The Importance of Negotiation Skills

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The Importance of Negotiation Skills


The labor relations process includes three phases, and one of those phases is the negotiation of the labor agreement. The negotiation process involves two different parties; the union, representing the employees, and the management/employer. The outcome of those negotiations has a drastic impact on the work lives of the employees, such as working hours, working conditions, hourly wages, benefits, and other policies. The negotiations also affect the business interests of the employers, such as labor costs, operation costs, and management control. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for both parties to ensure that the negotiating team representing their interests has the necessary skills and abilities to secure what is best for them (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2009).

There are several strategies, tactics, and techniques involved in the negotiation process. That is why I think it is important for both, management and unions to understand the process of negotiation in depth, and understand how critical it is for achieving their goals.

In this essay, I will attempt to answer some of the important question regarding the negotiation process. Questions such as: are negotiation skills intuitive, or can they be acquired? What should management or unions look for when forming their negotiation teams? What are the approaches of negotiation, and why are negotiation skills important? How are labor-management negotiations different from other types of negotiations?

Intuitive or Acquired?

While it is possible for a people to improve their skills as negotiators through experience, practice, and common sense, research has proven that there are techniques in both mediation and negotiation that are counter-intuitive. What this means is that even if a person has years of experience negotiating, and has the ability to apply logic and common sense to all situations, he or she will not learn those...
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