IntraOrganization Negotiation May 07, 2012

Negotiation Happens in Your Organization, Too!

We often assume that the bulk of negotiations take place at top levels of the organization. Not in today’s work world...

We often assume that the bulk of negotiations take place at top levels of the organization. Not in today’s work world. Within an organization, every level of the organization is involved in the process of exchanging contributions for benefits.

For example, superiors negotiate with subordinates, not only on issues such as budgets, compensation, and schedules, but also on personal matters like parking places or favored vacation time periods.

Peers negotiate with peers. Manager who handle support functions like internal transportation or information technology deal with their peers in manufacturing to maintain the flow of efficient production lines.

These interactions involve important negotiations though few participants accord them the forethought and preparation they deserve.

Engineers have to negotiate with their associates before establishing design specifications or standards on the products they develop. Other functions such as manufacturing, sales and purchasing are always affected by a proposed design. Within the engineering department itself, one engineer prefers this design or specification while another favors something else. In that sense, all engineered products and designs are themselves outcomes of a negotiation process.

Salespeople bargain with their managers and peers about sales commissions and return allowances for favored customers. They deal with peers in the accounting department every time their expense accounts are challenged. They bargain with pricing for lower prices or higher discounts and for special customer privileges or looser terms of payment. It’s on negotiation after another for salespeople, both inside the organization and when dealing with customers.

We are all negotiators. Knowing how to do it well is important.
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What is face negotiation theory? When was the last time you were having a conversation with someone and noticed their facial reactions? What did you do? Did it alter the way you pushed the conversation forward? In most cases, this is precisely what happens. While some may see an emotional reaction and take advantage of it to press their needs or desires, others may shift their manner of speech, change the subject, or otherwise be more concerned with how that individual is reacting or responding...

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Whether you’re negotiating for a better price on lunch or a new car or a multi-million dollar deal at work, how you listen matters. Of all the life skills we develop from childhood, listening is actually one of the most overlooked and underappreciated...

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