 - 66
- Rackham, N., Carlisle, J. (1978), "The effective negotiator", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 2

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