The Negotiation Skills Company provides world-class negotiation coaching, training, and keynote speakers as well as the most informative negotiation site on the Web. Let Wall Street have a nightmare and the whole country has to help them back into bed learn negotiation skills. For some it seems easy, but others view the process of negotiation as a source of conflict to be resisted and avoided if possible. Negotiation is a life skill.
Enjoy the articles and information within this site, and return frequently, as sections are being updated constantly. What makes The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. We recognize that negotiation is not a competitive sport, that unless the parties collaborate to reach agreement, even short-term solutions may fall apart. TNSC’s copyrighted preparation tool has been found to save four hours of negotiation time for every fifteen minutes devoted to the use of the tool. Each program is customized to address the interests of our organizational clients and the individual participants.
A negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us. Take it or leave it! Don’t ask me to go back to my client on this. This is all we are going to do. If you don’t want to accept it at that price, forget it. Negotiating with you is a waste of time. We’ll see you at the courthouse!
How do you feel when you hear statements like this? If you react negatively to ultimatums, inflexibility, and statements like those in the preceding paragraph, you may come to the realization that other people feel the same way. Unless you are in the military, or subject to some similar hierarchical organization, you will conclude that, if you want to have a relationship with the party on the other side of the table or the other end of the phone, you must negotiate. Most of us negotiate with one another frequently. Perhaps there are naturally gifted negotiators. But, as a lawyer and a mediator who has spent over 20 years litigating, negotiating settlements, negotiating transactions for clients, and negotiating personal transactions, I can attest to the fact that a lot of negotiators are not naturally gifted.
Our parents don’t teach us how to negotiate, probably because their parents didn’t teach them how to negotiate. And despite the fact that negotiating is a vital skill, we’re taught nothing about it in school. That leads to the second reason there are so few negotiators: people don’t think it’s possible to learn how to become one. Since we’re not taught how to negotiate we just assume it cannot be taught. The third, and I believe most powerful, reason is fear. We can all improve our skills as negotiators. Conjure up two individuals: the “Master Negotiator” and the “Novice Negotiator”.
The Master Negotiator is not someone who works miracles, who can pull off remarkable “swindles” or hypnotize his or her opponents into barking like dogs and doing other things that they would not ordinarily do. The Master Negotiator is simply demonstratively better than the Novice Negotiator. The Master Negotiator’s skills are obvious. While he may not walk on water, he will consistently get the best deal possible under the circumstances.
On occasion, perhaps even frequently, he will get remarkably good results. What sets the Master Negotiator apart? Why do we consider him a master? What does he know that the rest of us do not? What can we learn from him? My purpose is to address these questions and to provide some answers.
My hope is that, if we can observe how the masters do it, the rest of us will improve by following their examples. In trying to formulate a picture of the Master Negotiator I have surveyed the current literature on the subject and added my opinions based upon my own anecdotal research. I have concluded that Master Negotiators follow certain rules that novices do not understand or that they do not implement. I have attempted to state these rules and discuss their corollaries. Interested readers can find a copy of this paper and all future evolutions on my web site. Negotiation is, in short, a kind of universal dance with four stages or steps. And it works best when both parties are experienced dancers.