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How to Become a Better Negotiator

How to Become a Better Negotiator is composed into 9 chapters. Each chapter contains story examples, questions, tips, and discussion questions at the end of the chapter that serve as a review to help better improve a negotiators abilities. Moreover, Chapter 1: Win- Lose or Win-win, illustrates these types of negotiations. A “Win-win” resolution would be more effective in the long run. Relationships in this type of negotiation are of high importance as they can help create value through trade as they collaborate with each other on an agreement.

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Conversely, in a Win-Lose negotiation, the characteristics are hat a relationship with the other party is not of high importance. Each side is focused on a fixed price. The book uses a pie as an example to demonstrate how each party attempts to take as much as they can for themselves leaving the other side with a much smaller slice as possible. In Getting to Yes, they refer this type of negotiation to be “Hard”. The parties are adversaries and the goal is victory: I win, you lose, it is a type of positional bargaining of that can break the relationship between the two parties.

Therefore, it puts the relationship to risk as the conditions of a allegations depend on the concessions being made. Chapter 2: Indispensable Concepts are the importance of having the three concepts of: alternatives and reserve price to prepare you for a negotiation. In reference to Getting to Yes, How to Become a Better Negotiator also introduces the theory of having an alternative called, BATAAN ( Best Alternative to a Negotiation Agreement) which employs the negotiator to bargain in a position with higher strength with confidence.

Mutually, both books suggest that you should in advance prepare some alternatives that set a base to now when to walk away from a negotiation if it fails to give you what you want, and or if your alternative is better than the current negotiation being offered. Another concept introduced is to have a reserved price which should be your “walk away’ price to a negotiation if it exceeds your limit. As a seller, you should come up with a numerical number before entering a negotiation that will be the lowest price you would accept a deal and a buyer should know what his highest price paid would be.

This gives you an idea of how much you have available to haggle with. In Getting to Yes, they refer this concept as a “Trip Wire” standard; it’s like a bottom line which provides you with a margin in reserve. Chapter 3: Communication Styles introduces four different styles of which people usually fall in one or a few depending on the situation. The first style is Listeners – they’re people orientated who take their time in making a decisions, good mediators and team builders, but they are not high risk orientated who are very enthusiastic with the concept of ideas.

Their good energy is contagious, but they fail to implement ideas as they are impulsive people sidetracked y having fun. They also are known to change the subject when feeling stressed. The third style is Doers – are less people orientated. They are very assertive, task orientated, and competitive. Their main problem is that they may be arrogant, not as good of a listener and often forget to reflect of their decisions before implementing them. The last style is Thinkers – they are very detailed and take much longer to finalize a decision because they are trying to find the ideal solution.

They can be repetitive at times, very serious and inflexible. This chapter helps guide a negotiator o identify what their core style is and how to improve it or tailor it to the competitor’s style in order to come too wise agreement. Chapter 4: Listening as a Primary Negotiating Skill. Listening is a highly important skill to have . Len order to be good listener, you need to be able to hear, interpret, evaluate and react. The author provides three quizzes that enable you to distinguish what level of a good listener fall in.

In Getting to Yes, the author also focuses on listening in the Separate the People from the Problem chapter as their technique of listening permits you to understand here the person is coming from, sympathize with their emotions, and suggests paying attention and hearing what the opposing parties are telling you. They suggest a standard technique of repeating what the other party has shared with you such as, “Did I understand correctly that you are saying..? “.

This demonstrated that they were being heard and understood. In How to Become a Better Negotiator, they too offer the similar technique of listening called Reflective Listening as they advise to paraphrase what the other party is saying to demonstrate that you were hearing them and to how that you understand. You may use reflective listening by stating “l understand what you are saying and how you are feeling” which not only shows sympathy, but also clears up any misinterpretations.

Chapter 5 Managing Conflict illustrates a test in which the reader can identify what type of conflict style they have. The five styles are: 1- Withdrawal / Avoidance, when the issues are serious, 2-Smoothing Accommodations, when the issues are minor and damage to a relationship may be caused, 3-Compromising, ideal solution not needed and both parties have equal power. -Forcing/ Competition, immediate action needed and relationship is not highly important and Problem Solving/ Collaborative, parties have common goals, and a long term relationship is expected.

Both books agree on the fact that conflict is a good thing and that it is beneficial as it allows people to speak on behalf of their feelings and leads to solutions in problem solving. Chapter 6 The Importance of Assertiveness starts off with a test to measure the level of assertiveness that you have as a person. This chapter is very important and newly provided information of which Getting to Yes does not touch upon in depth as this book does. It helps you to gather many strategies to work with conflicting people and situations.

Confront Gently – is the first assertive way to handle gentle confrontation by maintaining control of your emotions, maintain control of non-verbal, listen to your opposing party, and verbalize you future expectations by specifying the term, which Getting to Yes likes to say “Be soft on the people and hard on the problem”. Another tactic of showing Assertiveness of which Getting to Yes does not touch up on much is Saying ass is asked for unfair, unfeasible expectations by standing up to your interests and saying “No”. Another tactic that the book touches up on is how to Handle Your Anger and theirs.

They suggest listening to the opposing party, allowing them to let off steam, demonstrate empathy, ask open-ended questions and maintain quiet if they are unreasonable. In Getting to Yes they introduce the philosophy of Negotiation Jujitsu”, where you avoid pushing back, but instead exert strength by resisting their anger by exploring interests, inventing options for mutual gain along with listening to heir frustrations. The book also touches up on maintaining silence as a tactic for the other party to have the opportunity to recollect and clarify or retract from their unreasonable request or statement.

Chapter 7 Prepare to Negotiate allows you to use the skills of negotiation that you have learned so far to prepare for a business deal. To prepare you need to identify issues and interest by Jotting them down on a piece of paper. Getting to Yes also has the similar strategy of writing down interests. The book goes into more detail of when during the negotiation to be clear and firm n your interests and to listen engagingly to the opposing parties’ interest to understand their needs, hopes, fears, and desires. It also states to ask questions as to why their interests are what they are.

The combination of both books on interests is very informative. The other preparation tip that How to Become a Better Negotiator offers is to determine your BATAAN and a reserve price. Chapter 8 Doing the Deal touches up on the steps and tactics of doing a deal. The first step Getting to Know Each Other to take the time before and after to get to know each other to get a better understanding of what their interests may be. Other steps are expressing disagreement and conflict (as was talked about it chapter 6 on how to address), Reassessing, Compromising and Reaching Agreement.

A tactic that the book offers during a negotiation process is Framing Issues that people use as a framework to draw out reality. In Getting to Yes they identify this as Using Objectives and Criteria to discuss on the merits. They use a set of standards such as market value, book value, comparative price to make a deal appear fair and reasonable. Another tactic offered by How to Become a Better Negotiator is offering alternative deals of which Getting to Yes also uses as to use collaboration from the opposing party come up with other creative suggestions to finalize a deal.

A tactic that I have not read yet in Getting to Yes is how to deal with Using Time to Advantage. If you have taken the time to ask questions and listen to the opposing parties’ interest and if you know they are in a limited in time to close a deal, you could use that to your advantage. The book uses an example of purchasing a home from a seller who is pressed on time and how o tactically get them to close the deal quickly. The final chapter 9 Common Pitfalls is great ending chapters on how to deal with different types of negotiation you are to encounter and how to deal with typical negotiation mistakes.

You have realistic story examples of dealing with The Hardball Bargainer, Take it or Leave it & The Temper Tantrum (of which Getting to Yes does as well). One of the many mistakes it points out is having a big ego and when negotiation fails to find and arbitrator or mediator. Getting to Yes also recommends to introduce a third party to focus on interest, options and criteria to help reach an agreement in the What if They Won’t Play chapter.

In resolution, How to Become a Better Negotiator has been a pleasure to to add to my pallet of preparing for negotiations. The top 3 major lessons that I plan to use in the future are, 1: Plan ahead of time and come up with a BATAAN as well as a reserved price. This will enable me to gain confidence and help me understand exactly where I stand in a negotiation. 2: During a negotiation I want to become a better listener and ask key questions which will help me get to know my opponents interest and understand how they feel.

It is key that I maintain quite at all times when the other party is speaking and to paraphrase when they are done so that they know that I heard them so there won’t be any misunderstanding. 3-The final lesson I learned was to be more assertive and know how to use it to my advantage. Sometimes paraphrasing what the other party has said or even asking questions as to why they set a price or how they came up with their decision and if their response is unrealistic, unreasonable, or unfair to maintain quiet for a sometime. This is an excellent strategy which I cannot wait to implement.


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