Work with a partner to discuss the following questions:
1. How would you judge the success of a negotiation?
2. What is the main determiner of successful relations?
3. What makes a good negotiator?
4. Have you ever been involved in formal or informal business negotiations? Describe your experiences.
5. How can successful or unsuccessful result of negotiations affect the reputation of a company?
6. Can only professionals run successful negotiations?
to come to an agreement
to carry out an agreement
to break / violate / denounce an agreement
to be in treaty with smb. for smth.
to fall back
to break down
to get on with smb
to deal in
I. Read the first part of the text and summarise the main points as a list of guidelines on negotiating.
Text 1. The Art Of Negotiation
There has been a great deal of research into the art of negotiation, and, in particular, into what makes a "good'" negotiator.
One point most researchers seem to agree on is that good negotiators try to create a harmonious atmosphere at the start of a negotiation. They make an effort to establish a good rapport with their opposite number, so that there will be a willingness - on both sides - to make concessions, if this should prove necessary. Good negotiators generally wish to reach an agreement which meets the interests of both sides. They therefore tend to take a long-term view, ensuring that the agreement will improve, or at least not harm their relationship with the other party. On the other hand, a poor negotiator tends to look for immediate gains, forgetting that the real benefits of a deal may come much later.
Skilful negotiators are flexible. They do not "lock themselves" into a position so that they will lose face if they have to compromise. They have a range of objectives, thus allowing themselves to make concessions, for example, "I aim to buy this machine for $3000" and not "I must buy it for $3000". Poor negotiators have limited objectives, and may not even work out a "fall-back" position. Successful negotiators do not want a negotiation to break down. If problems arise, they suggest ways of resolving them. The best negotiators are persuasive, articulate people, who select a few key arguments and repeat them. This suggests that tenacity is an important quality.
Finally, it is essential to be a good listener and to check frequently that everything has been understood by both parties.
II. Read the second part of text I and discuss three main guidelines.
Some hints on negotiating
Planning Make sure you prepare properly. The less you prepare, the more you will be at a disadvantage and the less likely you will be to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
Research Try to find out as much as you can about your opposite number and his or her business. Use the resources of a business library and/or talk to your business contacts.
objectives Try to take a long-term view and decide on a range of objectives so that you can be more flexible and offer more alternatives during the negotiation itself. Remember you are looking for a win-win situation of benefit to both parties, thus paving the way for further deals in the future.
Limits Decide what your sticking point(s) must be and why. Knowing your negotiating limits and their reasons wilt help you negotiate more confidently and comfortably.
Strategy Plan your negotiating strategy carefully, taking into consideration the personality and position of your opposite number, as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.
Rapport Try to establish a good rapport with your opposite number from the moment you first meet, whether or not you already know each other. Some general 'social talk' is a good ice-breaker and bridge-builder in this respect.
Parameters Confirm the subject/purpose of your negotiation early on and try to establish areas of common ground and areas of likely conflict before you move on to the bargaining/trading stage.
Listening Listening attentively at every stage of your negotiation will help to avoid misunderstanding and create a spirit of cooperation.
Attitude Be constructive not destructive treat your opposite number with respect, sensitivity and tact, and try to avoid an atmosphere of conflict. This will create a feeling of harmony and goodwill, which should encourage a willingness to compromise and ultimately lead to a productive negotiation.
Approach Keep your objectives in mind ¾ and try to keep a clear head. This will help you to concentrate on your key points. Try to resist the temptation to introduce new arguments all the time. Use the minimum number of reasons to persuade your opposite number, coming back to them as often as necessary.
Flexibility Be prepared to consider a range of alternatives and try to make creative suggestions for resolving any problems. Be prepared to make concessions and to compromise, if necessary, to avoid deadlock but don't be pushed beyond your sticking point.
Review Summarise and review your progress at regular intervals during the negotiation. This will give both parties a chance to check understanding and, if necessary, clarify/rectify any misunderstandings.
Agreement When you have reached agreement, close the deal firmly and clearly. Confirm exactly what you have agreed and any aspects/matters that need further action.
Confirmation Write a follow-up letter to confirm in writing the points agreed during your negotiation and clarify any outstanding matters.
Simplicity Keep your language simple and clear. Take your time and use short words and sentences that you are comfortable with there is no point complicating a difficult task with difficult language.
Clarity Don't be afraid to ask questions if there is anything you don't understand. It is vital to avoid any misunderstandings that might jeopardise the success of your negotiation.
III. Answer the following questions:
1. Why is it important for good negotiators to create a harmonious atmosphere at the start of a negotiation?
2. Skillful negotiators are flexible, arent they?
3. Are the best negotiators persuasive, articulate people, who select a few key arguments and repeat them?
4. Does this suggest that tenacity is an important quality?
5. Can you agree with the following statement The less you prepare, the more you will be at a disadvantage and the less likely you will be to achieve a satisfactory outcome?
6. Should the negotiator treat his opposite number with respect, sensitivity and tact, and try to avoid an atmosphere of conflict?
7. Do negotiators try to resist the temptation to introduce new arguments all the time?
8. Will it be better to take your time and use short words and sentences that you are comfortable with while running negotiations?
IV. Complete the following sentences with an appropriate word from the list. Make sure you use the correct form.
compromise skilful argument position negotiation range
concession reach break persuade harmony select
2. Good negotiators try to create a ______ atmosphere at the start of a negotiation.
3. Good negotiators generally wish to ______ an agreement that meets the interests of both sides.
4. _______ negotiators are flexible. They do not "lock themselves" into a ________ so that they will lose face if they have to _________ . They have a ______ of objectives, thus allowing themselves to make_______ .
5. Successful negotiators do not want a ________ to ______ down.
6. The best negotiators are_______ , articulate people, who ____ a few key _______ and repeat them.
V. Read the second part of text 1 paying attention to details and complete the sentences.
1. The less you prepare, the more you will be at a__________ .
2. Try to take a _______view and decide on a range of________ .
3. You are looking for a _______ situation of benefit to both parties.
4. Plan your negotiating ________carefully.
5. Some general 'social talk' is a good _______ and _______ in this respect.
6. ______ the subject/purpose of your negotiation early on and try to ______ areas of common ________ and areas of ______ conflict.
7. Listening _____ at every stage of your negotiation will help to avoid ______ and create a _____ of cooperation.
8. Treat your opposite number with ______ , sensitivity and____ , and try to avoid an ______ of conflict.
9. Try to _____ the temptation to ______ new arguments all the time.
10. Be prepared to make ______ and to compromise, if necessary, to avoid______ .
11. Close the deal _____ and clearly. Confirm ____ what you have agreed.
12. There is no point _____ a difficult task with difficult_____ .
VI. Read the advertisement and complete the following recruitment file after it.
Text II. Sales Negotiator
What Price Sales Success?
Dealing in the oil and fuel markets is a high-powered activity, and Texaco Fuel and Marine Marketing is a major player within it. We deliver bunker fuels to ports worldwide, negotiating the sales of many millions of barrels of fuel each year. So our team is critical to profitability. Negotiating spot sales-both prices and volumes-with ship owners and shipping lines is exceptionally competitive. It calls for clear head and keen commercial acumen. And, since you'll be working under pressure and in rapidly changing conditions, you'll need to be capable of rapid decision-making. Most important is that you're a gifted communicator. Someone capable of both information gathering and communicating at all levels and with a wide variety of customers, both in the UK and abroad.
Obviously a strong sense of geography is valuable and both a European language and a background in the oil and marine industries would be useful though not essential. The key qualities are an eye for a deal, good telephone skills and the ability to work well within a team environment.
The price of achievement is high. For the right individual we offer a competitive salary and an attractive benefits package, which includes a share option scheme as well as the prospect for career advancement within this world leading oil company. We are currently based in Knightsbridge but we are moving to brand new custom-designed offices in Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf. These offices will be part of one of the highest quality developments of its kind in Europe and will be linked to other centres in London by greatly improved road and rail transport. To apply, please write with full CV to Peter Sweetman, Human Resources Adviser, Texaco Limited, I Knightsbridge Green, London SWIX 7QJ.
VII. According to the text, are the following statements true or false?
1. Dealing in the oil and fuel markets isnt a high-powered activity.
2. Negotiating spots sales-both prices and volumes-with ship owners and shipping lines and it is exceptionally competitive.
3. The key qualities are an eye for a deal, good telephone skills and the ability to work well within a team environment.
4. The price of achievement is low.
5. Obviously a strong sense of geography is not valuable and both a European language and a background in the oil and marine industries would be useful though not essential.
VIII. Match the words from the text with their definitions.
a) acting or moving quickly; fast
b) vitally important; absolutely necessary
c) created for customers
d) dynamic and energetic; highly capable
e) career promotion
f) used or adapted for use at sea
g) social assistance, free of charge services
8) benefits package
h) having or showing natural talent or aptitude
9) career advancement
i) a unit of capacity used in the oil and other industries, normally equal to 42 US gallons or 35 Imperial gallons
j ) affording gain, benefit, or profit
IX. Complete each sentence with the correct form of the word.