Do You Know How to Conduct a Symphony. . . Of Negotiation?

As I read this article ( I had to face a brutal reality. . . I’m stubborn. Now, not pointing fingers, but you probably are too!

Society has engrained a “win, win, win”, “conquer, conquer, conquer” mentality in the best of us since the beginning of time. Needless to say, we all need to have our heads examined (or at least pay tribute to the social psychologists and musicians of our time).

You don’t believe me? Ok… answer this question:

What do you think of when you hear the following words?

1. Prepare

2. Debate

3. Propose

4. Bargain

Did your answers sound anything like this?

1. Prepare – Gather all information necessary to anhilate my opponent.

2. Debate – A process by which I showcase my superior knowledge and win the dispute, negotiation, etc.

3. Propose – Exactly what I want, how I want it, and when I want it, for the amount that I want.

4. Bargain – What is that? Is that in our budget?

If your answers sounded anything like this it might be time to revisit some general rules of social psychology, evaluate the delicate interactions of a symphony, and get an attitude adjustment!

According to “Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Relations” by Amanda Barnett-Rhodes and Carl R. Eckert, your answers should be as follows:

“As theorized by Gavin Kennedy in his book Perfect Negotiation, the

“Four Phases of Negotiation” are:

1 | Prepare—In advance of the negotiations, determine what it is

you want.

2 | Debate—Determine what it is the other party wants.

3 | Propose—Determine what objectives you are willing to concede

on and reach an agreement by adjusting.

4 | Bargain—Reach an agreement by determining the objectives

you will agree upon.” (p. 3)

Suprised? Perhaps.

Either way, I think we can all agree that if all negotiations tried to follow some of these principles, it would result in a more efficient and cost effective result for all parties involved.

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