Methods of negotiation

Methods of negotiation


Artykuł ukazał się w Medical Maestro Magazine, Vol. 13, s./p. 1777-1924

Negotiating is part and parcel of our lives. Even children negotiate with their parents about various things, such as pocket money. However, it is mostly common in business. Let us begin with the etymology of a word negotiation. According to Online Etymology Dictionary, [1] it has its root in the 15th century and its first meanings are taken from an Old French word negociacion which meant ‘business, trade’ and from Latin negotiationem which meant ‘business, traffic’. Later on, the meaning in Latin was expanded by ‘bargaining’. Nowadays, the meaning has been even more expanded and now negotiation means: ‘when people try to make or change an agreement by discussion’. [2] As this suggests, to achieve one’s goals in negotiating one has to discuss well.

In order to be successful when discussing details with a new client or when trying to find another contractor, we should follow certain rules. The rules which help negotiate are called techniques or methods of negotiations. These two terms may be used interchangeably and they both refer to the ways of acting which are supposed to help us achieve our goals. [3] We need to get familiar with the methods of negotiation to prepare ourselves better and to make a plan of the talk. This knowledge also helps us understand and foresee the opponent’s behaviour. In this way we can protect ourselves from having an unbeneficial deal.  As the topic of negotiation methods is extremely broad, we have chosen the most important and the most useful techniques which can help lead to one’s success.

Aim high
This technique suggests starting with higher expectations than we really want to achieve. For example, if you want to sell your car for 15.000 zloty you should not start with this price but try something higher (let us say 17.000 zloty). This gives you some room for negotiations and maybe you could even earn more than you wish. This method is recommended for the inexperienced and weak negotiators because it allows them to make bigger concessions. However, the starting point cannot be too high as it can discourage your opponent and lead to your failure. [4]