In every negotiation, no matter if you buy or sell, solve conflicts or negotiate your salary there is always something lying behind the negotiation, something that motivates people to sit down at the same table to negotiate. In business and everyday life, each of us has something that drives us towards our desires, goals and aspirations. This drive makes us behave in a particular way, adapt particular poses and use different negotiation styles. Typically speaking, personalities of negotiators are visible through observing their approach to negotiation. There are three main approaches:
A win-lose attitude means a competitive approach to the negotiation/purchasing process. An example is when a buyer wants the lowest possible price even when a seller will lose money and conversely a seller wants to drive the price up because he is looking to maximize his profit. This approach will be supported with some manipulative and quite possibly dirty tactics. For people using this kind of orientation, relationship doesn’t matter. A substantive outcome is what counts.
The best possible and desirable situation is when the other side is eager to achieve a mutually satisfactory outcome - win- win. In this case, the other side will be willing to cooperate in order to gain some of his/her goals but also to let us achieve some of ours. There are always some issues in terms of price, quantity, delivery dates or guarantee but there is also a way to match and solve them through reasonable concessions and decisions. Of course, both parties must be willing to do this. If this spirit of mutual satisfaction is not in evidence, it will turn the negotiation into a lose-win or lose-lose competition. If we negotiate with a spirit of cooperation, we may even have a chance to create a value added solution that will benefit both parties more than was considered before the negotiation began.
Answer the questions below, then read the text and check your answers.
· What language do English speakers, especially Americans, use during a negotiation?
· How do they show respect in English? Can you give some examples?
In this section you will learn expressions which can be used in negotiations. The expressions are grouped into 6 categories. These categories are built upon a strategy for negotiating that is neither "hard" nor "soft" but both hard andsoft. It is the method of principled negotiation developed by the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard University. Its goal is to decide issues on their merits and not on the stated positions of the two sides. It suggests that you look for mutual gains wherever possible, and that where your interests conflict, you should insist that the result be based on some fair standards independent of the will of either side.
A note on language style:
English speakers, especially Americans, like to express a certain amount of informality as soon as possible. Therefore, they quickly move to first names (although this is NOT a sign of intimacy or friendship). In addition, they quickly begin to use informal language. These facts are intended to signal cooperation among equal partners.
How can they do this when using first names and informal expressions? They show respect in English in the following ways:
Use would likerather than wantwhen making requests. It's more indirect and, therefore, is more polite and respectful.
I want to hear you talk about that first point again. (This could sound too much like a demand.)
I would like to hear you talk about that first point again. (This is safer.)
Use "should", "could", or "might" to remind or inform people about what to do next. Without such words, you could sound too much like a teacher or a policeman.
Use phrases like "I think" and "maybe" and "perhaps" to introduce suggestions. These words do not indicate uncertainty; they do express respect for the other person.
It's time to start the meeting now. (This COULD sound too authoritarian.) I think we should start the meeting now. (This is safer.)
I'll give you some background information about that. (This is okay if your VOICE sounds helpful.)
Perhaps I could give you some background information about that. (This is safer.)
Use QUESTIONS to make suggestions. Keep in mind, however, that you are not asking for permission, but you are showing the other person respect by giving him or her a chance to disagree or interrupt before you go on.
So, can we go on to the next point now? So, are we finished with that point? If so, let's go on to the next one.
NOTE: The better you get to know someone, the less important these strategies become. People who know each other well (and who respect each other) can be much more direct in saying what they want and what they think.