Art and Science of Negotiation
Negotiation is an “art” and a “science.” As a science, it loosely means the “systematic analysis for problem solving” and,
as an art, “it includes interpersonal skills, the ability to convince and be convinced, the ability to employ a basketful of
bargaining ploys, and the wisdom to know when and how to use them.”
o Science people who studied negotiation has figured out techniques on how to negotiate well
There are some common mistakes that can be avoided to generate a better outcome
o Art tone of voice, body language, figure out what people are actually saying, the stance that people actually
Also known as interest based negotiation.
Settings for negotiation
o between friends/family members/ colleagues when making decisions on tough issues
o in mediation
o when 2 organizations or groups are dealing w/ conflict directly with one another
o Contract negotiations (representative negotiation)
o Between lawyers representing disputing clients
Outlook: Distributive vs. Integrative
Communication Style: Competitive vs. Collaborative/Cooperative
Mode: Positional (or power based) vs. Rights based or interest based
Principled negotiation: Integrative, Collaborative, Interest based
Outlooks on negotiation
Distributive: The “pie” is fixed and the only question is how to divide it up
Integrative: The “pie” can be made bigger and the key question is how to do so
Consider these two models – What are the implications of these two ways of thinking?
The goal of each party is a distribution, which favours him or her.
The subject matter is fixed; it is a fixed pie.
The bargaining is zero-sum; the gains and losses are offsetting.
Each party establishes his or her bargaining range comprised of his or her reserve position, preferred outcome, and
Information exchange is limited.
The process consists of an exchange of demands and concessions.
The final outcome will likely emerge at some point between the preferred outcomes of the parties.
The goal of the parties is an integration of their objectives.
The subject matter may be expanded; it can be an expanding pie.
The bargaining is varying-sum; a gain by one need not be a loss to the other.
Each party identifies his or her goals and prioritizes them.
The parties exchange information.
The parties develop alternative courses of action and assess their consequences.
The parties assess their alternatives and order them in accordance with the extent to which they maximize the
satisfaction of their prioritized goals.
Competitive vs. Collaborative Negotiation
A competitive negotiator seeks an outcome, which maximizes the settlement for him or herself or the client. He or she
will do whatever is required within the limits of the law to achieve that result.
o Makes high opening demands
o Takes unrealistic opening positions
o Uses take-it-or-leave-it approach
o Disinterested in needs of the other party
o Does not consider the other party’s needs
o Unconcerned about how the other will look to client
o Willing to stretch the facts
o Knows his or her needs or those of client
o Careful about timing and sequence of actions
o Reveals information gradually
o Uses threats
o Uncooperative Negotiation
A cooperative [collaborative] negotiator seeks an outcome, which maximizes the settlement for him or herself or the
client, is fair, meets his or her or the client’s needs, avoids litigation, and maintains or establishes a good personal
relationship with the other negotiator. He or she will conduct him or herself ethically to achieve that result.
o Accurately estimates the value of the situation
o Knows his or her needs or the client’s needs
o Takes a realistic opening position
o Probes other party’s opening position
o Knows the needs of the other party
o Willing to share information
o Willing to move from original position
o Logical (not emotional)
o Does not use threats
How To Elements of Principled Negotiation
1. Focus on interests, not positions
2. Positions: People’s stated & opening solution to a problem
3. Interests: Wants and needs behind this stated solution
1. Ask many, many open-ended and curious, and/or clarifying questions.
2. Demonstrate your interest in their interests.
3. Know your interests.
4. Name your agreement in principle to various interests.
1. Generate options for mutual gain
1. Rename interests rather than positions as the “problem” to be solved
2. Brainstorm - Generate ideas first, assess later, be creative – expand the pie
3. Link trade-offs to mutual meeting of interests
4. Moving from interests to options: “Are you ready to consider some possibilities to solve this
5. Reframe a position as an option: “That is one possibility. Can we list it as an option?”
3. Alternatives What will we do if we can’t agree?
1. BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement
2. Each party has his or her own alternatives
3. Unlike an option, an alternative does not require the consent of the other
4. Know your BATNA and its consequences
5. Consider the other’s BATNA and its consequences (BATNAs not always public)
6. Use BATNA to assess options
7. Remind parties