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MicroSummary: “Getting To Yes” is a guide to help you negotiate better and get what you want. In it, authors Roger Fischer and Bill Ury present a method, created by Harvard University, called ‘principled negotiation.’ If your goal is to make winning negotiations with both parties and avoid conflicts, we have a microbook for you.
How To Negotiate Agreement Without Giving In
Here we will teach you how to deal with the emotional factors of a negotiation, understand the other person’s problems and how to find common ground to close the deal.
Learns to negotiate successfully in this fantastic 12′ microbook!
“Getting to Yes PDF Summary”
Discover A New Way To Negotiate
A negotiation has two fundamental components. The first is simple: what you seek to achieve from that negotiation.
The second is often ignored. It’s how you trade. The “what” refers to the content of the trading itself, such as selling software or buying a car.
On the other hand, the “how” is so important as and often negotiations do not come about because of it and not because of “what.”
Traditional trading works like this: two sides that have opposing positions talk find a price or common result and end the negotiation.
This process can follow two different paths. Smooth negotiation, in which both parties avoid conflict, and hard negotiation, in which both conflict.
In a smooth negotiation, one side accepts the offer of the other, but later this pacifism makes the other party feel resentful and exploited after the negotiation.
On the other hand, in a tough negotiation, the one who has the least capacity to withstand pressure is given up first.
Also, this approach harms the relationships between people and both sides end up exhausted.
Understanding the negotiation process is essential as it is not a perfect process. Once you’ve entered into a negotiation, you need to know that:
- Both sides leave an initial position;
- Throughout the negotiation it is not possible to return to the initial position;
- Each time you change your position, you can not return to the previous position;
This process is inefficient and makes the negotiations delay, after all, neither party sees advantages in taking a decision quickly.
To solve these problems, a new negotiation method was developed and improved at Harvard Business School. It is called principled trading.
In this mode of negotiation, each side makes logical decisions and seeks a result that benefits all.
Here, instead of taking opposite positions and then haggling, participants try to follow a set of instructions that guide them through an efficient process, seeking a logical agreement in which the relationship between the parties is improved or at least not worsened at the end.
We consciously enter into a negotiation with the focus on “what,” but we fall on autopilot about “how” negotiations must be fulfilled.
The key to resolving this is to overlook traditional and automatic methods and make the decision to use “principled negotiation” as recommended by Harvard.
Let us together discover principled trading?
Understand The Other Party’s Emotions
We tend to believe that it is very difficult to be objective in a negotiation.
We involve emotions in the conversations, which can affect our communication – and even affect how we perceive the communication of others. So it is important to remember that traders on both sides are people.
They are affected by emotions, past experiences, preconceptions, and qualities.
Sometimes the emotional point of view is more important than the content of the negotiation. Both parties can be prepared for battle.
The key to solving this problem is to try to recognize these emotions and their causes. Stop and ask yourself: How do those involved in negotiation feel? Are they angry? Distrustful
Instead of trying to guess what’s going on in the other’s head, leave your feelings clear and ask them to do the same.
Doing so with clear and simple language will help even more because the other side will not feel defensive.
There are some advantages to the fact that the negotiator has emotions. Specifically, you can leave your case more real to the other person by explaining the real effects that that situation generates in your life.
For example, when you ask a software company to fix a bug, you’re more likely to generate more impact if you explain how it affects your Jose, the customer service administrator – how he needs to compensate for software malfunction and hours he spends per week on this task.
Since you are dealing with another human being, you are dealing not only with one transaction but also with another person’s emotions, their prejudices, their intelligence, and their ethics.
It can lead to some misunderstanding or hostility on her part before she even starts negotiating.
Getting to Yes
So, during the negotiation, continually ask yourself how the other party feels. That will help you neutralize the effects of the other person’s emotions on your perception of the business.
Understand Your Opponent
The fact that many emotions are involved in the negotiations can certainly be a disadvantage, but it can also be very helpful.
If we are aware of our own emotions and how they can affect our communication and perception, we have more control over the results we will achieve.
A very useful skill is to be cautious in making assumptions based on our fear or prejudice.
It is natural to try to guess the rationale behind the argument on the other side when negotiating because it helps us understand the world and predict what will happen so that we can react.
Thinking about the worst possible scenarios is also a very useful skill, but assumptions should be made very carefully in the negotiations.
It is very easy to ignore the interests and concerns of others and focus only on ours.
Fortunately, the way to stop it is always being sincere and direct. Let the other person know that you are listening and that you understand their problem.
You will seem like a more reasonable and intelligent person, and that causes another party to act in the same way.
Blaming someone and picking up non-constructive charges is not good attitudes when you’re negotiating.
Be honest and open, and avoid trying to project emotions into the other party. If you feel something, say it directly, but do not say things about how others feel.
Avoid phrases like “Your demand is greedy.” Say “I feel undermined by these terms because of this, of this and that.” The first one looks like an attack, and the second is an honest exposition about how you feel.
Another important point: if you feel pressured or accused, avoid replicating directly. Respond with facts without any judgment and ask why the person feels that way.
Good negotiators can see the interests of both parties. Leaving your prejudices aside will help you understand why the situation is so important to your opponents.
You do not have to agree with their point of view, but you must always understand what prompted you to ask for it.
Transform Your Opponent Into An Ally
Arguing is a great waste of time, in addition to being very exhausting. It hurts your relationship with each other and also consumes your time.
One should not see negotiation as a scenario of good versus evil. The solution is to get both sides ready and willing to align to solve a problem faced by both parties.
Do not think of the other as an antagonist, think of him as someone who is doing the same job as you and seeking to solve the same situation.
Posture is also important. When negotiating, sit next to the person and not face. Show respect and education.
Set the common positive goal you seek and do not focus on having a winner in the contest. If the goal is achieved, everyone wins.
Another good practice is to create a framework of an agreement, where terms are gradually being filled as negotiations progress.
It will give both sides a great sense of progress, as well as keeping a record of the conversation and reducing the chances of a misunderstanding occurring.
Bring the other party to your side and help you participate in this process of structuring the agreement. If the other side is not involved in the process, it is less likely to accept the agreement.
Finally, forget the “us against them” and just think of “we.”
Base Your Agreements On Previous Examples And Well Defined Standards
It is highly likely that in some negotiation you face some obstacles about another part, moments in which it seems that you will never agree with one another.
The things that you should be able to agree on from the outset are the “rules” under which you will be negotiating. Set them as soon as possible.
Before you begin, both parties must find a set of relevant objectives and measurable standards that can be used to determine whether the results are fair or not.
Are there standards that govern your area of discussion, such as security regulations for example? Are there benchmarks that can be evaluated? Public market numbers?
If you agree to follow a set of standards, then your final decision will most likely have results that appeal to both.
And if you are looking for existing precedents, you will probably benefit from the experiences of many others who have gone through the same process as you.
The important thing here is that both sides choose a method and agree with it.
There must be objective and measurable criteria to support decisions and conduct negotiations healthily.
With the “rules” established, both parties will know that they can achieve realistic and measurable goals.
Listen Carefully And Reformulate Your Sentences
A very useful technique for complex negotiations is the reformulation. This technique consists in translating the words of the other person into an ordinary place.
With this technique, you rephrase what the other side told you to agree more easily.
This technique can help you neutralize conflicts and replace coarser and more vulgar phrases that may have been used.
Instead of “you said I did a bad job”, use “you said that the work falls short of your expectations”.
Another scenario where this is useful is in trading securities. “You offered me the value of $ 50,000 for the car, but the same car ranged from $ 20,000 to $ 80,000 according to the market.
I think we’d better explore it further to get a fair value for both of us, how’s that?”
Reshaping also helps show the other person that you are listening and listening well is an essential skill to negotiate.
Therefore, to negotiate well, occasionally summarize the points that the other person raised and adopt phrases such as:
- “Based on what you told me then …”
- “I understood correctly when you said that …”
- “I understand that you feel this way, on the other hand …”
That will help you change the other person’s attitude because she knows that you are not ignoring or disregarding her views.
That way, when you express your points of view, she will understand that you have heard everything.
And if you start with “Did I get it right …”, it shows that you are willing to change, but also suggests that if the other side does not correct you, you are right.
As important as understanding someone’s point of view, even if you do not agree with it, is to be able to describe his problem before talking about your problem.
You can do this by reformulating what was said and actively listening.
Show that you have completely understood the situation on the two sides and this will help you to find a winning solution.
Have a Plan B
Before you negotiate, you need to have a plan. You have to model all possible final scenarios.
What is the best scenario? And the worst case scenario? How can you avoid it? How can you avoid potential problems? And what will you do if you do not reach an agreement?
Entering justice and potentially losing money? Wait for a new buyer or seller?
If, for example, you are in a position of “I have no idea how we will make money if this sale does not happen,” then you will feel desperate and powerless.
You will probably be in a weaker position than the other side because you can not miss the sale.
The solution to this is to spend some time thinking about a “B plan.”
In many cases, it would be better to have no agreement in the short term, rather than suffer the long-term consequences of a bad deal. If this is the case, consider the options available after the negotiations are over.
So, for example, if you are trying to sell a house because you are broke and if the sale does not happen for some reason?
Maybe you could still live there, but with a tenant, or maybe rent the property for a year and move to a smaller, cheaper place.
Having an emergency exit is another tactic you can use when negotiations do not have a positive ending.
This strategy involves a test to understand when you should give up an unacceptable agreement.
The test should consider the worst case scenario: what if the worst offer was accepted?
For example, if you are trying to sell your home and buyers are proposing a very low value then you should perhaps think if there is any other option.
If you have an alternative plan in this case, then maybe you’d better give up on the deal and start over.
Having a B plan can give you more power – and, even more importantly, it gives you a sense of resumption of control.
So, before a negotiation, think of a list of possible actions and convert them into plans. Finally, choose the best plans – they will give you an escape route, and you will need one.
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“Getting to Yes Quotes”People listen better if they feel that you have understood them. They tend to think that those who understand them are intelligent and sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to. So if you want the other side to… Click To Tweet The more extreme the opening positions and the smaller the concessions, the more time and effort it will take to discover whether or not an agreement is possible. Click To Tweet The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it, as difficult as it may be, is one of the most important skills a negotiator can possess. Click To Tweet As useful as looking for objective reality can be, it is ultimately the reality as each side sees it that constitutes the problem in a negotiation and opens the way to a solution. Click To Tweet The more attention that is paid to positions, the less attention is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties. Click To Tweet
If you are trading something simple, there is nothing wrong with haggling.
But when the relationship is long term, or the problem is complex, it is better to use more sophisticated trading techniques.
Principled negotiation is used by Harvard University to seek best practice.
Their goal is for traders to work on an agreement that brings benefits to both parties, rather than ending the deal with a “winner” and a “loser.”
Also published on Medium.