Positive Approach to Negotiation

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Positive Approach to Negotiation

Chapter 1 – Introduction
Negotiation in its narrower sense is an exercise of reasons and benefits between two or more people in disagreements who are trying to reach out for a solution to their on-going conflict1. This process of inter-acting and interpersonal can be on the personal level or at a corporate status as well as at the diplomatic relations between two countries2. There is negotiation simply because the disputing parties wish to create a new working relationship or establish a new of policies and guidelines that would prove beneficial on both sides. Both parties know that there is some conflict of interest between them and they presume they can get a better deal rather than simply taking what the other side will voluntarily give them3. The disputing parties are both determined to search for agreement rather fight openly, giving way or breaking off contract4. They usually expect a give and take whenever they sit for negotiation. However, if their intention is not met, the usual reaction is to turn away from the negotiating table and resort to a more violent ways5. Because of the interdependence of the disputing parties, negotiation can either be win-lose or win-win in nature. The type of negotiation varies according to the nature and demands during the process of negotiating. The disputants will either force the other party to their side to comply with their demands, to modify the opposing position and move toward compromise, or to invent a solution that meets the objective of all sides. Hence, the nature of their interdependence will have a major impact on the nature of their relationship, the way the negotiations are conducted and the outcome of these negotiations6. Negotiation theorists make several overlapping distinctions about approaches to negotiation. Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (1991) distinguish between positional bargaining, which is competitive and interest-based bargaining or principled negotiation, which is primarily cooperative. They also make the distinction between soft, hard, and principled negotiation, the latter of which is neither soft, nor hard, but based on cooperative principles which look out for oneself as well as one's opponent7. German lawyer and labor negotiator, Morton Deutsch presented before the academe his distinction of competitive and cooperative negotiations approach. He said that the most important factors that determine whether an individual will approach a conflict cooperatively or competitively depends largely on the nature of the nature of disagreement and the goals that each party is seeking to achieve. Most of the times, these two sides goals are linked together but sometimes they may also be interdependent. Their interaction in the negotiating table and their reaction with each other is shaped by the manner whether this interdependence is positive or negative8. Goals with positive interdependence are tied together in such a way that the chance of one side attaining its' goal is increased by the other side's attaining its goal. Positively interdependent goals normally result in cooperative approaches to negotiation, because any participant can "attain his goal if, and only if, the others with whom he is linked can attain their goals9". Negotiation between the disputants is most often the first attempt in getting disputes resolved. During negotiation, personality characteristics of the disputants affect their behavior and thus the outcomes. Understanding the negotiating behaviors and negotiation outcomes is therefore of both academic and practical value. Here is where strategies and tactics in negotiating build up toward the direction of achieving the goals. One popular approach is the positive negotiation technique that looks at the benefits each party would enjoy once a mutual agreement is achieved. Sine disputants are emotionally affected of their problems; it is understandable that irritating remarks and...
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