This course has been very useful since I have taken, it helps to grasp a depth knowledge about negotiation as well as developed effective negotiation styles. Before I divulge my negotiation style, I thoroughly first understand all of the negotiation styles and when and how these styles should be deployed.
The word negotiation is derived from Latin and in civil law means “trading on deliberations leading to an agreement” (Benton Jr., 2014, p. 328). Effective negotiation skills involve establishing trust and building a relationship to facilitate a win-win situation. In particular, making sure that parties trust each other will help build good relationships and develop a common goal, and thus leading to a successful negotiation. From course readings, I learn these styles are not all that dissimilar from conflict resolution strategies. People and parties involved should not view the situation as a competition, where one person or party has to win and the other has to lose, rather they should look to work towards a solution or accord where both parties can have some if not all of their needs met. (Griffith& Goodwin, 2013, pg.
55). So, which style is best and which style is the worst? Like many management theories and philosophies there is no ‘best’ or ‘worst’ approach. The approach we select at particular time all of it will depend on the needs of the situation.
For instance, in my current role at workplace, I tend to employ the Collaborative (or cooperative) style because I am trying to meet the needs and goals of my client. I use other techniques like separating the people (behavior) from the content and the process when negotiating to ensure the customer gets what they need but not at the expense of me or my organization. (Griffith& Goodwin, 2013, pg. 51-52). I make every attempt to focus on the customer’s needs, not necessarily their wants or what will benefit their position. I could improve and become a more effective negotiator by generating more options, exploring objective criteria, and looking for fair solutions that would put both my clients and my organization in a Win/Win environment.This style is very often called the “Win/Win” style and can be regularly confused with the compromise style.
This is not the case however, the collaborative style is about both parties having their needs satisfied, while creating mutual value. Ideally most every negotiation would involve the collaborative style in business to business transactions (I Win, You Win); however, most negotiators are stretched thin and under time pressure, so they resort to accommodating and compromising. My perceived strengths as a negotiator include excellent interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills refer to the ability to maintain good communication and relationship with the parties involved in a negotiation. It includes the ability to empathize, patience, persistent, flexibility and good listening skills (Lytle). I consider myself a sensitive person and like that I can analyze non-verbal cues which consequently allows room for empathy and an attempt to understand the feelings, interests, stance, among others, of the negotiating partner. The course work provided a framework for negotiating conflict by reframing the representation of conflict as the other negotiator sees it.
In this way, it becomes possible to understand the other negotiator’s point of view and subsequently devise and propose a win/win situation for both parties. My key weakness concerns how to deal with emotions during a negotiation. During the coursework, I learned that a strong display of emotions has the potential limiting the chances of the outcome of a negotiation going your way. Therefore, it is important to avoid taking things personally and argue out a concerning matter that does not go well at some point.
The most important aspect of a negotiation process is the ability to possess significant knowledge regarding the process, such that you identify the tactics, rules, strategies, limitations, and so forth, which have the potential of resulting in a win/win situation. Also, a negotiation process should be aimed at achieving results while still maintaining a relationship with the other negotiating party (Helfen and Jorg, pg. 1061). This is possible if the solutions proposed have the potential in resulting in mutual gain and that the assertion of interests is presented in a manner that the other party does not feel attacked. First, I am aggressive when it comes to getting my way from negotiation.
As a negotiator, I would like to ensure that I attain significant power or status to put me in a position to influence the course of the negotiation process as well as claim the more significant share of the bargaining zone as possible. Secondly, as a negotiator, I incline myself towards observing ethical considerations to make sure that negotiation process is not prejudiced or violates the perspective of other parties. People have different ways of thinking and considering the diversity aspect helps to avoid employing ethically inappropriate strategies and behaviors. Thirdly, I possess creativity and problem-solving skills that help me address an issue of interest from different perspectives while simplifying its complexity.Finally, my negotiation behavior in which I intend to avoid in the future is being highly competitive and assertive while having low cooperativeness. During negotiations, this behavior will be evident when I dominate the talks without giving room for other people to contribute.
Therefore, I will reconstruct myself and focus on engaging every party that is present, listen, and brainstorm with them to establish a collective agreement.