Negotiation Tips & Suggestions

Today I had the privilege of hearing a presentation entitled “Negotiation for Community Leaders” by L. Steven Smutko of NC State Universtity. Several points struck me as particularly valuable and worthy of being added as life skills.

Smutko defined negotiation as “any communication between two or more people with the intent to influence or persuade.” One important trait for a negotiator is to recognize that possibilities for mutual gain often exist and, when possible, to identify those areas where such gain can occur. As such, negotiation does not have to be a competitive process but can instead be used to create additional value (a “pareto optimal solution“) through mutual gains.

The purpose of negotiation, according to Smutko, is “not always to reach agreement. Agreement is only one means to an end, and that end is to satisfy your interests. The purpose of negotiation is to explore whether you can satisfy your interests better through agreement than you could by pursuing your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).”

Interestingly, the party with the best BATNA has the most power and best position from which to Continue reading “Negotiation Tips & Suggestions”