What is negotiation and collaboration skills?

Collaborative negotiation is a style that focuses on finding a mutually beneficial solution that meets the interests and needs of both parties. It involves building trust, sharing information, exploring options and creating value. Collaborative negotiators are cooperative, respectful, and creative. Our lesson today focuses on collaboration and negotiation, which rely heavily on emotional intelligence and communication skills, especially listening.

Being collaborative means that you work effectively with others and are willing to listen to and accept the points of view of others, even if they differ from your own. Negotiation uses collaboration and communication to reach consensus and make group decisions. Let's look at some factors that improve skills in these critically important areas. Collaborative negotiation, also called constructive, principle-based or interest-based negotiation, is an approach that treats the relationship as an important and valuable element of what is at stake, while seeking an equitable and just agreement.

Collaborative negotiation, also called constructive, principle-based or interest-based negotiation, is an approach that treats the “relationship” as an important and valuable element of what is at stake, while seeking an equitable and just agreement. As opposed to always giving in to maintain the relationship. Negotiators who use collaborative negotiation often employ strategies such as solving problems together, establishing trust, and understanding the needs of other parties. The parties usually turn their wishes into a single problem in the joint resolution of problems.

From then on, they exchange ideas to find a solution to that problem, and the result benefits either party. Establishing trust is also a key strategy because it helps to promote honesty and transparency, variables that help promote cooperation in the search for friendly solutions. The goal of collaborative negotiation is to build a long-term relationship that is beneficial to both parties. Some negotiation experts want you to believe that a mutually beneficial agreement is one in which each party takes advantage of everything it can from a finite pool of resources and ends the day.

In the Negotiation Program, we urge you to aim higher by combining this competitive value claim with collaborative value creation. Not because it's the “good thing”, but because it's proven to be the best path to a truly win-win agreement. Negotiators often fail to reach a mutually beneficial agreement because they bring a win-lose mentality to the negotiating table. It is true that, in a small number of agreements and disputes, negotiators have no choice but to bargain on a single issue, and that is usually the price.

For example, if you're haggling over the price of a rug at a foreign bazaar, you might have trouble finding ways to broaden the conversation and bring up other topics. However, many more issues besides price are involved in the vast majority of trade negotiations. When negotiating a purchase agreement, for example, you and your counterparty could talk not only about the price, but also about delivery, service, financing, possible future business agreements, performance bonuses, and so on. Don't make the mistake of seeing that complexity as a burden.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. When there are several topics on the negotiating table, you gain the ability to exchange ideas about mutually beneficial trade-offs with your partner. Thanks to compensations, you can achieve more than you would have achieved if you had limited yourself to making concessions in every aspect. In the process, you increase your chances of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Don't make the common mistake of viewing negotiation primarily as an exercise to try to persuade the other party to do what you want them to do. With that mindset, you'll be so focused on your talking points that you won't listen enough to what your counterpart has to say. On the contrary, active listening and asking lots of questions will help you gather the information you need to develop a mutually beneficial agreement. Understanding how to organize meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation.

In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator's success. This debate was held at the three-day executive training workshop for senior executives of the Harvard Law School Negotiation Program. The Harvard Law School Negotiation Program, 501 Pound Hall, 1563 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138. Negotiation can easily slip into a “them and us” situation, in which each side struggles to gain value at the expense of the other. Winning on the one hand and damaging the relationship can result in more hidden losses in the future.

Collaborative negotiation adopts a relational approach to negotiation, creating value for both parties and maintaining and strengthening the relationship. Relationship negotiation helps to overcome resistance and to dissolve the hidden psychological blocks that can cause good deals to fail. A relational approach increases the range of options available and brings to light new currencies and negotiables, which improves the deal and strengthens the relationship. A professional negotiator has the negotiation skills to guide you through the process, resolve your conflicts or business problems, and reach an acceptable business solution with your stakeholders.

Collaborative negotiation helps manage the subtle emotional and psychological dynamics that can derail negotiations. In business, negotiation skills are important both in informal day-to-day interactions and in formal transactions, such as the negotiation of terms of sale, lease, provision of services and other legal contracts. In addition, it helps the negotiator understand the point at which he can exit the negotiation if the other party doesn't give in. Being a collaborative negotiator doesn't mean giving in to an aggressive and competitive negotiator.

Collaboration and negotiation will be useful in every aspect of your life, from buying a car or a house to negotiating a curfew for your children. Unlike a competitive process, in which negotiators often take a cautious approach to disclosing information, a collaborative negotiation requires a certain degree of transparency. Every negotiation requires planning, but preparing for a collaborative negotiation requires looking beyond the handshake. Regardless of the strategy adopted, negotiators must always know their BATNA, which indicates the best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

Some people, particularly those with a competitive negotiating style, may consider a collaborative negotiator to be soft. If you've done your homework before the negotiation and know your BATNA, or what's the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, you're less likely to accept a below-average offer. Negotiation skills are an integral part of leadership, because leadership involves the use of persuasion and negotiation with the intention of achieving beneficial results. Competitive negotiation can be changed to collaborative negotiation by adding variables such as incentives.

The main difference is that, while the result of competitive negotiation is win-lose, the result of collaborative negotiation is win-win. .

Paul Delaney
Paul Delaney

"Paul Delaney is Director at Content Ranked, a London-based digital marketing agency. He has been working in Education since the 1990s and has more than 15 years digital marketing experience in the sector.As Director at contentranked.com he focuses on SEO strategy for educational organisations; and Paul's expert team support clients with on-page, off-page and technical SEO. He is also Marketing Director at Seed Educational Consulting Ltd, a study abroad agency that helps African students study at university abroad. He has also held significant positions at multinational education brands, including Business Development Director at TUI Travel PLC, Area Manager at Eurocentres Foundation, and Sales Office Manager at OISE.Paul holds a postgraduate diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute, BA in Publishing from Edinburgh Napier University, and a RSA/Cambridge CELTA.Outside of Education Paul is experienced in event promotion, production, and performance in the music industry."

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