Negotiation

Negotiation

Using Non-Verbal Communication in Negotiation 
Asia Volume 6, Number 6

Using Non-Verbal Communication in Negotiation

 

NON VERBAL

101

It is proven that more than half of our communication is non-verbal. Contrary to popular belief, non-verbal communication is not mainly based in body language. The kinds of non-verbal communication that most commonly affect negotiations are body language, the physical environment and personal attributes. Being aware of these different forms better equip you when you enter a negotiation, as it would give you a competitive edge.

Most negotiators are usually unaware that they are throwing out involuntary non-verbal cues. Receivers of your involuntary cues judge these through gut reactions, and these gut reactions are subconscious as well. You may be actively present in the negotiation, but there are these silent non-verbal mechanisms at play that may be influencing not only your but the other party’s way of carrying out the negotiation.

BODY

LANGUAGE

Body language is one of the ways in which we reveal ourselves to others non-verbally. Also known as Kinesics communication, it gives off signals and cues to other parties through your facial expressions, posture and gestures.

Body language has been given a lot of flak by critics, the basic reasion being sometimes a gesture may not have any underlying meaning attached to it at all and making a situation more complicated than it actually is. This is true, and frequent blinking of the eyes may be simply to get out trapped dust. However, being able to pick up on facial expressions and body postures especially as immediate reactions to what you may have laid on the negotiation table can be helpful. A sudden jerk of the head in disbelief, or a subtle nod, can help steer your negotiation talks and offers towards a more win-win situation.

Positive attributes of body language in negotiation exude confidence, sincerity and security — three attributes that were found to be key impressions during negotiations. Unwavering eye contact can come across as intimidating, so find a balance by smiling, just as you would have to find a balance in the gestures you use during negotiations.

PHYSICAL

ENVIRONMENT

The physical environment, also known as Proxemics communication, is the usage of physical space and territory to convey trust and intimacy. Commonly known as your ‘comfort zone’, being able to read the other party’s level of comfort with you during a negotiation extends towards knowing how cooperative they would be with you. For example, people in authority such as government officials usually command a bigger ‘personal bubble’.

Your personal bubble may be threatened when someone invades your personal space. You may feel uncomfortable when someone you are not close to breathes down your neck. Likewise, in a negotiation you want to foster rapport and gain cooperation. Where you are and how close you position yourself to the other party can help you avoid unnecessary tension.

Edward Hall, an anthropologist, discovered four distinct comfort distances that humans use to perceive status and power of people around them These are 0-46cm for intimate distances, 46-122cm for personal distances, 122-336cm for social and over 366cm for public distances. These distances apply when both parties are face-to-face and aware of each other’s presence. In a negotiation, keep a professional distance that wavers between 122-366cm. If you can sense the other party pulling away or creating distance between you, it may be a sign that they are hesitant towards what you are saying.

PERSONAL

ATTRIBUTES

Probably the most familiar (and some say superficial) non-verbal cues of all would be your personal physical appearance. “Dress for Success” would be the expression here, and we all know how we attribute attractiveness to being better perceived. Personal attributes are not just limited to how you look – it extend to vocal cues (auditory communication) and touch (tactile communication) as well. How well you articulate and/or how firm your handshake is all reflect the way you carry yourself to the other party.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Being aware of the kinds of non-verbal communication that most commonly affect negotiations are body language, the physical environment and personal attributes would give you a competitive edge.

Quick Tip2

Positive attributes of body language in negotiation exude confidence, sincerity and security — three attributes that were found to be key impressions during negotiations.

Quick Tip3

Personal attributes is not just limited to how you look — it extends to vocal cues (auditory communication) and touch (tactile communication) as well.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiation Scare Tactics: How to Overcome Them? 
Asia Volume 6, Number 14

Negotiation Scare Tactics: How to Overcome Them?

 

BE

AWARE

You have to be in the know on the different tactics, while practicing them during your own negotiations, that other negotiators use. Being aware of these tactics and tricks can not only strengthen your own negotiation skills but also be prepared on how to overcome them as well. For starters, here are four common tactics that are practiced.

HAVING

COLD FEET

Right before you come to a mutual agreement, the other negotiating party decides to back out. They do this in the hopes that you will make last-minute concessions and a deal would be made closer to their favour.

How to overcome: Immediately recognise their backing out as a scare tactic; they might be faking it so as to get a better position on the deal. Experts advise to allow the deal to drop and contact them after 30 days when you have reassessed your party’s situation. It is highly likely that the other party will call you before you have to do this, and it would be your turn to negotiate for a few concessions.

STALLING

Another common tactic where the individuals involved in the negotiation discussions say that they would have to get back to you on fundamental issues. Many negotiators like to buy time by claiming that they are in no authorial position to make decisions, citing a higher level party would have to make a final decision.

How to overcome: Don’t waste your time preparing for a negotiation that cannot run even on the most basic level. Negotiators usually use this tactic to scout out the other party and improve their BATNA so as to achieve a better deal. It is best if you just stop negotiating with these middle men and ask to negotiate directly with the decision makers.

TWO VERSUS

ONE

This tactic is the easiest to identify and thus should be the easiest to overcome. It involves two or more negotiators from the other party to go up against you and bully you into their demands. The intimidation comes from the focused attention from them onto yourself, and easily lead you to waver and second-guess your offers if you are not an experienced negotiator.

How to overcome: Unless you are confident with your research and your ability to think on your toes, make sure you enter these discussions in a group. Rope someone else on your team to back you up. Alternatively, request to negotiate with only one person from the other party at a time. In the case that you encounter a really mean team of opposing negotiators who does not care for a win-win situation, don’t start the discussion up again until your request has been granted.

THE FAKE

FLAKE

While this tactic may be quite extreme, it is quite frequently encountered as well. This tactic entails the other party walking out in a cut-throat approach to show interest.

How to overcome: Allow them to walk out and you should get up and leave if they do not return. If they are truly interested in reaching an agreement through a collaborative approach, they will call you back, usually within a month.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

If the other party decides to back out right before you come to a mutual agreement allow the deal to drop and contact them after 30 days when you have reassessed your party’s situation.

Quick Tip2

Don’t waste your time preparing for a negotiation that cannot run even on the most basic level. It is best if you just stop negotiating with middle men and ask to negotiate directly with the decision makers.

Quick Tip3

Two versus One? Unless you are confident with your research and your ability to think on your toes, make sure you enter these discussions in a group. Alternatively, request to negotiate with only one person from the other party at a time.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating Cross-Culturally 
Asia Volume 6, Number 12

When in Rome: Negotiating Cross-Culturally

 

WHEN IN ROME,

DON'T ACT AS ROMANS DO

We all know that negotiating cross-culturally is not only intimidating, but challenging as well. There is far less material to be found on what you should do when faced with negotiating with someone from another culture. In other words, we all know why cross-cultural negotiations are tough; little is known as to how to overcome this.

A quick fixer, as many a theorists would propound, would be “When in Rome, act as Romans do”. But often, this works against most people. You are not the only one modifying your approach; it is highly likely that the other party is changing his approach so as to cater to you as well. The end result can prove to be disastrous, with both of you attempting to act appropriately but not really understanding what the other party is doing. While there may be a chance that you can modify your approach successfully and effectively, the fact is that most of the time it leads to more confusion.

AN ALTERNATIVE

That is not to say that you should not be aware of the cultural differences between you and the other negotiating party. Nonetheless, there are more effective ways to overcome difficulties that occur during cross-cultural negotiations.

Stephen Weiss, an associate professor of policy and international business at York University, has provided a rubric of options that are more responsive to this dilemma. As a negotiator, there are eight different strategies he proposes that can be broken down into three categories based on how familiar you are with the other negotiator’s culture: low, moderate and high. In each group, there are unilateral strategies (ones you can use individually) and joint strategies (ones that involve the participation of the other party).

STRATEGIES:

UNILATERAL OR JOINT

These will be touched on in-depth in the following negotiation article, but for now, get yourself familiar identifying unilateral strategies and joint strategies.

Unilateral strategies employ agents or advisors, adapt to the other negotiator’s approach, or embrace the other negotiator’s approach.

Joint strategies bring in a mediator, induce the other negotiator to use your approach, coordinate adjustment, improvise an approach or effect symphony.

Culture affects several negotiation factors; attitudes, time sensitivity, emotionalism, agreement form to name a few; so take extra care in your research prior to starting your negotiation talks.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

You are not the only one modifying your approach; it is highly likely that the other party is changing his approach so as to cater to you as well. The end result can prove to be disastrous, with both of you attempting to act appropriately, but not really understanding what the other party is doing.

Quick Tip2

There are 8 different strategies that can be broken down into 3 categories based on how familiar you are with the other negotiator’s culture: low, moderate and high. In each group, there are unilateral strategies (ones you can use individually) and joint strategies (ones that involve the participation of the other party).

Quick Tip3

Culture affects several negotiation factors; attitudes, time sensitivity, emotionalism, agreement form to name a few; so take extra care in your research prior to starting your negotiation talks.

Quick Tip4

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Watch out for Key Roles in Negotiation 
Asia Volume 6, Number 16

Watch out for Key Roles in Negotiation

 

THE OTHER

PARTY

There is no more intriguing party in a negotiation than the other party. They are ultimately who you negotiate with. Since they play a key role in the negotiations, learn to gather information about them.

Start by brainstorming a list of their possible interests, then prioritizing these interests. As you compare their interests to yours, note your shared and conflicting interests. Accuracy would be the issue here, so prepare questions to ask them that will help you determine if the list you had made is complete and accurate. It is almost without a doubt that if the other party is not reasonably satisfied by any proposed deal, they will most probably not agree to that deal.

A good rule to go by to get a good grasp on the other party’s interests will be to determine what you have that can be of value to their interests.

THE MEDIATOR:

THE INFORMATION CONDUIT

The mediator is often the person that can resolve a deadlock in the negotiation. This is when neither parties can agree and this stalls the negotiation from moving forward. The role of the mediator is to act as a neutral third party to resolve the deadlock. Bringing in a mediator may not be necessary depending on how tense your negotiation can become; a bi-partisan party is frequently used to express the views of all parties involved in the negotiation in an objective manner. A mediator will help keep the negotiation collaborative and creative.

The mediator usually would conduct the process with the parties involved placed in separate rooms and act as a ‘shuttle’ among them. They would then facilitate the provisions of responses to questions that have thus far been refused or ignored in the negotiation process or to better define the interests and goals of each side to the other.

THE GOOD GUY/

BAD GUY

The good guy/bad guy is a negotiation tactic that is used most often by many negotiators. It uses the presence of two people who take on two different personas, so these roles would be easy to pick out in a negotiation.

Quite self-explanatory, the good guy/bad guy execution has the bad guy be mean and tough, usually completely opposed to your offers on the table. He or she would purposely be condescending towards you and try to make you feel uncomfortable. The good guy is more forthcoming with friendliness and is not averse to your deal as the bad guy. He or she would present their deal after the acerbity of the bad guy, and their deal they hence offer towards you would seem relatively more desirable than that offered by the bad guy. The good cop/bad cop routine often seen in TV shows is another way to think of this tactic as they are very similar, if not the same.

The catch of the good guy/bad guy routine lies in the tendency for you to say ‘yes’ to the offer made by the good guy even if their offer is nowhere near the optimum deal for you. It is easy to jump to any deal that is more desirable after the hard-balling of the ‘bad guy’, so it is important to be privy to this trap.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Start by brainstorming a list of your opponents’ possible interests, then prioritizing these interests.

Quick Tip2

Using a mediator can help resolve a deadlock in the negotiation as he/she will help keep the negotiation collaborative and creative.

Quick Tip3

The catch of the good guy/bad guy routine lies in the tendency for you to say ‘yes’ to the good guy’s offer even if it is nowhere near the optimum deal for you It is easy to jump to any deal that is more desirable after the hard-balling of the ‘bad’ guy, so it is important to be privy to this trap.

Quick Tip4

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How to Handle the Long Drawn Negotiation Process 
Asia Volume 6, Number 18

How to Handle the Long Drawn Negotiation Process

Ineffective meeting management and complex agendas can dilute the value of effective decision making. This brief provides a fundamental compass to stay on track.

WHY IS IT

LONG DRAWN?

A usual tactic for the other party is to delay or draw out a negotiation to hopefully secure a better deal — for example, if they know time is an issue for you, they might draw out the talks in hopes of getting a lower price.

Some other common reasons that lead to an extension in negotiation talks include thinking there is a fixed pie to the negotiation, a perceived escalation of commitment and plain old egocentrism.

Amateur negotiators see negotiations as splitting a fixed pie, and thus there will inevitably be a winner and a loser at the conclusion. Unwilling to get the lesser side of the deal can cause the talks to be long drawn until they feel they have not been shortchanged. Similarly, being stubborn in seeing things their own way can cause heavy duty tension and difficulty in moving forward in negotiation talks.

Getting to the root of the problem usually helps in solving it through a quicker and more efficient process. Likewise, finding out why the negotiation has taken a turn for the long haul would mobilize you to address the issue head on, offer a suitable solution and reach a consensus optimally.

CHOOSING

A STRATEGY

Once you identify the root of the problem, there are a couple of strategies that you could use to tweak the situation based on what you want the outcome to be. These strategies are not exhaustive; they are more of the immediate course-of-action when you are ill-prepared.

One strategy would be to be the one that always makes the second effort. Be the side that tries to understand what is going on in the counterparty’s mind and offer up concessions. You are not short changing yourself this way as long as you are not making blind offers. What this strategy gives an allowance for is that of reinforcing a flip-flopping decision, or introducing decisions not thought of earlier. Making a small concession would also allay the egocentrism of a party that might be feeling they are losing out by confirming the deal.

Conversely, another strategy would be to project that you have had enough, and that you are prepared to walk away from the deal. The time pressure is on to wrap up the negotiations. Taking this strategy can be dangerous, as there is a chance that they will allow you to walk away and the deal has fallen through. However, it might also move the talks to more pertinent concerns and a mutual awareness that the negotiation has gone on for longer than it needs to be.

ASKING

"WHY"

Often, negotiators forget to ask the most important question of all for fear of appearing like they have not done enough of their background research: “Why?”

In Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman, they tell a story of negotiations over an $18 million contract by representatives of a Fortune 500 company. Initially agreeing to pay $18 per pound for a million pounds of product per year, they hit a deadlock when the supplier refused exclusivity to the US firm. Even after the US firm guaranteed minimum orders and a higher price, the supplier still refused. Assuming that he wanted a higher price, the US firm was dumbfounded. Only when one of them asked the supplier “Why?” did they learn that he had a well-established deal with his cousin who bought a small amount of chemical for his product. They were able to solve the problem by allowing an exception to this exclusivity.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Finding out why the negotiation has taken a turn for the long haul would mobilize you to address the issue head-on, offer a suitable solution and reach a consensus optimally.

Quick Tip2

Once you identify the root of the problem, there are a couple of strategies that you could use to tweak the situation based on what you want the outcome to be. These strategies are not exhaustive; they are more of the immediate course-of-action when you are ill-prepared.

Quick Tip3

Once you identify the root of the problem, there are a couple of strategies that you could use to tweak the situation based on what you want the outcome to be. These strategies are not exhaustive; they are more of the immediate course-of-action when you are ill-prepared.

Quick Tip4

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What to Do with a Bad BATNA? 
Asia Volume 6, Number 20

What to Do with a Bad BATNA?

 

DON'T EXPECT

TOO MUCH

When stuck with a bad BATNA, the first and foremost important thing to do is to ensure that the other party does not know you have a bad BATNA. The knowledge of your weak BATNA gives them the upper hand and they would be playing you like a guitar during your negotiation talks if they possess this intel.

It is difficult to create leverage with a bad BATNA, so you have to be willing to walk away with offers that are even slightly better than your BATNA. However, while it is true that any deal may sometimes be better than no deal, take the opportunity to try to create as value as you can. If the other side can see how much you are cooperating with them to bypass the smaller gains in order to take bigger risks in capturing value, they too might reciprocate the act and focus on value creation rather than suspecting you have a bad BATNA.

VALUE

CREATION

By now you should know how vital value creation is in all negotiations and if you remember from previous newsletters, there is often a dichotomy between value creation and value capturing. When your BATNA is weak, value creation is ideal especially if it may cost the other party nothing but has value for your end of the deal.

While value creation often takes precedence over value capturing, when your BATNA is weak, it is better to balance between the two. However, you can only capture value when you create it, so seek to do the latter

If worse comes to worse, do not try to negotiate in the first place. Perhaps your bad BATNA is merely a sign that you should not be negotiating at the big table for now. Does the end justify your means? What would it cost you and does the potential benefits you might gain outweigh them? At the end of the day, is it worth the risk? Maybe you should take a step back and focus on strengthening your BATNA before moving forward with a negotiation.

THINK

LONG TERM

Even though you have little to no leverage with a bad BATNA, you still can have a successful negotiation by focusing on the relationship between you and the other party. You both have placed vested interest in this deal in one way or the other and thus would both want to work towards a win-win conclusion.

Thus with a bad BATNA do not focus on current deals, but deals that can be made in the future with the same party. Think of how you can cultivate a relationship with them so that there are opportunities in the future to continue having negotiations on different issues. The current deal you are hashing out right now has the potential to be looked at again the next when you might be in a better position to reopen negotiation talks.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

It is difficult to create leverage with a bad BATNA, so you have to be willing to walk away with offers that are even slightly better than your BATNA.

Quick Tip2

When your BATNA is weak, value creation is ideal especially if it may cost the other party nothing but has value for your end of the deal.

Quick Tip3

Think of how you can cultivate a relationship with them so that there are opportunities in the future to continue having negotiations on different issues.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating with Colleagues: That Awkward Conversation (Part 2) 
Asia Volume 6, Number 22

Negotiating with Colleagues: That Awkward Conversation (Part 2)

 

PUT THOUGHT

INTO PLANNING

Put thought into your planning negotiation with your colleague. If you feel that you might care a tad bit too much about the relationship and this prevents you from thinking objectively, rope in another colleague who is less attached to the relationship to help you.

Moreover, if there is a deadline to be reached that is not the same for both of you, you will have very little negotiating power to work with. Try as much as you can, not to make your deadline public information or else you will be pressurized to give up a lot.

Most agreements are usually reached after a deadline, so if you do have one, start negotiations early and work from there to meet your immediate needs and then push back your deadline beyond your colleague’s.

WORK TOWARDS

WIN-WIN

When dealing with an over-critical colleague, it can get easy to feel tense and provoked. Ignore every hard stance taken by your colleague and stay objective of the situation.

Leave your emotions at the door and negotiate with your colleagues face-to-face as this would keep verbiage amicable and leave little room for misunderstandings because doubts and concerns can be addressed then and there.

Face-to-face negotiations also allow for a more sincere apology to be expressed if need be. Emails back and forth indicates a lack of trust between two parties and can result in less confidence in the quality of your deals.

If you feel you are being personally attacked, suggest that it would be more worthwhile to solve the issues at hand before delving into personal problems.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Most agreements are usually reached after a deadline, so if you do have one, start negotiations early and work from there to meet your immediate needs and then push back your deadline beyond your colleague’s.

Quick Tip2

Negotiate with your colleagues face-to-face as this would help keep verbiage amicable and leave little room for misunderstandings because doubt and concerns can be addressed then and there.

Quick Tip3

If you feel you are being personally attacked, suggest that it would be more worthwhile to solve the issues at hand before delving into personal problems.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating with Colleagues: That Awkward Conversation (Part 1) 
Asia Volume 6, Number 22

Negotiating with Colleagues: That Awkward Conversation (Part 1)

 

AS A RULE

OF THUMB

It is inevitable that in every department in the office there would be conflicting priorities. If you are going to work with a team, there will be many instances where you would have to deal with issues where you would have to compromise on your ideas on the allocation of resources.

One thing that would be handy to keep in mind at all times while at work would be that your colleagues are not your outside competitors. At the end of the day, you and your colleagues have a vested interest in the company’s progress.

As a rule of thumb, experts advise to be familiar with these three elements: reputation, trust and justice. Your reputation is how your colleagues would remember their past experiences with you, trust pre-empts cooperative behaviour (it also shapes expectations of the other’s behaviour; a breach of trust may be difficult to repair if you are not in good standing with your colleague?) and justice plays a part in determining if you and/or your colleague are being fairly treated.

KNOW YOUR COLLEAGUES'

BATNA

Besides knowing your own BATNA, it would be useful to know of your colleague’s BATNA as well. Where in a previous article, it was advised to find out about your opponents’ BATNA discreetly, when it comes to dealing with your co-workers, asking them upfront about it would lead to a quicker collaborative approach.

Make known to them that both of you are essentially on the same page and reaching an agreement is your main priority. This is where justice plays a part; recognizing the need to treat your colleagues fairly and putting it into practice can lead to a quicker settlement between the two of you.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

As a rule of thumb, experts advise to be familiar with these three elements: reputation, trust and justice.

Quick Tip2

When it comes to dealing with your co-workers, asking them upfront about their BATNA would lead to a quicker collaborative approach.

Quick Tip3

Recognizing the need to treat your colleagues fairly and putting it into practice can lead to a quicker settlement between the two of you.

Quick Tip4

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A Higher Salary? How to Negotiate with your Boss 
Asia Volume 6, Number 25

A Higher Salary? How to Negotiate with your Boss

 

THE LITTLE THINGS COUNT,

EVEN FOR THE LADIES

Think big, and this means do not only think of negotiating a base pay rise. While you should be confident about your market value, there are times when suggesting a pay rise to your boss does not seem feasible at that point in time, perhaps due to budget cuts. How about the benefits that come with your job?

We are talking about things such as healthcare, bonuses or perhaps more perks. Before you think that you are invincible and strut over to your bosses’ offices with ideas to make your work life better, create your BATNAs. What are you bringing in return to your company? Perhaps you would want to better your insider knowledge, or create more essential business contacts. Negotiating with your boss differs from negotiating with outsider parties — at the end of the day, both of you should be working for the benefit of the whole company, so negotiate with what you are worth.

Moreover, in a study focused on job postings in the U.S., it was found that when it is unclear that there is a possibility to negotiate a higher salary, men were more likely to negotiate. Women were more likely to negotiate if they knew that a job allowed for a salary negotiation. It was also found in a separate research that women were just as good at men at negotiations except when it comes to negotiating for themselves. Part of this lies in the possibility that many women value their relationships in the office, and fear ruining the relationship. Ladies, if you do not negotiate a higher salary to begin with, raises and/or bonuses would consequently be offered at a smaller percentage as well. Don’t perpetuate that proverbial glass ceiling and compare your salary to that of other women in your company, and don’t think that a lower pay is fair. Do your future self a favour and negotiate a job offer, and negotiate every one to three years at your current company.

BIGGEST

MISTAKES

The first mistake is not considering you can negotiate your salary in the first place. According to an analysis done by Salary.com, you can lose more than $1 million in earnings, simply by not negotiating your salary early. If you are ready and think you are deserving, do it.

Another common and serious mistake people make when they negotiate for a pay raise is not researching their market value, be it in their current position or in the position they would like to have. Find agencies or sources that tell you what the salary is for the position you are considering. They should be able to quote how much you are worth based on your experience and education. Knowing your market value forms the crux of your negotiation. In addition, do not be hasty and accept the first offer. As a negotiator, you should be ready with a counter offer — place your offer on the table as well.

THE

PROCESS

A few conversation-starters that would get the ball rolling, and set the premises for an open and respectful negotiation, would be to simply first ask what the normal or typical range for others in the company with that position is, if this was an interview. If you have already been in the company for a while, it is also a good idea to imply that you are not demanding a salary raise and that ultimately, it is your boss/bosses that have the final say, because they are better informed on what the job is worth to the company than you are.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Before you think that you are invincible and strut over to your bosses’ offices with idea to make your work life better, create your BATNAs – what are you bringing in return to your company.

Quick Tip2

Biggest mistakes are 1) not considering you can negotiate your salary in the first place, and 2) not researching your market value, be it in the current position or in the position you would like to have.

Quick Tip3

If you have already been in the company for a while, it is also a good idea to imply that you are not demanding a salary raise and that ultimately, it is your boss/bosses that have the final say, because they are better informed on what the job is worth to the company than you are.

Quick Tip4

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Staying Calm in the Eye of the Storm 
Asia Volume 6, Number 26

Staying Calm in the Eye of the Storm

Staying calm amidst the anxiety and awkwardness in a negotiation is tough. But it’s easier than you think, so practise these ideas when the conversion gets difficult.

CREATING CONFIDENCE

AND TRUST

Body language is one of the first things the other party observes instantly; even a simple handshake would quickly establish a negotiation partnership, especially if it is with a firm grip and eye contact.

American negotiator, Andrew Boughton has studied the effects of non-verbal communication signals and advised on observing reactions and facial expressions during the negotiation. He emphasized looking out for ‘happiness’ displayed by the other party, as it opens up opportunities to nuance the feelings of the other party.

You can then steer the negotiation towards a zone of possible agreement. However, be observant when there is a ‘leakage’ or subtle body movements that could appear aggressive, inconsistent or disinterested to the other party. Where possible, create small talk before the negotiation to understand their non-verbal style better and listen without judgement.

INFLUENCE OTHERS

WITH YOUR TONE

Adopting a steady tone towards the other party creates positive energy, or a neutral ambience, as mental neurons in the other party’s mind pick up on tones and reflect them during the negotiation dialogue.

Known as ‘mirroring’, we can also influence another’s mood and brain functions with our voice tonality. So, use steady and well-paced tones to create an atmosphere of believability and trust. How? Keep a steady tempo when you speak and minimize sudden intonations of filling silent moments with ‘uhmm‘s.

As the ‘mirroring’ in our brain is involuntary, be careful with how you speak to avoid misunderstanding and distrust. Don’t get anchored when you hear a harsh tone. Be calm and summarize your observations or the status of the conversation. Reflect back, don’t react.

NEGOTIATE WITH WORDS

THAT ATTRACT

Dialoguing in deadlock conversation is easier said than done. A study by German professor, Dr Roman Trotschel reveals that structuring sentences to focus on the other party’s gain garnered positive results or possibilities.

One way to earn trust is by prioritising the other party’s wants in your speech whilst creating a mutually beneficial outcome. For example, instead of saying, “Please pay me this amount”, say, “I can give you what you want for this amount.” Reframing and using their language creates a sense of understanding.

Seeking to deeply listen and seek clarification could also increase the other party’s receptivity. Avoid being blunt, using jargons and other forms of colloquialisms. Always be polite and calm, even amidst flaring tensions. Restate the purpose and intent for all parties. Look for common ground always.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Observe non-verbal reactions and facial expressions while keeping yours in check as it opens opportunities to nuance the feelings of the other party.

Quick Tip2

Use steady and well paced tones to create an atmosphere of believability and trust.

Quick Tip3

Reframe your words and use their language to create a sense of understanding. Restate the purpose and intent for all parties. Look for common ground, always.

Quick Tip4

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How to Negotiate with Confidence (even when you’re not) 
Asia Volume 7, Number 1

How to Negotiate with Confidence (even when you’re not)

To the regular negotiator, negotiation could develop into an easily accessible skill with time and experience. It’s even better if you are forward-thinking and intentional with your behaviour. But even with preparation, what can we do to carry that confidence, even in the toughest conversations? Here are 3 tips for you to stay focused.

STAY FOCUSED

YET FLEXIBLE

Create an advantage over the other party by setting clear goals — what does a mutually agreeable idea look like? What could we trade and what do we value differently? Evaluate your priorities and be clear about a need versus a want. Once done, remain focused on your goal but be flexible by listening proactively to the other party. Stay attuned to their intent and beware of your blind spots.

Even with the most thorough planning, surprises happen, both reasonable and — most times — unreasonable to you. If the other party launches a surprise attack, remind yourself it’s a tactic and find an underlying interest, patterns of behaviour, and perception. Keep discovering the latent issues and don’t get too obsessed with your approach. Be flexible and keep reframing to find common ground and opportunities.

LEVERAGE

YOUR BATNA

BATNA — “Best Alternative To a Negotiation Agreement”. In his 2014 article for Harvard Business Review, Michael Wheeler advises negotiators to ‘think on their feet’ — know your goal, but be flexible and think quickly during negotiation.

Be an optimistic pessimist. Begin by reflecting on the worst-case scenario for you and the other party — what is Plan B if the negotiation fails? Craft a game plan for yourself so you’ll never be cornered.

Consider the other parties’ BATNA or alternatives, and tactfully strategize to devalue their BATNA. Be strategic and use appropriate evidence. Focus on demonstrating the heightened risk, uncertainty and doubts for the other party.

Then, invest in time to demonstrate, justify and validate why your suggestions are better aligned to their intent and in their best interest.

EVERY CONVERSATION

IS A TINY NEGOTIATION

Recognizing that every decision we make is a form of negotiation will improve our persuasive skills and improve our confidence in the field. Both parties must work through all decisions until they reach mutually beneficial results.

Never take words or actions at face value. Be curious and genuinely interested when you get opposing views. Listen intently and never respond out of impulse but be intentional with your responses.

Remember, you can always answer a question with a question or even a summary. Never be pressured to say “Yes” on the spot. Simply remember that everything is a form of negotiation, and if you want something from the other party, think quickly and constantly reframe your pitch.

Conversations break down because we jump to conclusions or make premature judgments. Take time to listen and seek to understand before you start offering options. Always challenge yourself by asking yourself, “Is this negotiable?”. This would push you to continue asking and making offers during negotiation.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Flexibility helps you focus on your goal. Be flexible by listening proactively to the other party. Stay attuned to their intent and beware of your blind spots.

Quick Tip2

Be an optimistic pessimist. Begin by reflecting on the worst-case scenario for you and the other party — what is Plan B if the negotiation fails?

Quick Tip3

Break negotiation into small chunks of dialogue. Take time to listen and seek to understand before you start offering options.

Quick Tip4

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How to Make Good Decisions During Negotiation 
Asia Volume 7, Number 2

How to Make Good Decisions During Negotiation

Making the right choices during negotiation is easier said than done, as different demands can divide parties and stubborn prepositions can create complexities during negotiation. Here are three tips on making decisions that will move you forward during negotiation.

CONSIDER

YOUR STATE OF MIND

Master negotiator Greg Williams emphasizes the importance of one’s mental state during negotiation, explaining that the way one thinks when making a decision will impact it — what is your state of mind or emotional state then? He advises to be ‘mindful of what you are considering, why you are considering such a particular time, and the impact that your decision will have on the future’.

So be wary of making a decision on an impulse; perhaps you are in heavy disagreement with the other party, or you find a vendor’s proposal unfair and demanding. Flaring tempers can lead to a rash decision that could break down working relationships, and thus give you an undesired result. If possible, take a break or work on something soothing or enjoyable to ease your mind before negotiation.

William also suggests asking yourself questions like, “What placed me in this decision-making state?”, “How valid are my thoughts based on what I have received and how will they impact my decision?”, and “Are things really as I see them, and how can I be sure of my answer?”.

He rounds off with the statement, “Sometimes, it’s better to make a decision in a different state of mind than the one that may currently exist within you.”

REVIEW

THE TERMS

How-To-Negotiate advises negotiators to write out and look over a set of terms before and during negotiation. Ensure they cover what you want to accomplish during the negotiation – What are the limits of demands? What does everyone agree on? Are there any back-up plans if the involved parties cannot reach a mutually agreeable outcome? What is the intended outcome? Get everyone’s input to form a set of terms that is mutually agreeable.

This set of terms (or rules or conditions, if you prefer) should act as the groundwork for laying out proposals, and thus would guide you towards making the right decisions. At crucial points during negotiation, the involved parties can look over the terms once more to clarify and review them. Reiterate why everyone agreed on these terms, and weave that into making your decisions along the way.

Uncomfortable with the deadlines a supplier is proposing? Look over your terms of agreement to clarify ‘limits of demands’ and decide on either postponing the dates or re-working your schedule to meet those deadlines. Reviewing your terms will also ease the stress of negotiation and thus put you in a better mental state to make decisions.

USE PROBLEMS

TO DECIDE AN OUTCOME

Every decision has its consequences, so consider several outcomes to the negotiation and how they will benefit you. Ask yourself questions like “What are the pros and cons? What problems are we facing? What happens if we go for this outcome? Does this result support what I value?”.

This is especially helpful if the involved parties run into problems during negotiation; take the opportunity to discuss whatever problems everyone is facing. For example, the other party likes the concession you are proposing but are wary about doing extra work for it. Then, weave that into making your decision and reaching a result.

If you know the other party’s struggles, use that to your advantage to decide and propose an outcome to them. In some cases, you do not have to worry about whether it will be ‘Win-Win’, as long as the result is feasible for both parties.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Be wary of making decisions on an impulse. Ensure your mind is calm prior to making decisions.

Quick Tip2

Have everyone create a set of terms that is mutually agreeable before negotiation and at crucial points during negotiation, the involved parties can review the terms. Reiterate why everyone agreed on these terms and weave the into making your decisions along the way.

Quick Tip3

Know the problems the involved parties are facing, and weigh them against possible outcomes.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiation-picking your Battles Wisely 
Spring 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 10

Negotiation: Picking Your Battles Wisely
Breaking it Down

When picking a negotiation strategy, selection can be boiled down to addressing two main concerns: the outcome of the negotiation and the relationship you have with the other negotiator. From these two concerns we can derive four basic strategies you may use in your negotiation. These are namely the lose- lose strategy, win- lose strategy, win- win strategy and lose- win strategy. .

ACCOMODATING

STYLE

This is the lose- win strategy. Choosing this strategy means you prize your relationship with your negotiator more than the outcome of the negotiation. You may be in an inferior position that you want to improve by giving in to the other party’s demands. An accommodating strategist is not likely to be found in formal negotiations. His primary goal here is either to let go of a deal now for a better one in the future or to cool off present hostile feelings through encouraging open communication. Try not to use this strategy in the long- run as it may give you the reputation of being a pushover.

AVOIDING

STYLE

This is the lose- lose strategy. When you choose to avoid the negotiation, you are basically classifying the negotiation as a futile attempt to secure an outcome that you are not in the least bit interested in. Pursuing such a negotiation would take up money and time. A lose- lose strategy deems neither the relationship nor the outcome as important. Your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) would also have given you the option of dropping your former negotiation and negotiating your BATNA instead.

COMPETITIVE

STYLE

This is the win- lose strategy, which is different from the lose- win strategy. In the win- lose strategy, you are making the conscious effort to be a competitive negotiator. Employ this strategy if you foresee this negotiation to be a one- off situation, if your relationship with your negotiator is already rocky from before, the relationship does not matter to you, or because you need to be on your defensive mode due to the other party’s reputation for being as tough- as- nails.

COLLABORATIVE

STYLE

In using a collaborative strategy, you are striving for a win- win situation. Choosing this strategy means you have history with the other party, or you would like to have a good relationship with them. At the same time, you want to accomplish your objectives. In order for this strategy to work, all parties involved must practice it. The collaborative approach is aptly named because it is a collaborative effort. Open communication is vital.

PUTTING

INTO PRACTICE

Your planning and assessing of your and the other party’s goals as well as understanding of the context of the negotiation will help in directing your decision of strategies, so remember to do your homework. As you assess the situation and context, which are factors not completely in your control, question if the negotiation was self-initiated or facilitated by a higher authority. Knowing who is behind the negotiation greatly influences your decision on which strategies to use.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

When picking a negotiation strategy, selection can be boiled down to addressing two main concerns: the outcome of the negotiation and the relationship you have with the other negotiator.

Quick Tip2

Your planning and assessing of your and the other party’s goals as well as understanding of the context of the negotiation will help in directing your decision of strategies, so remember to do tour homework.

Quick Tip3

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Strengthen your Negotiating Bargaining Power 
Spring 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 22

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR BATNA
Innovate or Manipulate

It is important to note that your BATNA is not something that is fixed from the get-go. You can control how it changes, develops or both over time. Even better for you if your negotiating partner can see how your BATNA is improving and therefore be aware of the stronger position you are in. This means creating a false perception of your BATNA for the other party. Though not always ethical, the point is that the perception of your BATNA can be invaluable in a negotiation.

Also, look to other aspects of the negotiation where you can create some leverage, such as the relationship both parties have. Seeking to keep a good relationship or proving that your services may not just be a one-time event can create a vested interest. Hence, build some trust and mutual need. Negotiate where both of you would need each other.

YOU MUST

HAVE FORESIGHT

Sometimes negotiating may be more of a bane than a boon. Take a step back and take stock of your situation. There has to be complete clarity of your outcomes for any negotiation. If you need time to generate BATNAs or even if there are no viable BATNAs, it may not be worth it to negotiate. You stand to gain more by moving on to the next opportunity.

Get into the habit of having foresight. Every negotiation needs planning, and for a successful negotiation with optimal results, planning begins two steps ahead. Imagine you and your counterpart in the future- at the end of it all question if the ends would justify your means. You may be wasting valuable time trying to improve deadlock BATNAs instead of creating new opportunities.

TAKES TWO

TO TANGO

The following scenario is drawn from David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius book The Manager as Negotiator.

During Teddy Roosevelt’s presidential campaign, a complication arose. The picture of Roosevelt that had been printed on three million pamphlets had been used without the permission of Moffet studios, the holder of the copyright of the picture. Should the pamphlets be distributed, they would be liable for $1 in damages for each picture, yet from their research they found out that Moffet was petty with money and was unlikely to negotiate. The campaign manager George Perkins thus sent this telegraph to Moffet: We are planning to distribute millions of pamphlets with Roosevelt’s picture on the cover. It would be great publicity for the studio whose photograph we use. How much will you pay us to use yours? Respond immediately.

Moffet responded that he would pay $250. Initially, the campaign had bad BATNAs: re-do the pamphlets or enter a lawsuit, both of which they neither had the time nor money for. However, by realizing Moffet had no clue on what their BATNAs were but they could predict Moffet’s BATNAs, they were able to save millions and make an extra couple of bucks.

Take note: Not having good BATNAs doesn’t mean your negotiation partner has good ones. You can still control the negotiation especially if you can guess their BATNAs.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

It is important to note that your BATNA is not something that is fixed from the get-go. You can control how it changes, develops or both over time.

Quick Tip2

Get into the habit of having foresight. Every negotiation needs planning, and for a successful negotiation with optimal results, planning begins two steps ahead.

Quick Tip3

Not having good BATNAs doesn’t mean your negotiation partner has good ones. You can still control the negotiation especially if you can guess their BATNAs.

Quick Tip4

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Share information without regret in Negotiation 
Summer 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 24

HOW TO SHARE INFORMATION IN NEGOTIATION
This is How You Begin

Begin by recognizing the type of negotiation and asking questions regarding the information you already have at your dispense. For distributive negotiating situations, parties are less forthcoming with information than in integrative negotiations where both parties work together for desired outcomes. Research has shown that failing to reach a resolution in integrative negotiations usually boils down to the failure of sharing information.

You have to be objective when asking yourselves questions about your information. What information is critical to this negotiation? What is the best way to share the information I want to with the other party? What might they be hiding from me?

In their book Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes by R.L Pinkley, T.L Griffith and G.B Northcraft, they found out that negotiators who are aware of each other’s alternatives to a negotiated agreement were more likely to make their resistance points less extreme, improve negotiating trade-offs and increase the size of the resource pie compared with situations in which one or both negotiators were not aware of the alternatives.

BE AWARE OF

GREY AREAS

The sharing of information should be used to gain mutual trust and to gain information in return- in other words, be strategic. Sharing information can result in gains for both parties. However, be careful of crossing the lines of what is ethical. If you are withholding or hoarding information that would be detrimental or result in a violation of contract, you are going to waste valuable time.
As mentioned in a earlier article, creating perceptions is important in generating BATNAs, but willfully holding information that can result in damages costing millions of dollars for the other party can be considered acting illegally. Likewise for the other party towards you. Ensure that the information you need from them is shared with you.

INFORMATION IS A

PRECIOUS RESOURCE

At the end of the day, information is a precious resource to any negotiation. However, the giving of information does not always necessarily mean to return something equally valuable. You want to share information that you believe will help both parties achieve their goals, and not information that will strengthen the other parties’ BATNA while simultaneously weakening your own.

In an informal study with a Harvard MBA class, it was found out that the key aspect of sharing information was not the advantage of having information that the other had to claim value, but to create value for everyone involved. In integrative negotiations, you are more likely to identifying value-creating trade-offs then by hiding information. False assumptions is detrimental to a successful negotiation, so do not miss opportunities to correct a problem that you might have glossed over. The bottom line is by sharing information, you are creating a bigger pie for everyone to divide.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Research has shown that failing to reach a resolution in integrative negotiations usually boils down to the failure of sharing information.

Quick Tip2

The sharing of information should be used to gain mutual trust and to gain information in return- in other words, be strategic.

Quick Tip3

You want to share information that you believe will help both parties achieve their goals, and not information that will strengthen the other parties’ BATNA while simultaneously weakening your own.

Quick Tip4

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Making the most of your Negotiation Concessions 
Summer 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 25

MOVING THE NETOTIATION CONVERSATION FORWARD: Making the Most of Your Concesions
Dangling the Carrot

Most negotiators will tell you to never make a concession without asking for or gaining something in return. This move can be boiled down to three main reasons: you could get something in exchange, it prevents people from taking advantage of you in later times and last but not least, the value of what you are trading off has risen.

Without asking for something in return, you will never get anything. The small act of merely asking “What can you do for me if I do this for you?” opens up the possibility of getting something in exchange. Moreover, by asking for an exchange, you deter people from perpetually coming back to you for favors over and over again. You are a negotiator, not a pushover. When you ask for something in return, whatever service you are providing automatically becomes valuable- there is now reason for the other party to offer whatever valuable service they have to you. This also helps in value-creation in negotiation; you are creating opportunities to trade-off.

What you gain depends heavily on how you prepare. The bulk of your preparation lies in what you will ask for in return of the service you are providing. Aim for creating a win-win trade-off each time.

IF WE CAN DO THAT FOR YOU,

WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR US?

Roger Dawson, top businessman and advocator of Power Negotiation tactics, recommends using this key phrase when trading off: If we can do that for you, what can you do for us? There is no harm in asking- the worst thing the other party can say is nothing, but you have not lost anything at the end of the day. Dawson emphasizes using the exact words and not changing the wording, as well as not being too specific in asking for something. By doing so, you are only setting yourself up for a confrontational situation.

CONDITIONAL

CONCESSIONS

At the most basic level, most people view concessions as favors or simply asking for something. But the negotiating skill of making concessions requires that you make your concessions conditional. This means having both a demand and offer ready. The offer would be conditional on the demand or vice versa, depending on what you want the other party to perceive from you. Whatever the case, make sure you make your demands precise but offer unsettled or tentative. This allows you space to maneuver and negotiate further while making known to the other party what exactly it is you need

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Never make a concession without asking for or gaining something in return.

Quick Tip2

The small act of merely asking “What can you do for me if I do this for you?” opens up the possibility of getting something in exchange.

Quick Tip3

Whatever the case, make sure you make your demands precise but offer unsettled or tentative. This allows you space to maneuver and negotiate further while making known to the other party what exactly it is you need.

Quick Tip4

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Managing Negotiation Conflicts 
Summer 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 26

MANAGING CONFLICT IN NEGOTIATION
Avoid these Situations

Conflicts arise in negotiation when parties involved perceive their goals to be incompatible. To manage them, Managing Conflict by L. Greenhalgh that was printed in the Sloan Management Review provides a rubric that breaks down conflict into “Difficult to Resolve” and “Easy to resolve” depending on the dimension of conflict involved.

“Difficult to resolve” conflicts entail matter of “principle” conflicts that at the core of it lies differences in values and ethics. Large stakes involved thus suffer big consequences, zero sum interdependence and single transaction (meaning there is no past or future in these negotiations), all falling under conflicts that are difficult to resolve. Weak and disorganized parties, no presence of a neutral third party and an unbalanced perceived progress of the conflict (where one party feels more harm while the other wants to maintain control) are also deemed as leading to conflicts that are difficult to resolve.

WHEN ALL

ELSE FAILS

Of course it is not possible to avoid all sorts of conflict all the time. Five major conflict management strategies have been identified from the Dual Concerns model created by Dean Pruitt, Jeffrey Rubin and S.H Kim, authors of Social Conflict: Escalation, Stalemate and Settlement. They are contending (competing/dominating), yielding (accommodating/obliging), inaction (avoiding), problem solving (collaborating/integrating) and compromising.

The contending strategy, involving much intimidation, is used when you are pursuing your own outcomes strongly and have little concern for the other party. Yielding would be used at the other end of the spectrum, when your negotiation lies in making the other party happy. Inaction is most often used when resolving the conflict is of little use to the overall bigger picture. People choose to do nothing when there is little interest in both parties’ outcomes.

A compromising strategy is effective when parties are equally powerful and the goals of each party are mutually exclusive. It is also used when a more temporary solution to a complex problem is needed.

PROBLEM

SOLVING

Problem solving has been long touted as the most preferred approach to conflicts. Besides being the most versatile strategy, it also considers both parties’ outcomes as high priorities. Problem solving is best used in situations where issues are complex and the generation of ideas is needed to come up with better solutions. It is ideal if there is time set aside for this strategy and commitment is needed from both sides to resolve the issue- one party alone cannot solve the problem.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

“Difficult to resolve” conflicts entail matter of “principle” conflicts that at the core of it lies differences in values and ethics.

Quick Tip2

Conflict management strategies include contending, yielding , inaction, problem solving and compromising.

Quick Tip3

Besides being the most versatile strategy, problem solving also considers both parties’ outcomes as high priorities.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating with the Sole Supplier 
Autumn 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 27

HOW TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE SOLE SUPPLIER
Think before you Offer

Managers often come across situations where the raw materials, intermediate goods or services they need to manufacture products or do business are provided by a sole supplier. You should think carefully if you should be aggressive in such situations as the supplier has much more negotiating power than you. Aggressive negotiation strategies might easily backfire if the supplier is also aggressive. In worst case scenarios, this could become a “take it or leave it” situation, which you cannot afford. Collaborative approach is a safer bet. Keep in mind that even though your company needs the supplier you should be careful of over-paying as that might lead you to other problems.

BE SUBTLE

BUT PRECISE

It is no secret that a good deal of time is spent preparing for negotiations. You should try to understand how important this deal is for the supplier and what offer they would most likely find suitable. You should also find levers for negotiations; for example, past supplier performance, market trends and “should be” (or anticipated) costs.

The easiest way to try go around the problem is not let the supplier realize they have monopolistic power over you, therefore weakening your BATNA. This may work in situations with asymmetric information, meaning the supplier does not realize that he is currently the sole supplier of the product or service you need. The product they sell may be the only one with the specifications you require or a another supplier has left the market and which the supplier is unaware of or the supplier does not realize that due to small size of your business you do not have the option to use other, larger suppliers. This method should be used with caution, for the supplier realizing that you have been doing this may effect on your relations.

Instead, using the method above you can rather try to get the supplier more involved in your business and improve supplier relationship. Stronger relationships can improve cost effectiveness of both parties by creating more integrated supply chain; costs are also reduced by not having to renegotiate each time. Long term agreements protect the supplier for potential future competition thus offering the supplier more incentives for making a reasonable offer.

FINDING A WAY

AROUND THE PROBLEM

If you find your company in this situation, you might want start to think about alternatives. If the sole supplier situation is caused by lack of good substitutes you might want to alter product or service you offer to enable using substitutes. This makes both your product and your company more robust. If the situation is caused by ill managed supply chain management it might be a good idea to start quickly improving that and using the sole supplier only for time being. If you lack negotiation power due to size of the company, you might consider forming consortiums with other companies with similar issues. You can even go for radical options and either start competing in sole suppliers industry yourself or simply buying their business.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

You should think carefully should you be aggressive in such situations as the supplier has much more negotiating power than you.

Quick Tip2

Try to understand how important this deal is for the supplier and what offer they would most likely find suitable. You should also find levers for negotiations.

Quick Tip3

Stronger relationships can improve cost effectiveness of both parties by creating more integrated supply chain; costs are also reduced by not having to renegotiate each time.

4 ways to neutralize aggressive hardball tactics 
Winter 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 27

AHEAD OF THE CURVE: How to deal with hardball tactics how to deal

Negotiators who find themselves with a party who uses hardball tactics will do good by being able to first identify the tactic fast and understanding how it works. In Getting to Yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in, Fisher, Ury and Patton identify four main responses to dealing with hardball tactics. They are ignoring them, discussing them, responding in kind and co-opting the other party. Use each discerningly.

IGNORING

THEM

This response is best used with the hardball tactic of “good cop/bad cop”. By pretending that you did not hear the threats or simply changing the topic, you fumble the other party’s momentum. The good cop/bad cop tactic usually entails one dominating person who is tough on their position and another more reasonable one. The contrast is seen when the former leaves the room, giving space for the other to negotiate with a seemingly better suggestion (but take care, it might not be the optimal solution). Many fall for the tactic as they do not want to deal with the bad cop.

The good news is that this hardball tactic is easy to identify and therefore easy to deal. The bad news is that if you are the ones using the tactic, you may get blindsided away from accomplishing the negotiation goals and more time getting the tactic to work.

DISCUSING

THEM

One of the more recommended tactics by Fisher, Ury and Patton is to let the other party know that you are on to them and their tactic. Instead of getting into conflict about it, this gives you the opportunity to offer up transparency in the negotiation. Setting up common rules of order for the negotiation and behavioural expectations allows those involved to separate the people from the problem and focus solely on achieving negotiation goals. Indicate that you will not be a pushover-you can be a tough negotiator too, but only when necessary.

RESPONDING

IN KIND

This tactic can backfire as now the atmosphere would be very tense. The negotiation may end up with hard feelings as well. Being a hardball negotiator yourself is useful in situations where the other party use exaggerated positions. By mirroring their actions, each party will be aware that the other is skilled in negotiating and thus would move on to trying something different. It is also important to have all your facts right before embarking on this tactic, or you risk being fooled.

CO-OPTING THE

OTHER PARTY

They say prevention is better than cure, and this can ring true for hardball tactics. Try to prevent any usage of hardball tactics by building a friendship with the other party before you begin negotiation. It becomes more difficult to hardball someone who is familiar to you. Moreover, finding common areas and a shared “enemy” can and most probably would result in sidetracking the other party from generating hardball tactics to use on you.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Negotiators who find themselves with a party who uses hardball tactics will do good by being able to first identify the tactic fast and understanding how it works.

Quick Tip2

Ignoring them, discussing them, responding in kind and co-opting the other party are some ways to deal with hardball tactics

Quick Tip3

Try to prevent any usage of hardball tactics by building a friendship with the other party before you begin negotiation

Quick Tip4

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3 Assertive Ways to Handle Aggressive Negotiators 
Winter 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 28

BEATING THE BULLY: Handling Aggressive Negotiators

Nobody wants to be a pushover, but there are times where we walk away from the negotiation table feeling weak, vulnerable, or unhappy with ourselves, especially when dealing with intimidating negotiators. We may have avoided conflict, but in doing so have agreed to make a few crippling sacrifices. It is possible to be both assertive and amiable, however, and both parties can reach a satisfying agreement if these aggressive negotiators are approached with strategy and tact.

THE PERFECT

REFUSAL

Many people are afraid of turning down requests because they want to ensure an amicable relationship between the parties involved. The drawback is that such an approach rarely leads to all parties being satisfied with the outcome; in numerous cases, people are left feeling like they have drawn the short straw. It is sensible to refuse a deal that will not improve your position. State your refusal courteously, and then offer an alternative solution that will benefit all parties. Others will be more willing to listen if you have other viable options, rather than if you had only responded with a blunt ‘No’.

USE ‘I’ INSTEAD

OF ‘YOU’

When negotiations get heated, tempers may flare and accusations may start flying. The next time temperatures begin to rise, use ‘I’ statements, especially when requesting for something. ‘You’ statements, such as, “You are unaware of our company’s procedures in this matter,” or “You’re not making sense,” sound accusatory. An ‘I’ statement not only removes the edge from the remark, it allows the other party to see things from your point of view. An aggressive negotiator tends to see only his or her agenda, so using statements like, “I understand that you would like the report by the end of the month, but I have two projects due next Monday, so those take precedence,” may shift the focus from fulfilling one party’s agenda to coming up with a solution that benefits all.

SIMPLICITY

IS KEY

There are moments where lengthy explanations would benefit negotiations, but aggressive negotiators enjoy finding the devil in the details. Many meetings suffer from being derailed by negotiators arguing over trivialities. To counter this, be simple and direct. Ensure that you know exactly what you want to achieve from the meeting, and keep your requests brief and clear. If pressed for elaborations, always remember that less is more. Give yourself a few seconds to think before replying, and then politely assert yourself.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

It is possible to be both assertive and amicable, however, and both parties can reach a satisfying agreement if these aggressive negotiators are approached with strategy and tact.

Quick Tip2

It is sensible to refuse a deal that will not improve your position. State your refusal courteously, and then offer an alternative solution that will benefit all parties.

Quick Tip3

The next time temperatures begin to rise during negotiations, use ‘I’ statements especially when requesting for something.

Quick Tip4

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How to negotiate with Vendors 
Spring 2015, Asia Volume 5, Number 30

HOW TO NEGOTIATE WITH VENDORS Tactics

Ever watched American Pickers? Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz, your regular average Joes, literally pick through people’s junk across the United States, hoping to find something valuable. They later hope to sell these for a profit. Before you dismiss this as another failed attempt at reality television, there is much to be learned from just one episode. Keep in mind that not everything learned can be applied to all negotiations.

Mike and Frank usually have their counter-offers ready at the tip of their tongue. This requires immense preparation that mostly has to do with having superior knowledge about the product. Know what you are buying, and know your BATNAs. The two also make quite aggressive opening offers but are not unreasonable. It is very likely that the vendor knows the value of his product, so do not make an offer too low or they might call the whole negotiation off.

THE ART OF

BUILDING

One of the very effective tactic Frank uses in the show is the bundling tactic – making an offer for more than one item at a time. When done right, you can walk away from the negotiation with your hands full and both parties happy.

Use the bundling tactic when you are in a sticky situation about pricing. When too much time has been spent going back and forth on the price of one item, strike a deal by combining it together with another item. Bundling provides a way out from a seemingly impassable road block, but do not be aggressive with the bundle. No vendor likes the feeling that he or she is being pushed around so when offering a counter-price, set the total price above what was offered for the more expensive item in the bundle. It creates the illusion that you are paying more for what the items are worth and a win-win situation for both.

BEWARE OF

SWITCHING COSTS

Switching costs, a term familiar to most vendors, are the expenses a buyer acquires in order to change their service providers. For example, if you are on a plan for your iPhone that you decide to deactivate prematurely in order to get a new plan for a Samsung note, the termination charge imposed most likely has switching costs in-built them. It is important to note that most vendors try their best to implicate switching costs into their prices.

Some switching costs are inevitable and not always explicit. There are many loyalty programs vendors create as well to deter customers from switching (for example, your frequent flyer miles on an airline). It is therefore unrealistic to try and avoid all kinds of switching costs. Ensure that there are protective measures from excessive switching costs when you negotiate with a vendor, such as being able to afford to switch in the first place. You are left with a very bad BATNA for pricing if you cannot even afford to switch.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Know what you are buying and know your BATNAs.

Quick Tip2

Make aggressive opening offers that are not unreasonable and are within the possible ZOPA.

Quick Tip3

Learn to bundle and learn it well – making a single offer for more than one item.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating with High Risks – What’s Important When Stakes are High 
Summer 2015, Asia Volume 6, Number 2

WHAT’S IMPORTANT WHEN YOUR STAKES ARE HIGH Narrow Down Your ‘Everything’

Know this: you cannot pressure the other side to agree by issuing threats and do not make proposals that you are forced to back off from because you cannot deliver the other parties who need to agree to them.

With that in mind, do not walk into the negotiation room thinking that everything has a high stake in the deal. During your preparation process, divide your issues into levels – assign each the worst possible outcome that you can think of, and the concessions you would have to make for such outcomes. Naturally, some concessions cost more than others, and these would be in your ‘high stakes’ pile.

Narrowing down your ‘high stakes’ list focuses on the specific and important details that both parties need to reach a consensus on.

READ THE

FINE PRINT

It is important to read the fine print so take your time to go over the finer points, and hash them out. Never say yes to the first offer as this would imply to the other party that (a) they could have done better since you were so quick to accept their first offer or (b) you are hiding something from them because you said yes to an offer that they did not think you would agree to.

When the stakes are high, the negotiations tend to be longer and more drawn out. It is important not to make explicit your settling point n this case because information is not freely shared by both parties – there is too much at stake for both parties and being too transparent with your information can cause the other party to give you the shorter end of the stick.

HOW TO OVERCOME

THE IMPASSE

Take a break, cool down, breathe out the emotions — there are many ways to defuse the tension when things get heated as is often the case when the stakes are high. Taking a breather is one thing; when you come back, focus on the issues where both of you have mutual interests and where an agreement can be more readily met. This helps build momentum on to tackling the higher staked issues.

Another thing you can do is to ask for more than you expect to get. By doing so, you just might get what you are asking for and all you had to do was ask. Moreover, this creates some negotiating room between both parties. And if that is not enough to try out, asking for more than you expect helps in preventing deadlocks when dealing with a hard negotiator who is determined to have a win with you.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

During your preparation process, divide your issues into levels – assign each the worst possible outcome that you can think of, and the concessions you would have to make for such outcomes.

Quick Tip2

It is important to read the fine print, so take your time to go over the finer points and hash them out.

Quick Tip3

Taking a breather is one thing; when you come back, focus on the issues where both of you have mutual nterests and where an agreement can be more readily met.

Quick Tip4

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How to Create or Capture Value in Negotiation 
Summer 2015, Asia Volume 6, Number 6

CREATE OR CAPTURE VALUE IN NEGOTIATION? The Prisoner’s Dilemma

One famous game strategy in social science is the Prisoner’s Dilemma. For those not familiar with it, the Prisoner’s Dilemma has two suspects being interrogated in separate rooms. Their choices are spelled out for them: If neither suspect confesses, each gets 1 year in jail for the minor crime. If both confess, they each get eight years. If one confesses and the other doesn’t, the one who confessed gets off clean while his partner goes to jail for twelve years.

It seems that no matter what the other suspect does, confessing would be the dominant strategy in this game; you are in a better position confessing regardless of what the other suspect does. Therein lies the dilemma—the rational/dominant thing to do results in the worst outcome. Both suspects confessing would result in a sentence totaling 16 years, when they would both be better off not confessing and getting a year each.

David Lax and Jim Sebenius applied a negotiation angle to this dilemma in 1992. Let’s take not confessing as a strategy to cooperate while confessing as a strategy to defect (in the hopes that the other doesn’t confess). In negotiation, the choice to cooperate, that is to create value, would improve the overall result while choosing to defect, capture value, would result in a better result for the individual, but at the expense of the other party. This further translates into cooperating being to create value while defecting is capturing value and the question of whether you should create or capture value arises.

TIT-FOR-TAT

Tit-for-tat is a cooperative strategy that political scientist Robert Axelrod picked in a game strategy tournament as the winning strategy, devised by Anatol Rapoport. It addresses the trap of capturing value that in the long run leads to the worst aggregate outcome. Besides you focusing on creating value, it maximizes the chance that your negotiating counterparty would want to focus on creating value as well.

Tit-for-tat is self-explanatory: you cooperate in the initial negotiation and in the next round of negotiations, you choose to do whatever the other party had done before in an act of reciprocal altruism. When the other party chooses to create value in a negotiation, the next time there is a negotiation you would cooperate and create value as well. In the long run, cooperating wins over defecting—defecting would only give you immediate ‘wins’ but in subsequent rounds, you stand to lose more.

This approach signals your intentions to the other party through confirmation of your words through action. Knowing that the other party will cooperate as long as you cooperate will result in a negotiation strategy of cooperating for as long as possible. Defect, and the other party would defect too.

The underlying assumption here would be that this Prisoner’s Dilemma is iterative (meaning negotiations with the other party would happen time and again). The next step in creating value would then be to make your negotiations iterative.

MAKE THE NEGOTIATION

ITERATIVE

An obvious answer would be to form long-term bonds with whoever you are negotiating with as this would more likely have areas where you can create value. The longer you negotiate with someone, the better your chances of creating a practice/pattern of value creation.

Another way would be to build your reputation so that word gets around that you are someone who negotiates cooperatively. This might make people more prone to negotiating with you.

Last but not least, an innovative way to turn a single negotiation into an iterative one would be to use the issues on the table to build follow-up negotiations. Instead of laying all the cards on the table at once, break them up into separate issues that can be negotiated separately. There will be too many factors to deal at once, so both parties would have to meet again to further discuss these issues and find a better win-win deal.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

The choice to cooperate (that is to create value) would improve the overall result, while choosing to defect (capture value) would result at a better result for the individual, but at the expense of the other party.

Quick Tip2

It should not only be you trying to create value, but to ensure that you are maximizing the chances that the other party wants to create value as well

Quick Tip3

Make your single negotiation into an iterative one by breaking your deal up into separate issues that can be negotiated separately.

Quick Tip4

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How to say “No” in Negotiation 
Autumn 2015, Asia Volume 6, Number 8

HOW TO SAY ‘NO’ IN A NEGOTIATION framing

Sometimes, saying “no” forthright might ruin or create tension in negotiation between parties and this can be detrimental to the relationship in the future. A successful negotiation depends heavily on how the other party views the resulting deal. To them, it may seem as if they are offering you a good deal with their final offer but you know better.

If the relationship is at stake, instead of saying “no”, say “I see another way to move forward….” or “How about if…”. Try different ways of framing the offer so that the other party becomes aware of how it may not be ideal for you. Framing allows you to give subtle suggestions without seeming rude.

SAY ‘NO’ BY

SAYING ‘YES’ TO CHOICES

In other words, create a win-win scenario by saying yes to a deal that you would initially say “no” to, but have revamped by finding value. When you consciously offer another concession in place of saying “no”, you have created a scenario that is worth more to you than what you gave up.

For example, if you are negotiating a deal over $10,000 and if the other party decides it gets $9,900, instead of saying “no”, find value. How about increasing the deal to $15,000? The stakes are higher now, but so are your chances at a better trade-off. Focus on your BATNAs. Focus on the ways to dramatically improve your prospects.

WHAT ARE

YOU LOSING?

The big problem with saying “no” is that you never know what you could have from making another concession. Saying “no” is a finality that causes you to lose value in a negotiation (remember: good negotiations culminate from value-creation, having sufficient BATNAs).

This is especially so in a zero-sum negotiation. You tend to lose everything by saying “no”, so add worth by creating value that costs the other side nothing or little but may be valuable to you in the long run. A good example would be staff training that would cost the company little or nothing but would improve your skills as a worker (and therefore increasing value to your BATNAs in any future negotiation). If you find that you have exhausted all your possible BATNAs, have little care for further relationship with the other party and see that adding any more value to the deal on the table would only result in a big loss, then a “no” would be inevitable.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Framing allows you to give subtle suggestions without seeming rude.

Quick Tip2

When you consciously offer another concession in place of saying “no”, you have created a scenario that is worth more to you that what you gave up.

Quick Tip3

The big problem with saying no is that you never know what you could have gained from making another concession.

Quick Tip4

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How to Take Control of Emotions during a Negotiation 
Winter 2015, Asia Volume 6, Number 10

STAY CALM AND CONFIDENT DESPITE THE HEAT: How To Take Control of Your Emotions During A Negotiation?
the basics

While there are negotiators who walk into a meeting room and get revved up from a belligerent atmosphere, we all know by now that win-win negotiations are the optimum in this field. Knowing how to take an active stance in controlling your emotions is, therefore, part of the process of a smooth-flowing negotiation.

“Remaining calm” is easy to say but often difficult to put into practice. As long as you have this mantra at the back of your mind, you are able to pause and allow yourself back into objectivity once you sense a chance of something going wrong in the negotiation.

With that said, pause and take a deep breath before diving back into the negotiation. Advocate for a short break for both parties. Until you have thought through what you wanted to say with a correct mindset, do not make deals or form a decision on the spot especially in the middle of a heated discussion. The tendency to retaliate is human but this must be avoided. When you incur an emotion, try validating its purpose.

IDENTIFYING

THE TRIGGER

To every heated discussion, there is a trigger point. Mentally scrutinize and pick apart what was said and laid out on the negotiation table that caused you to feel attacked. As mentioned earlier, take a physical break if you have to so that you have a chance to regroup your thoughts. Where did the negotiation take a wrong turn?

D. Kolb in a Harvard Negotiation Newsletter proposed these communication techniques that can be used to address these triggers. Specifically, taking a break, naming the move, questioning the move, correcting the assertion with accurate information and ignoring the trigger and refocusing back to the problem.

EXERT

ASSERTION

Giving off some type of emotion is inevitable. What you can learn to do is manipulate a negative emotion into something both positive and constructive.

To do this, stall your negative emotions from gaining momentum by expressing yourself assertively. Research has shown that asserting yourself, in the correct way, helps to build confidence in the receiver. You do not want to rub people the wrong way and so take heed in crafting your message effectively.

Robert Bolton, in his book People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts, introduces a template to formulate your assertive message. The template has three steps: 1) describing the behaviour in a non-judgmental way, 2) disclosing how you feel about the other party’s attitude/behaviour towards you and 3) describing a tangible consequence of such attitude/behaviour upon yourself.

For example, telling the other party that 1) because they are always late, 2) you feel frustrated, and 3) you have wasted time waiting for them. Do not mistake assertion for aggressiveness — keep your hostility in check and focus on getting your message communicated clearly without implying dominance.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Manipulate a negative emotion into something both positive and constructive. To do this, stall your negative emotions from gaining momentum by expressing yourself assertively.

Quick Tip2

Mentally scrutinize and pick apart what was said and laid out on the negotiation table that caused you to feel attacked.

Quick Tip3

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Cross-Cultural Negotiation – Where to start? 
Spring 2016, Asia Volume 6, Number 12

WHEN IN ROME: Negotiating Cross – Culturally when in Rome, don’t act as Romans do

We all know that negotiating cross-culturally is not only intimidating but challenging as well. There is far less material to be found on what you should do when faced with negotiating with someone from another culture. In other words, we all know why cross-cultural negotiations are tough; little is known as to how to overcome this.

A quick fixer, as many a theorist would propound, would be “When in Rome, act as Romans do”. But often, this works against most people. You are not the only one modifying your approach; it is highly likely that the other party is changing his approach so as to cater to you as well. The end result can prove to be disastrous, with both of you attempting to act appropriately but not really understanding what the other party is doing. While there may be a chance that you can modify your approach successfully and effectively, the fact is that most of the time it leads to more confusion.

AN

ALTERNATIVE

That is not to say that you should not be aware of the cultural differences between you and the other negotiating party. Nonetheless, there are more effective ways to overcome difficulties that occur during cross-cultural negotiations.

Stephen Weiss, an associate professor of policy and international business at York University, has provided a rubric of options that are more responsive to this dilemma. As a negotiator, there are eight different strategies he proposes that can be broken down into three categories based on how familiar you are with the other negotiator’s culture: low, moderate and high. In each group, there are unilateral strategies (ones you can use individually) and joint strategies (ones that involve the participation of the other party).

STRATEGIES:

UNILATERAL OR JOINT

These will be touched on in-depth in the following negotiation article, but for now, get yourself familiar identifying unilateral strategies and joint strategies.

Unilateral strategies employ agents or advisors, adapt to the other negotiator’s approach, or embrace the other negotiator’s approach.

Joint strategies bring in a mediator, induce the other negotiator to use your approach, coordinate adjustment, improvise an approach or effect symphony.

Culture affects several negotiation factors; attitudes, time sensitivity, emotionalism, agreement form to name a few; so take extra care in your research prior to starting your negotiation talks.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

You are not the only one modifying your approach; it is highly likely that the other party is changing his approach so as to cater to you as well. The end result can prove to be disastrous, with both of you attempting to act appropriately, but not really understanding

Quick Tip2

There are 8 different strategies that can be broken down into 3 categories based on how familiar you are with the other negotiator’s culture: low, moderate and high. In each group, there are unilateral strategies (ones you can use

Quick Tip3

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Knowing your BATNA-Generating alternatives 
Spring 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 21

KNOWING YOUR BATNA – Generating alternatives in Negotiation
Know your Bargaining Power

The first sign in knowing how to generate your alternatives in your negotiation is to identify how much influence, or power, you have in the situation. To gauge this is easy. If you have a low need (but nevertheless still a need) for the other party’s services, you have more power. Likewise vice versa, a high need would mean low power in a negotiation.

Put simply, if your BATNA exceeds your need to negotiate, you can walk away from the negotiation at any time. Thus, the first thing you have to do is create choices, and increase them. How to create choices? Envision what you will do if the other party’s services/resources did not exist in the first place. This is imperative in reducing your need on the other party.

LOOK FOR

MUTUAL POSSIBILITIES

Distributive situations, also known as distributive bargaining, are when there can only be one winner in the negotiation. Integrative situations are negotiations that are win-win, and what you should strive to do when entering any negotiation as much as you possibly can. When creating your list of BATNAs, keep in mind that the longer the list, the more chances you have of landing on one that will satisfy the other party as well. Remember, a win-win negotiation is ideal no matter what.

If possible, try generating a list of possibilities with the party you are negotiating with. This works well when both groups are on the same page on how the negotiation should run and are truly interested in both parties satisfying their interests. In order to gain your negotiation partner’s trust and pull them into a more integrative or collaborative negotiation, do your research and focus on finding out their problem.

WEAK BATNA?

WEAK BATNA?

What happens when you’re stuck with a bad BATNA? This is often the case when your BATNA is weak due to internal reasons. Prevention is often better than cure, and the same goes for bad BATNAs in a negotiation. Try to reduce situations where your BATNA may be bad by having the foresight of constructing your BATNAs before you encounter situations that require negotiation. Such a habit of thinking up future disagreements take practice and not everyone can easily drum out scenarios before they arise. Thus, start by always thinking about the potential for disagreement in any situation, and make your decisions accordingly.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

If your BATNA exceeds your need to negotiate, you can walk away from the negotiation at any time, Thus, the first thing you have to do is create choices, and increase them.

Quick Tip2

When creating your list of BATNAs, keep in mind that the longer the list, the more chances you have of landing on one that will satisfy the other party as well.

Quick Tip3

Try to reduce situations where your BATNA may be bad by having the foresight of constructing your BATNAs before you encounter situations that require negotiation.

Quick Tip4

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Walk from negotiation without regret – BATNA and ZOPA 
Spring 2014, Asia Volume 5, Number 21

KNOW THE TERMS – What every negotiator should know
A Quick Intro

BATNA and ZOPA. Your BATNA is your Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. Your ZOPA is your Zone of Possible Agreement. In any negotiation, these two terms should be as familiar as your right and left hand, and used as such.

Your BATNA is extremely important; if you cannot secure one, or a few, you are in a very weak or no position to deal. Economists know this as your opportunity cost. Simply put, no BATNA equals no other viable opportunities and you can wrap up your negotiation right there. The BATNA is what to do when you do not reach a deal and ideally minimizes your losses; any offer that is less than your BATNA should be refused.

ZOPA is slightly more difficult to determine based only on the information that you readily have. You are not the only one with a BATA. The people you are negotiating with have a BATNA as well. Both your BATNAs combined creates the ZOPA and it is in this zone where your final outcome is most likel to be.

WHAT THIS

MEANT FOR YOU

The influence in a negotiation lies heavily on whichever party holds a stronger BATNA-this gives them less concession to deal with your offers. The choice lies in accepting the other party’s proposal or the alternative deal. Do your research thoroughly and strengthen your BATA before entering a negotiation. Be mindful of the fact that you may now always be privy to knowing the other party’s BATNA, thus you would not be able to sufficiently prepare for a counter offer.

Since your ZOPA depends on both parties BATNA, the ideal situation would be to start your negotiation off with clear lines of communication if you want to know the ZOPA. Remember, the other party is not obliged to put down all their cards on the table from the get-go. Establishing a basis of communication would save you trouble from hard tactics later on, but both parties have to be willing.

PUTTING INTO

ACTION

Let’s put theses terms to use in the following scenario.

In an auction of a $100 where the first bid must be $5, and subsequent bids can only be $5 above the previous bid.

Assuming the bid has reached $95, your BATNA would be to bid $100 and hopefully break even with your win if no one else bids. However, the other person who bid $95 has the same incentive or BATNA to bid $105 and have a net loss of $5 instead of $95.

Do you keep going? You have no clear idea of the ZOPA, and your BATNA would require you to always pitch in more money. If you had the foresight that this would happen, you would not have entered the auction in the first place, which is why it would have been wise to not negotiate at all or to drop out before you became one of the last two bidders.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Your BATNA is extremely important; if you cannot secure one or a few, you are in a very weak or no position to deal.

Quick Tip2

Since your ZOPA depends on both parties BATNA, the ideal situation would be to start your negotiation off with clear lines of communication if you want to know the ZOPA

Quick Tip3

Establishing a basis of communication would save you trouble from hard tactics later on, but both parties have to be willing.

Quick Tip4

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Professionalism in Negotiation – know the legal boundaries 
Winter 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 19

PROFESSIONALISM IN NEGOTIATION:
Knowing the Legal Boundaries

Especially in formal negotiations where deception is used as a tactic, some methods can be on the verge of being unethical or even border on being illegal. Negotiation contexts serve up three common laws: fraud, misrepresentation and contract law. Ethically speaking, negotiation behaviour is much more difficult to define. We will come back to that later. It is important to keep these things in mind in your planning stages of your negotiation strategy in order not to worry about them later and make your negotiation smoother.

FRAUD MISREPRESENTATION

AND CONTRACT LAW

The law justifies fraud in a negotiation when a negotiator makes “a statement which he knows is untrue and the other party relies on it in a reasonable manner and suffers damage as a result.” So yes, you may lie in a negotiation. However, if you know the other party depends on some information to be factual in order to make a decision and yet you lied, you will be liable for fraud.

You might be thinking claiming ignorance will get you out of this sticky situation–“I didn’t know it was a lie.” Not true to a certain extent. Judges will discern whether the information you lied about was something you should have known in the first place. If you are a manager, you should know the financial situation of your company. If you are a pharmaceutical rep, you should know the side effects of your drug product.

Misrepresentation is similar to fraud. Fraud is being aware the statement is untrue whereas in misrepresentation, you avoid telling a lie by focusing on some other aspect that is the truth. You need not necessarily be aware that you are telling a lie.

Charging of misrepresentation occurs when partial disclosure of information is obviously misleading or when you withhold important information–information that directly affects the credibility of a negotiation.

Unlike the first two legal issues, violation of contract laws occurs after a negotiation resolution has been finalized. A contract is legally valid if there is an agreement that is communicated clearly to the other party in specific terms, to which the other party agrees. There must also be an exchange taking place where both parties give up something for something else in return.

The signature on the contract has to be genuine; even an extremely accurate forgery would render the whole contract useless if proven, and the contract would no longer be legally binding. Once these have been settled, a breach of the agreements in the contract can land you in court.

THE ETHICAL

DILEMMA

As mentioned earlier, ethics in negotiation is a tricky issue and depends largely on how obligated you feel to the other party. Even if you employ a competitive strategy, your own personal morals and principles would constantly bite you in the rear and make you think about the unscrupulous methods. The way you ethically handle a negotiation also depends on how truthful you want to be.

Does the final result justify the means? Would you rather lie or tell the whole truth? How you want your relationship with the other party to be would also direct your ethical handling of the situation. In essence, would you enjoy the benefits you reaped from your negotiation knowing you bribed and spied?

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

While you may lie in negotiation, however, if you know the other party depends on some information to be factual in order to make a decision and yet you lied, you will be liable for fraud.

Quick Tip2

Charging of misrepresentation occurs when partial disclosure of information is obviously misleading or when you withhold important information — information that directly affects the credibility of a negotiation.

Quick Tip3

A contract is legally valid if there is an agreement that is communicated clearly to the other party in specific terms to which the other party agrees. There must also be an exchange taking place when both parties give up something for something else in return.

Quick Tip4

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Cornered and in Conflict – When to walk without regret? 
Winter 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 19

CORNERED AND IN CONFLICT – When to walk without regret
When to Walk

It is true that almost anything can be negotiated, with the right strategies and skill. However, any savvy negotiator will tell you there are times when keeping mum and/or choosing not to partake in any negotiation at all would work more to your advantage as a negotiator.

An easy situation to identify when not to engage in heavy negotiation would be those sticky “the customer is always right” scenarios. Even if it may not be true (and most of the time it isn’t!), happy customers are loyal customers. Other times, the lines between negotiating and not negotiating is easily blurred. Here are some clear situations when it is never wise to start negotiating.
If the other side starts showing signs of acting in bad faith, take a step back. This applies to when they ask for something that is illegal, unethical and/or morally inappropriate. Have no doubt that continuing such deals will only cost you in the long run. When you find yourself in a position where you have a lot to lose, choose your options rather than negotiate. This happens when you have massive stakes in the outcome.

Cutting losses is a big concern for any company. When this concern proves to be more important, don’t negotiate-this usually happens when you are sold out. Running at capacity indicates you have no leeway and nothing extra to bring to the table for negotiation.

Unless another window of opportunity arises, which is unlikely in a short time frame, instead of negotiating, raise your prices instead. Hard bargaining tactics can blindside you, so remember to ask yourself if the price is worth the cost!

PICK YOUR

FIGHTS

In their best-selling negotiation book Getting to Yes, Roger Ury and William Fisher clearly lay down the four fundamental principles of negotiation-separating the people from the problem, focus on interests not positions, invent options for mutual gain and insist on objective criteria. That being said, be discerning and forward-looking when planning your negotiations.

Are you able to generate clear strategies for each of the criterion above? Would yielding now give you better dividends in the future? It is easy to get caught in the heat of the negotiation, and only human nature to want to come out the winner in a conflict. But when the results is of little to no importance to you, the best solution is sometimes to call it a day. There is obviously no point in negotiating with someone when you are getting little value in return

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

When you find yourself in a position when you have a lot to lose, choose your options rather than negotiate.

Quick Tip2

Hard bargaining tactics can blindside you, so remember to ask yourself if the price is worth the cost!

Quick Tip3

When the result is of little to no importance to you, the best solution is sometimes to call it a day

Quick Tip4

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So You Want to be a Better Negotiator 
Winter 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 17

SO YOU WANT TO BE A BETTER
NEGOTIATOR

After covering the different stages of communication in a negotiation, you might be wondering how to better your communication skills. Many factors affect the effectiveness of communication, among which include education, age, occupation, race and culture. Every person possesses a combination of these traits which make him or her unique in their communication style. However, as a newcomer to the strategic negotiation field, you have learnt that you should take a step back and pay attention to the communication process in a negotiation instead of diving headfirst into the situation. To be a better negotiator, besides the basic communication skills touched on in the previous article, keep in mind these few guidelines that directly relate to the negotiation process.

PARALLELING GOALS

AND OBJECTIVES

It is a no-brainer that when you and the other party have similar goals, the communication will be smoother. In this manner, even when your ideas seem light years away from theirs, pick out objectives and goals that are similar and emphasize them. They do not necessarily have to be about the negotiation itself. In cases when there is too great of a difference, you might want to focus on the personal and behavioural personalities. You do not need to verbalize this but instead, make it more apparent in your body language and speech. Psychological research has proven time and again that when we see projections of ourselves in others, we tend to be more open towards them. Tackle the big differences later when you have maximized your similarities and trust is established. Keep your message simple and be positive rather than negative.

THE GENDER

GAME

Yes, the centuries- old tug-of-war between the sexes should not come as a surprise when saying it has created a chasm in communication styles as well. The lingo and vocabulary, and speech styles are different between men and women. These affect how each view a situation and how they respond and convey their ideas about it as well. While this may not pose a problem for men, women may find severe implications in it. Most sexist remarks and conduct are targeted towards women, an astonishing 72%. Males, be careful when addressing or speaking to a lady. For females, give the crap right back to the male or if you are more passive, emphasize your technical ability or speak up in the more private area. This means that if you hold a high management position, train your subordinates to listen and respect what you are saying.

STEP INTO

THEIR SHOES

In our competition to get what we what, we often forget a very important and yet very obvious rule of better communication– see the situation from the other side. This is highly appropriate in negotiation where most people concentrate on their own ambitions. Stop for a moment to think about what the other party is saying and why they are saying it. The moment you do this, not only will you gain a clearer idea of the bigger picture and thus be in a better position to buttress your goals, but the other party will recognize your willingness to consider their ideas and reciprocate the respect. With respect comes trust, and remember, trust is a big deal in every negotiation.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

As a newcomer to the strategic negotiation field, you have learnt that you should take a step back and pay attention to the communication process in a negotiation instead of diving headfirst into the situation

Quick Tip2

Tackle the big differences later when you have maximized your similarities and trust is established

Quick Tip3

In our competition to get what we want, we often forget a very important and yet very obvious rule of better communication – see the situation from the other side.

Quick Tip4

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Communication: what goes on in every negotiation 
Autumn 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 16

COMMUNICATION: WHAT GOES ON IN EVERY NEGOTIATION
Know the method, know the game

If you think about it, negotiation is nothing but communication. You have something I want, I have something you want, so let’s talk about it. Common sense will tell you the factors of effective communication: body language, vocabulary, delivery and structure of message. There are three distinct stages of communication during a negotiation-beginning, middle and end. By being aware of communication flaws at each stage, you will be able to avoid them.

The beginning stage of a negotiation is the “sizing up” stage. Here, the other party form their opinions and biasness of you and/or your team, just as you do them. Introductions are made, titles are exchanged, perceptions formed. Communication durng the beginning stages of communication rarely poses problems, unless preconceived notion exist prior to the introductions. For example, if the party you are dealing with holds a good reputation with you, you might expect a favourable outcome. Also, if you had not done your homework well enough, you may think that you share common qualities or goals, but in reality, it may not be the case at all.

THE STUMBLING

STAGE

It is during the middle stages of negotiation where communication problems may arise. The middle stage is when parties “thrash it out” — it is the problem solving phase. Offers and counteroffers are tossed back and forth, and you find your objectives being quickly refined. This stage is the make-it-or-break-it stage, so handle communication here wisely. Be sure to stay an active listener and take care not to speak of yourselves in a positive tone and of the other party in a negative tone. Threats may be made, not all threats are bad so do not put yourself in a position when you are being misunderstood or have a misunderstanding yourself. In negotiation, threats are used as gauging commitment, as persuasion or as emphasis, among other things. Remaining cool-headed is essential. If you are successful in making a strong case during the middle stage, negotiating lingo will move from discussing objectives to discussing interests. From this, you will know that negotiating closure is near.

WHEN ALL IS SAID

AND DONE

The wrapping up of a negotiation, or the ending stages, is when parties communicate for a resolution. This is the time when you need to do away with idiomatic and figurative language (especially if partaking in a cross-cultural negotiation) and remain clear instead. Do not confuse this with being curt and abrupt. You might find yourself making conclusions too quickly – not necessarily a good thing as it may reflect a non-thorough negotiation. Common problems in the ending stages include resolving the wrong problem, poor record-keeping or accepting incomplete or untrue information. Steer clear from there as much as possible, and take ample time to evaluate the feasibility of the final agreement. It is a good habit to end a negotiation with a hard copy contract. Note that the perception of contracts vary across cultures; for some it is legally binding while for others it is mere formality.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

By being aware of communication flaws at each stage, you will be able to avoid them.

Quick Tip2

Be sure to stay an active listener and take care not to speak of yourself in a positive tone and of the other party in a negative tone.

Quick Tip3

Common problems in the ending stages including resolving the wrong problem, poor record-keeping or accepting incomplete or untrue information. Steer clear from there as much as possible, and take ample time to evaluate the feasibility of the final agreement.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiation-Finding and fixing flaws? 
Autumn 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 15

FINDING AND FIXING FLAWS
Errors in Negotiation Planning

Now that you are adept in negotiating, or at least know the processes to being adept, it is time to put it into practice. Apply what you know to every negotiating opportunity. Starting out, you may find yourself committing some errors in the beginning. If you do not keep these errors in check, they will consequently hamper your success in your negotiations.

HOW DO I KNOW I’VE

ENTERED A NEGOTIATION

One of the most basic of mistakes is not being able to identify a negotiation in the first place! As mentioned in the previous article, we negotiate at least once every waking hour. You do not need men in business suits around a table to have a negotiation. You can easily identify a negotiation if there are two or more parties involved.

These parties have goals and preferences that more or less depends on your decisions. Also, these parties are willing to be involved in a give-and-take method that will lead to a resolution.

Once you have identified a negotiation opportunity, should you immediately begin negotiating? The answer is no. You can avoid the negotiation or accommodate the other person; it all depends on, once again, how important the outcome or relationship is to you.

JUMBLED

The next common error is applying the wrong tactic to a strategy! With all this new information being doled out, it is easy to be confused and forget which tactic complements which strategy, or which strategy complements which situation. Often times, you may find yourself focusing more on what tactics to use instead of an entire strategy. This is understandable. However, as you will soon realize the more you practice your negotiating skills, tactics and strategy come as a package. For example, you cannot and should not use a competitive tactic, such as concealing information from the other party, when your overall strategy is collaborative. In a collaborative strategy, you are taking care of the relationship as well, which competitive tactics are not designed to do.

IN THE

END

If you want to be effective in your negotiation, you cannot be lazy and slack off a few steps in your planning and analyzing process. You have to go through each step in the planning process as explained earlier. The more effort you put into this, the more it will pay off. When you collate all your information (the more information you have, the more influence you hold over the entire negotiation) and use it to pick a strategy, make sure you wholly implement the chosen strategy. There is no room for half-hearted implementation. It is possible to change strategies midway through the negotiation as long as you can clearly foresee how the shift would affect your outcome, and whether the final results are desired from this switch. You can always consult a third- party for help and advice should you be at a loss of what direction to take.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Once you have identified a negotiation opportunity, should you immediately begin negotiating? The answer is no. You can avoid the negotiation or accommodate the other person; it all depends on, once again, how important the outcome or relationship is to you.

Quick Tip2

Tactics and strategy come as a package. For example, you cannot and should not use a competitive tactic, such as concealing information from the other party, when your overall strategy is collaborative. In a collaborative strategy, you are taking care of the relationship as well, which competitive tactics are not designed to do

Quick Tip3

When you collate all your information, and use it to pick a strategy, make sure you wholly implement the chosen strategy.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiating Across Cultures 
Autumn 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 14

NEGOTIATING ACROSS CULTURES
Brief Background

From Gert Hofstede, a leading researcher in the relationship between work and culture, we have four categories where people from a variety of cultures differ in their work ethics. These are namely power-distance, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty-avoidance and masculine versus feminine.

So how exactly do we measure power-distance? In countries with high power-distance, the younger and less experienced generation are considered the subordinates. A rigid social hierarchy is set in place in high power-distance countries where seniority is greatly respected. This effectively means the older you are, the more power and influence you have in decision-making. Latin America, South Asia and certain Arab cultures practice high-power distance as compared to low-power distance in countries such as New Zealand, United States, Australia and Germany. In Singapore, we are considered to be high-power distance in the workplace relative to Westerners, but when compared to Malaysia, we would be considered low-power distance.

In individualism versus collectivism, cultures that are more inclined to group work are collectivists. Individualistic cultures, practiced by those in the United States, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Nordic countries, are focused on tasks, seeking individual rewards and appraisal. This is in contrast to Latin America and Asian countries where people prioritize the interests of the group.

Low uncertainty-avoidance countries, Singapore included, are risk-takers. High uncertainty-avoidance countries are the opposite. The latter favour bureaucratic rules and predictability in rituals, and decisions are often made slowly. The former find deliberation tardy and prefer a more ‘gut-feeling’ approach to decisions.

Lastly, masculine cultures, prevalent in Mexico and Japan, adopt a more competitive work style with heavy stereotyping of gender roles in the workplace. Feminine cultures include Nordic countries — Sweden, Denmark, Finland to name a few — and are more receptive to a female presence in the working-business arena.

APPLICATION TO

NEGOTIATION

Armed with this basic knowledge, you will be able to avoid common faux pas when negotiating cross culturally. Utilize this material in the careful planning of your negotiation, as well as in the selection of your negotiators. You do not want to send a female in the company of her male associates to negotiate with the Japanese; it is possible her expertise and influence will be undermined. Likewise, do not expect to clinch negotiations so quickly with Arabs, whose aggressive bargaining style might seem off-putting at first. This is merely their way of gauging your trust and worthiness. For the Arabs, they need to feel comfortable enough with you before the serious negotiating begins, and they portray this through their hard selling.

In countries with high-power distance, ensure you address your concerns to the most senior negotiator of the opposing party. Sure, they might not, unlike Americans, have an answer ready at hand (their assistants might know more), but you are giving them the respect they are accustomed to and creating a more receptive response to your pitch, which is ideal.

But while understanding your counterpart’s culture as a background, don’t lose sight of them as an individual and learn as much as you can about his personality and communication style to focus on their capabilities at the negotiating table.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

A rigid social hierarchy is set in place in high power-distance countries where seniority is greatly respected. This effectively means the older you are, the more power and influence you have in decision-making.

Quick Tip2

Armed with this basic knowledge, you will be able to avoid common faux pas when negotiating cross culturally. Utilize this material in the careful planning of your negotiation, as well as in the selection of your negotiators.

Quick Tip3

While understanding your counterpart’s culture, don’t lose sight of them as an individual and learn as much as you can about his personality and communication styles.

Quick Tip4

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Keeping your cool in Negotiation 
Summer 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 13

KEEPING YOUR COOL
Dealing with Conflict

Conflict in negotiation is inevitable, so conflict management is a skill you want to have if you want to be a successful negotiator. During conflicts, emotions escalate and it becomes easy to lose sight of the objectives, thus leading to a negotiation falling apart.

You can reduce conflict by reducing tension, working on your communication skills and moderating the number of parties involved in the negotiation.

REDUCING

TENSION

While cracking a joke here and there lightens the mood, it is not always appropriate. Besides taking breaks during a conflict in a long negotiation, be it minutes, hours or days, you can reduce tension by making a minor public concession and encouraging the other party to do the same. The concession is something you make to ease the pressure at the moment and the other party reciprocates.

This process continues for a while until everyone has cooled down. The key here is to remember previously mentioned factors up for negotiation by the other party, which during that time seemed like a trivial issue to discuss. Use sentences like “if you.., then I will..” instead of the more threatening-sounding “if you do not…., then I will..”. You are trying to regain trust by alleviating the conflict and showing the other party you are honestly looking for a resolution.

COMMUNICATION

Enough has been said about communication’s role in negotiation, and this time in conflict management as well. You should practise active listening during a conflict. Let the other party know you are interested in what they have to say with feedback and repeating what they have said to ensure you have not misunderstood anything. Two other useful tips are seeing the situation from their perspectives and by sharing your perceptions of each other and analyzing them to reduce defensiveness.

Sometimes during negotiations, parties feel compelled to bring in 3rd parties to secure their cases e.g. lawyers, accountants, experts, etc. The more people present, the more opinions you have. If you are unable to considerably reduce the number of people, lay out some ground rules such as appointing a key negotiator and allowing only the parties directly involved to speak.

WHEN PREVENTION

ISN’T ENOUGH

Conflict management does not work all the time, especially if the other party is being exceptionally difficult. Calm down and breathe deeply. Control your own behaviour and ignore their emotions. Concentrate on helping the other party solve their own source of chagrin and help them achieve a resolution – the main goal. Remain clear of the differences between what you are tempted to do and what you should do during a conflict.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

You can reduce conflict by reducing tension, working on your communication skills and moderating the number of parties involved in the negotiation.

Quick Tip2

Practise active listening. Let the other party know you are interested in what they have to say

Quick Tip3

Control your own behaviour and ignore their emotions

Quick Tip4

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Negotiation Styles: Mars vs Venus – Who Stands Out 
Summer 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 12

NEGOTIATION STYLES
Mars vs Venus – Who Stands Out

Women and men view the negotiation process very differently. When women negotiate, they handle the meetings discussions in a collaborative manner, focusing on the relationships involved and cooperation. In a field long dominated by men, it is easy to feel ostracized at the negotiation table. Fret not. Studies have proven that the attention to detail are paramount in successful negotiations, and such interests come naturally to women than men.

Men enter negotiations usually focusing on the deals, and because of this they can often come off as aggressive. This is where females have the advantage. Research on negotiations in recent years clearly show that the cooperative approach used largely by females result in outcomes that are more optimal and favourable than its competitive counterpart.

MAN VS WOMAN

Research shows that when women negotiate with other women, their integrative and cooperative to negotiate approach produce better results. Men tend to view negotiations as competitions, putting them at a disadvantage as they may come off as abrasive to their opponents. When men negotiate with other men, their combative style results in one end losing out considerably to the other end. Their need for instant gratification from a negotiation may meet their short term goals, but in the long run proves to be detrimental to future negotiations with the same party.

In a male-female negotiation, the open disclosure of information by women may not be reciprocated by men. If your male negotiator seems like the type who would not make similar concessions as you, scrap your cooperative approach as this leaves you vulnerable. Instead, fight fire with fire and behave like a man to get what you want. Through time and experience, you will be able to discern which tactics to use.

WELDING

YOUR WEAPON

Negotiating like a woman is the new black. Women intrinsically possess a nurturing inclination and because of this, tend to care about the relationships involved in a negotiation. Their ability to take time to listen and acknowledge and address opposing views and negotiate them makes women preferable to many males’ dominant win-lose, one-shot style. Women negotiators are fast gaining a reputation for being a force to be reckoned with but not in a bad way. They are open to seeing the perspectives from the other party, making them more informed in their decisions and hence a strong negotiator.

Remain cool headed in any negotiation. As a woman, it is easy to be daunted by the potential of making mistakes especially in the upper levels of management. The more you dwell on this, the more of an obstacle it becomes. In negotiation, while it is good to accumulate what you know into an informed decision, you might not always have the time. Learn to let go once in awhile and remember that at times you cannot please everyone.

When you negotiate, you are setting up patterns of communication for future negotiations. Keeping in mind that “the more information you have, the better your influence in the negotiation”, the female approach allows the other party to feel more comfortable in sharing their needs and interest. You would then use this to parallel with your own needs and interest, making for a much more optimal outcome.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Attention to detail are paramount in successful negotiations and such interests come naturally to women than men. The cooperative approach used largely by females result in outcomes that are more optimal and favourable than its competitive counterpart.

Quick Tip2

Your ability to take time to listen and acknowledge and address opposing views and negotiate them makes you preferable to many males’ dominant win-lost, one-shot style.

Quick Tip3

It is easy to be daunted by the potential of making mistakes especially in the upper levels of management. Learn to let go once in awhile and remember that at times you cannot please , everyone.

Quick Tip4

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Collaborative vs Competitive Negotiation 
Spring 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 11

Collaborative Versus Competitive
When Cs Collide

When a competitor and a collaborator negotiates, the collaborator more often than not winds up becoming competitive as well because of the competitor’s persistence. When competitors negotiate with competitors, the negotiation has a high potential of becoming hostile as both parties aggressively pursue their goals. On the other hand, when collaborators negotiate, they retain an open and civil relationship while actively pursuing their goals.

It does not take long to guess which style results in optimal outcomes. Research has proven it is collaboration. But while you may know this, those with whom you negotiate with might not. Moreover, the competitive strategy is still of worth and is useful to know in order to come up with counter arguments, and if your goals are short term. Styles of negotiating need to vary according to the circumstances and the people involved. Most negotiations will be a mixture of the collaborative and competitive approaches.

COMPETITIVE

As stated before, it is best to utilize the competitive strategy when the outcome is more important than the relationship, and when the other party is employing the same methods. You would also use this strategy when the negotiations laid out on the table do not seem to be compatible; there is only so much each party gain from the negotiation.

The bargaining range (recall the starting, target, and walkaway points as well as your alternative negotiation) is the foundational element of every competitive negotiation. It is what most of your negotiation will be about.

During a competitive negotiation, stick to these four rules: never disclose your target and walkaway points, stick strictly to your target and walkaway points, keep what you give up small while getting as much as you can from the other side by making the costs of the negotiation seem higher and lastly, discern how important the outcome of the negotiation is for the other party.

The competitive strategy is almost unscrupulous; it is all about maximizing your resources.

COLLABORATIVE

Both parties work in tandem in a collaborative negotiation. A friendly competitive negotiation is often mistaken for a collaborative effort. Collaborative negotiators have long- term goals for which they are willing to work together to achieve.

This is done through identifying the problem, understanding their problems and where the conflicts lie and coming up with mutually agreeable alternative solutions. To do the latter, both the negotiating parties brainstorm together to generate new ideas that will meet the other party’s needs, which can only be accomplished when you familiarize yourself with the other parties interests and needs. If you cannot change negative ideas into positive ones, consider an overhaul of ideas or simply eliminate them from your list of solutions/ideas. While you are busy committing yourself to the other party’s needs, remember not to overlook your own or neglect your primary objectives.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Styles of negotiating need to vary according to the circumstances and the people involved. Most negotiations will be a mixture of the collaborative and competitive approaches

Quick Tip2

As stated before, it is best to utilize the competitive strategy when the outcome is more important than the relationship, and when the other party is employing the same methods..

Quick Tip3

Collaborative negotiators have long- term goals for which they are willing to work together to achieve.

Quick Tip4

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Negotiation-Know Thy Enemy 
Spring 2013, Asia Volume 5, Number 1

KNOW THY ENEMY: Assessing The Opposition in Negotiations
Stalk Out Your Opposition

By this we mean to research as much as possible about the other party. You already know your goals and position; your success now rests with the other party. As you start on your data collection, bear in mind how important your relationship is with the other party to you. You might not want to tread on anyone’s toes if you foresee future negotiations with them.

Grab every opportunity to know your negotiator better– meetings, informal dinners, looking through documents and publications. Use this information to plan your negotiating strategy and feel free to make assumptions or inferences about the other party. This helps in readying your alternatives. Every piece of information contributes in building stronger arguments.

NEGLECT,

REGRET

Your research of the other party must include their objectives, interests and needs; their possible alternatives; what resources they might use; their reputation and negotiation style; who holds the authority in the negotiation and last but certainly not the least, their likely tactics.

It is a tedious and long list, but neglect any one area and you will find yourself at the losing end. If the company is reputed to be aggressive bargainers, expect for a difficult negotiation. If there is need of higher authority approvals, be prepared to leave some goals hanging.

Just as you asked yourself why certain objectives are important to you, pose the same questions to the other party if possible. The way you word your questions is important as well; avoid a very accusatory lingo such as ‘Why that approach?’ This would merely put the other party on a defensive mode, and may think you are not open to their ideas. In return, they would close their minds to yours.

If you can, try to discern the other party’s walkaway point as soon as possible. Through this, you can determine how well it works with your own walkaway point and make necessary adjustments.

A FINAL

WORD

Ultimately, it takes two hands to clap– you will leave with nothing if you know nothing. Take time to understand the other party and at the same time be aware that they are possibly doing the same with you. Get as much information as you can without giving much away. If you do not want certain information that might be used against you, guard your weaknesses, or at least be ready with a credibly honest explanation.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

If you can, try to discern the other party’s walkaway point as soon as possible.

Quick Tip2

Get as much information as you can without giving much away. If you do not want certain information that might be used against you, guard your weaknesses, or at least be ready with a credibly honest explanation.

Quick Tip3

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Negotiation 101-The lowdown on the knowhow 
Winter 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 7

The Lowsdown On The Know-How
Debunking the Myths

Say the word ‘negotiation’ and often enough the image of money exchanging hands comes to mind. While this is true, negotiation happens more times than we expect it to be. In our waking hours, we negotiate at least once every hour and we simply fail to distinguish them. From getting your 6-year-old to eat his vegetables to buying a house, effective negotiation is an irreplaceable life skill.

Compromising is what we often do when faced with a conflict, but this is no different from negotiating. The usual perception of a negotiation is that of a fixed pie of goodies that will result in one party being the ‘winners’ while the other, the ‘losers’. Obliterate such a belief from your mind; you are better off without it. Negotiation are opportunities for both parties partaking in a deal that leave them better off, both with hefty shares of pie if cut right.

To be successful in any negotiation, the very first rule to adhere to is analysis and planning. While you may not be keen in planning because it might give you less flexibility during a negotiation, this is an important step in order not to be caught short of an unanticipated proposal by the other party. Efficient planning gives you a good gauge what is important and what you can let go off in a deal.

REVVING YOUR

NEGOTIATION ENGINE

As you plan, remember before any negotiation take piece, assess your postion by questioning yourself. I his glues you an awareness of your goals and priorities.

KNOWING WHAT

YOU DEAL WITH

Basic knowledge of negotiating body language is an invaluable tool as well. The other party’s reception to what you propose determines your next move. Ideally, you want to keep the other party in as receptive a pose as long as possible.

You are in luck if the other party does not cover his torso with his arms. A slight tilt of the body towards you conveys openness, even better if hands are clasped behind his back. Hands on hips might look intimidating, but if his elbows are pointed towards his back he is still ready to negotiate.

On the contrary, you are doing something wrong and might want to change tactics if his arms are crossed, be it behind his back or across his chest. If he is leaning away from you, he does not like what he is hearing. Sitting, if his ankles are locked together he might be showing defiance to your offer.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

While you may not be keen in planning because it might give you less flexibility during a negotiation, this is an important step in order not to be caught short of an unanticipated proposal by the other party. Efficient planning gives you a good gauge what is important and what you can let go off in a deal.

Quick Tip2

Group your individual goals into packages that you can negotiate with the other party. Do not confuse your needs with your position– seek out your underlying motives.

Quick Tip3

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How to negotiate without butterflies in the tummy 
Autumn 2012, Asia Volume 4, Number 6

Bye Bye Butterflies: How to Negotiate
Without Butterflies in the Tummy

It is only human to feel nervous when we enter a negotiation. The potential feeling of rejection and being judged sinks to the bottom of your tummy and lies in wait to engulf you like a hungry tiger. Your dread can be easily boiled down to the fact that you have negative expectations of the outcome of your negotiation. Once you fix this root cause of those incessant butterflies and deal head-on with the things that lead to negativity, feeling anxious will be but a vague memory.

BE

PREPARED

Successful negotiation should end with each party feeling like they have won. You feel nervous because you are afraid you would not. Anticipate what the other party might throw back at you for your idea by preparing a list of targets you hope to achieve during the negotiation and your tactics that would help you get there. Do not forget possible compromises you have to make; make a list of those too. While you’re at it, pen down your strongest agreements for both parties, even if they are the alternatives. Everything is clearer when in black and white.

LIVE FOR

THE MOMENT

We sometimes tend to think of the worst possible outcome of a situation, so that we might not be caught off-guard when the time comes. Take heed that this creates those butterflies and inadvertently steers you in the direction of that catastrophic thought. Action absorbs anxiety, so busy yourself at the moment; visualize and role-play the negotiation. When you have already been there once, doing it the second time would be a lot easier. Pretend that the negotiation is taking place now and take the opportunity to smoothen out those rough edges.

TWO HEADS ARE

BETTER THAN ONE

If you are still anxious about an unpleasant negotiation, rope in someone to help you. Make sure the other party is fine with it first as they might view it as a tactic to intimidate them. Practice with your partner so that you both know on what grounds you are negotiating. Having a partner eases your nervousness and ensures that someone else takes the lead when you feel you are faltering. As they say, there is power in numbers. It also helps knowing there is another person who supports you.

60 Seconds

is All it Takes
to Know a Little More
Quick Tip1

Prepare a list of targets you hope to achieve and your tactics that would help get you there, including possible agreements, compromises and options

Quick Tip2

Visualize and role-play the negotiation to smoothen out those rough edges as doing it the second time would be a lot easier

Quick Tip3

Visualize and role-play the negotiation to smoothen out those rough edges as doing it the second time would be a lot easier

Quick Tip4

Rope in someone to help you and practice together so you both know on what grounds you are negotiating.

Quick Tip5

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