When thinking about negotiating, most people picture the hard approach , viewing negotiation as a battle of wills. Hard bargaining emphasizes results. Haggling in a market is the stereotypical image of hard bargaining. In contrast, the soft approach focuses on preserving the relationship ahead of results. While both hard and soft negotiation styles focus on positions, the soft approach is the opposite of the hard approach in many regards.
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The outcome of a negotiation is determined as much by the negotiators' tactics as by the results they hope to achieve. Different combinations of hard and soft approaches will yield different results, but in most cases will result in a scenario where at least one party loses out.
When hard negotiators butt heads, they try to drive the other to a bottom line. Typified by dickering over price, this will result in a win for both parties only if there is a common price that both are satisfied with. For this reason, many hard negotiations end with both parties walking away.
Soft negotiators are usually steamrollered by hard negotiators. They are quickly pushed to the hard negotiator's goal as they give ground in an effort to preserve good will. These negotiations almost always end in a win for the hard negotiator and a loss for the soft negotiator. When two soft negotiators bargain, they can both win if they can cooperate effectively. However, their efforts to appease the other side may result in both negotiators agreeing to an outcome neither side really likes.
I WIN YOU WIN: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO PRINCIPLED NEGOTIATION by Carl Lyons
In summary:. William Ury proposed "principled negotiation" as a third way to approach negotiations. A principled negotiation seeks to divide the emotions of participants from the process of the negotiation.
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It frames negotiations as problems to be solved, rather than battles to be won. Let's revisit one of the scenarios we looked at above and see how it is different if the participants engage in a principled negotiation:. Unfortunately, not everyone will approach a negotiation in a principled manner.
Negotiate to win across cultures
One participant may still come to the table with a hard approach, intending to win no matter what. In those situations, Fischer and Ury suggest using a mediator and being prepared with an alternative course of action, a BATNA , in case it is necessary to walk away from the negotiation. This concept of the BATNA is sometimes considered to be the fifth foundation principle of principled negotiations. Use Storyboard That to sketch possible scenarios in any negotiation.
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It is invaluable for visualizing the likely outcomes of each side taking a hard, soft, or principled approach. To successfully prepare for a principled negotiation, you'll need to understand the motivations and goals of the other participant, as well as your and their likely BATNA. It identifies five styles of negotiating and provides tools to help you understand which ones work for you under different circumstances. As a result, the book is a good prerequisite for making the best use of the other books in this list.
Using Principled Negotiation to Resolve Disagreements
Best Quote: "Your personal negotiation style is a critical variable in bargaining. If you don't know what your instincts and intuitions will tell you to do under different conditions, you will have a great deal of trouble planning effective strategies and responses. Why It's Worth Reading: Beyond doubt this is the most influential book on negotiating ever written, so much so that most business readers will already be familiar with its basic concept, the proverbial "win-win" negotiation.
Best Quote: "The method of principled negotiation is to decide issues on their merits rather than through a haggling process focused on what each side says it will and won't do. It suggests that you look for mutual gains whenever possible, and that where you interests conflict, you should insist that the result be based upon some fair standards independent of the will of either side.
Rather than assuming that people understand their own interests and act according to them, the writers approach the negotiation process as a phenomenon that's only understood as a set of essentially irrational and emotional responses. Best Quote: "When business schools began teaching negotiation in the s, the process was presented as a straightforward economic analysis. It was a period when the world's top academic economists declared that we were all 'rational actors.
Why It's Worth Reading: Finally, there's no doubt that negotiating styles different from country to country. This book helps you understand the thought processes and protocols that you'll encounter while dealing with a global economy. Indispensable stuff. Best Quote: "Many global executives adopt the manners of their targeted countries, so why do U. There are a variety of reasons. First of all, many foreign businesspeople often cannot or will not imitate U. Can you afford to leave them out of your business plans?
Second, you might wish to sell to the general public in a foreign market. The average foreign consumer is certainly not going to have the same habits and tastes as consumers in the United States of America. Third, although our friend Josef may act and sound like an American or Canadian or Australian, he isn't. He probably is not even thinking in English; he is thinking in German. Knowing how Germans tend to arrive a decisions gives you an edge. And don't we all need every business advantage we can get? Getting More. Crucial Conversations. Bargaining for Advantage. Getting to Yes.
Never Split the Difference.
Related I Win, You Win: The Essential Guide to Principled Negotiation
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