What are the satisfiers that people look for in a negotiation? Of course they want what they ask for: a higher budget, more time to complete a task, enough space to work, new equipment to get the job done well and the service necessary to keep things running smoothly.  These tangible satisfiers are brought openly to the bargaining session as issues in contention.

There are other issues below the surface that neither party can easily bring to light; that is, intangible personal matters demanding satisfaction. These needs usually go unspoken.  Whatever the negotiating situation, it is important to recognize that the person you are negotiating with has needs they cannot or will not put into words.

Negotiators in the workplace must be sensitive to these intangible issues and how they motivate the other party. They know that if these unspoken needs are satisfied, then a “Yes” answer will follow.  They also know from intuition or experience that people who have lost face, or whose unspoken ego needs have been demeaned or threatened, often choose to say “No” even to offers that would otherwise benefit them.

Below are personal issues that neither side will speak of but which look large in their workplace thinking:

  1. They want to feel good about themselves.
  2. They want to be recognized and accepted by associates.
  3. They want to keep their job and be considered for promotion.
  4. They want to work easier, not harder.
  5. They want to meet their personal ambitions without violating their integrity.
  6. They want to know and feel that what they are doing matters.
  7. They want to avoid the insecurity that comes from unpleasant surprises and changes.
  8. They want to be treated fairly.
  9. They want to be heard and listened to.
  10. They want to be treated with dignity.
  11. They want to share in the excitement, fun and social warmth that work with others offers.
  12. They want to be liked and belong.
  13. They want to resolve differences and disagreements without rancor or hard feelings.
  14. They want to be told and know the truth.
  15. They want to be thought of as honest, fair, kind and responsible.
  16. They want reasonable control of their work and how it should be done.
  17. They do not want to be hassled or picked on.
  18. They want some participation in the decision process if it affects them.
  19. They want to maintain peaceful relations with those they work with.
  20. They want no one to trespass on their workspace, their job responsibilities, their possessions, their budget allocation or the people assigned to work for them.

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