There are several useful ways to consider the types of negotiations. The major ones are about making deals and resolving disputes, and also about distributing value and creating value.
Dispute Resolution vs Deal Making
While deal making is about entering a relationship or having a new transaction, dispute resolution concerns dealing with disagreements over past transactions or relationships.
Dispute Resolution is usually harder, so people often use third parties to negotiate on their behalf (e.g. a divorce lawyer).
Deal making is certainly more fun. It’s always best to turn a dispute resolution negotiation into a dealmaking one if you can.
Most negotiations are also about interests and positions.
It’s useful to know the difference between positions of the sides and their interests. For example, if you want to divide a loaf of bread fairly, you might cut it in half and let the other side choose the half they want. This is a positional approach to the negotiation. It assumes that negotiations are a zero-sum game and that value can only be claimed.
Now assume that your counterpart wants only the crust of the loaf and she does not care that much about the fleshy part. If you divided the loaf in half, both sides would have to compromise and would not get the most of the deal. If you figure these non-conflicting interests, there is no need to compromise as both sides can get nearly everything of what they want. This is called interested based, principled, integrative and sometimes a win-win approach negotiation.
Thus it is crucial to explore the interests of the sides before and during any negotiation.
While having complex negotiations, people usually jump between interests and positions. At one point you need to explore the interests and creative solutions to generate value. Later, the value that was created has to be shared between the counterparts.
It makes sense to learn more negotiations, as we negotiate every day but a lot of insights about what’s effective and what isn't are counter-intuitive.
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