Negotiation is a process that involves several phases and requires developing extensive knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, only a few professionals do realize the value of pre-negotiation processes. It appears that the ways in which people prepare to negotiation, as well as the planning strategies they use can predetermine the success of negotiation attempts. In the context of negotiation strategies and procedures, preparation or pre-negotiation process stands out as the critical element of reducing the uncertainty and diminishing the risks of failure (Peterson & Lucas, 2001) during negotiation. Negotiation Strategies and Procedures
Introduction Negotiation is a process that involves several phases and requires developing extensive knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, only a few professionals do realize the value of pre-negotiation processes. It appears that the ways in which people prepare to negotiation, as well as the planning strategies they use, can predetermine the success of all negotiation attempts. In the context of negotiation strategies and procedures, preparation or pre-negotiation process stands out as the critical element of reducing the uncertainty and diminishing the risks of failure (Peterson & Lucas, 2001) during negotiation.
Peterson and Lucas (2001) assert that in the current state of research, professionals in organization and negotiation studies are increasingly negligent and even ignorant toward the role and importance of planning and preparation in negotiation process. Moreover, the authors write that in its current form, the process of negotiation does not include the preparation phase. However, their article is useful in a sense that it investigates the planning and preparation activities in negotiation.
Here, the pre-negotiation process includes intelligence gathering, formulation, strategy, and preparation (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Intelligence gathering is â€œthe act of collecting, processing, analyzing and evaluating available data concerning the other party and relevant environmental factors (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Intelligence gathering in the pre-negotiation process implies the need for identifying and analyzing strengths and weaknesses of the other party, as well as possible actions the party can undertake to satisfy its needs (Peterson & Lucas, 2001).
Formulation phase of the pre-negotiation process requires that parties set goals and determine negotiation objectives. That means that negotiators, on the one hand, will seek to incorporate the other partyâ€™s plans into their own, and on the other hand, may seek to consult with others before making any negotiation decisions (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Strategy as the third phase of the pre-negotiation process implies that negotiators are able to systematize the information and goals identified during intelligence gathering and formulation.
During this phase of pre-negotiation both attacking and defending strategies should be created and analyzed (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). A good negotiator will also consider a trade-off strategy (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Finally, the preparation phase is often associated with a kind of rehearsal, which negotiators use to prepare themselves to the conversation, to develop a better speech strategy, and to have a better control of emotions (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). All these, however, would be irrelevant without a clear understanding of negotiator characteristics.
For Peterson & Lucas (2001), negotiator characteristics are the integral elements of a pre-negotiation process because identification of these characteristics occurs before the actual negotiation. The most common negotiator characteristics usually include age, education, gender, experience, culture, but it is equally important to consider negotiatorâ€™s cognitive abilities and psychological characteristics (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Also, the specific features of the negotiation style used by the parties should be taken into account.
A third century Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang once said that â€œthose who are skilled in combat do not become angered; those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid; thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to winâ€ (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). This wise expression shows and confirms the relevance of the pre-negotiation process. Obviously, a person who possesses a clear understanding of the negotiation strategy, possible situational constraints, and negotiatorsâ€™ individual characteristics and styles is better prepared to win in negotiation.
It would be fair to say that a person possessing a clear negotiation strategy and being able to manage negotiator skills and options wins even before the process of negotiation begins. Conclusion In the current state of research, the topic of pre-negotiation is still underrepresented in literature (Peterson & Lucas, 2001). Nevertheless, it is the process of preparation that lays the foundation for the subsequent negotiation success.
In the pre-negotiation process, negotiators have a unique opportunity to gather information about the parties, to formulate a clear negotiation strategy, and to analyze personal and situational negotiator characteristics. These, in turn, create an atmosphere in which a well-prepared individual has a unique opportunity to win even before the process of negotiation begins. References Peterson, R. M. & Lucas, G. H. (2001). Expanding the antecedent component of the traditional business negotiation model: Pre-negotiation literature review and planning-preparation propositions. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 9 (4): 37-49.
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