Dr. Chester Karrass covers the anatomy of the negotiation process in his book The Negotiating Game. He says that in any exchange between parties, five levels of bargaining take place.

1. Share-Bargaining Process

This process is concerned with the division of money, property, power or status. The goal of share-bargaining is to find agreement resolving any conflict of interest in your favor, thus making it so you are not doing anything to improve the other party’s bargaining position.

2. Problem-Solving Process

In this process, both parties try to work with each other to help solve problems together. There are always opportunities to solve mutual problems. For success in this process, you need a non-judgmental and communicative climate. Both parties will need to be empathetic rather than combative to assure mutual gain.

3. Attitudinal Bargaining Process

Attitudinal bargaining takes place in every negotiation, especially in any involved in long-term relationships. It assumes that the desired relationship can be structured through the negotiation. There are five major types of relationships: extreme aggression, mild aggression, mutual accommodation, open cooperation and direct collusion. This process deals with choosing the right type of attitude to counteract the other party’s relationship to you.

4. Personal Bargaining Process

This process is an internal struggle to reconcile competing needs and goals between yourself and the outside world.

5. In-Group Bargaining Process

Negotiators are often working on behalf of a larger group—that is the people in their organization, country or social group. There is often conflict between personal and group goals, facts, methods or values.

What do you think? Are you aware of each of these processes?

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