The Advantages and disadvantages of principled bargaining.

Topics: Negotiation, Best alternative to a negotiated agreement, Bargaining Pages: 6 (1969 words) Published: May 31, 2003
Advantages of principled bargaining

Each of these four principles and other methods offer great advantages over many other types of negotiations.

Separate the people from the problem

People who involved in the negotiation would constantly hold their side's positions and make quick response to other side's activity. Therefore the problems between two sides always arise from their perception, emotion, and communication. (Fisher R., and Ury W., 1991)

In term of Fisher and Ury, perception is the basic problem among the parties. Most problems stem from the differing interpretations of the conflict between two sides. If two parties persist in the different understandings of their debate, the negotiation is likely to be difficult to achieve. And negotiation is a tedious and annoying process. The problems always arise from people's fear, anger or anxiety which could make the issue hard to deal with. In addition, the problem always involves the disharmony of communication between two sides. The parties might neither talk nor listen to each other, they always emphasis on their own positions. Therefore the misunderstandings would always happy.

To dissolve these problems, the principled approach tries to eliminate the main sources of opposition power. Thus trying to put your feet into the other's shoes is overriding important for both sides to comprehend the other side's perspective and help them to catch the other part's interests and objective. Taking more focus on listening is also helpful to reveal the opponent and build up trust to achieve the negotiation.

Take the case study of green fish for instance, all of us were always busying ourselves preparing the response or action to what the opponents said, rather than paying more attention to their actual claims. Each side does not tend to keep focusing on what they are trying to communicate but blame and attack the other side. In the event the conflict between us leads to a confrontation and enter into an endless argument. Thus a wise way to prevent these problems arising in negotiation is to think of the opponents as partners rather than as adversaries which are likely to come to of a good relationship.

Focus on interests, not positions

As Fisher and Ury (1991:42) said, "Your position is something you have decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to so decide. ...for every interest there usually exist several possible positions that could satisfy it." The purpose of negotiation is to reach agreement by focusing on each side's interests, rather than their positions, which means to understand what exactly the opponent want to pursuit from the outcome, rather that merely what they say in the discussion. But people usually think that negotiation is about the position rather than the communication. Thus the trend is to take advantageous position in the negotiation to accomplish the goal. Sometime the position perspective might be so aggressive that the relationships between the parties might be damaged.

In the green fish case, we always focus on the past events to blame each other. Each party of us should focus on looking forward to the desired solution. Understanding to each side's interests instead of their positions made it possible to develop a solution. The interest of Branthwaite Star Fish Farms (BSFF) lies in the rapid growth of good quality fish. The method from Acquatic Chemicals (AC) did work although it did not totally succeed and lead to a loss. AC's interest lay in the methods; the inhibitors were very successful within certain temperature. By reconstructing the conflict and reviewing the long relationship between BSFF and AC, it is likely to achieve a satisfactory outcome for both sides.

Invent options for mutual gain

If both parties focus on their interests, it seems to be more easily to invent options for mutual benefits. This win-win perspective is the main different from the win-lose approach. Fisher and Ury imply each party...
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