However well you understand the interests of the other side, however ingeniously you invent ways of reconciling interests, however highly you value an ongoing relationship, you will almost always face the harsh reality of interests that conflict. No talk of “win-win: strategies can conceal that fact. You want the goods delivered tomorrow; the supplier would rather deliver them next week. You definitely prefer the large office with the view; so does your partner. Such differences cannot be swept under the rug.
1. No negotiation is likely to be efficient or amicable if you pit your will against theirs, and either you have to back down or they do. Trying to settle differences of interest on the basis of will has high costs, the solution is to negotiate on some basis independent of the will of either side, that is, on the basis of objective criteria.
2. Commit yourself to reaching a solution based on principle, not pressure. Concentrate on the merits of the problem, not the mettle of the parties. Be open to reason, but closed to threats.
3. A constant battle for dominance threatens a relationship; principled negotiation protects it. It is far easier to deal with people when both of you are discussing objective standards for settling a problem instead of trying to force each other to back down. The third world bloc, proposed an initial fee for companies mining in the deep seabed of $60 million per site. The united states rejected the proposal, suggesting there be no initial fee. Both sides dug in; the matter became a contest of will (battle of dominance). Then someone discovered that the MIT had developed a model for the economics of deep seabed mining, The model, gradually accepted by the parties as objective, provided a way of evaluating the impact of any fee proposal on the economics of mining. When the indian representation saw how the tremendous fee he proposed, can only be payable five years before the mine would generate any revenue, would make it virtually impossible for a company to mine. Impressed, he announced that he would reconsider his position. No one backed down, no one appeared weak, just reasonable. After a lengthy negotiation, the parties reached a tentative agreement that was mutually satisfactory. (objective)
3. So how do we develop our objective? First it must be based on Fair Standards. For Example your car is demolished and you file a claim with an insurance company. In discussion with the adjuster, you will need 1 the original cost of the car less depreciation, 2 what the car could have been sold for, 3. the standard blue book value for a car of that year and model, 4. what is would cost to replace that car with a comparable one and 5. what a court might award as the value of the car.
4. Fair Procedures. An old age way of dividing a cake between 2 children. One cuts and the other chooses. Neither can complain about an unfair division.
5. Frame each issue as a joint search for objective criteria. Reason and be open to reason as to which standards are most appropriate and how they should be applied. Never yield to pressure, only to principle.
6. Ask “What’s your theory?” If some one is giving you a price of $255,000 for your house. Ask what is the theory behind it. How did you arrive at this figure.
7. He might answer, my neighbour is sold his apartment next door for $260,000 so i think it is fair to price at $255,000. So if this is your theory, lets look at what the house on the corner of Ellsworth and Oxford and the one at Broadway and Dana were sold for.
8. Never yield to pressure, Pressure can take many forms, a bribe, a threat, a manipulative appeal to trust, or a simple refusal to budge. In all cases, the principled response is the same, invite them to state their reasoning, suggest objective criteria you think apply, and refuse to budge expect on this basis. Never yield to pressure, only to principle
9. Principled negotiation allow you to hold your own and still be fair. Principle serves as your hardhearted partner who will not let you yield to pressure. It is a form of “right makes might”.
10. If there is no give in their position and you find no principled basis for accepting it, you should asses what you might gain by accepting, their unjustified position rather than going to your best alternative. You should weigh that substantive benefit against the benefit to your reputation as a principled negotiator that could come from walking away.
Hope this gives you some ideas for you to negotiate better be it relationship or for business. Always be prepared. Be fair, Ask what is the theory behind their stand, Never yield to pressure and most importantly trust your heart. Take Charged!