Ideas, however creative or original, will not reach the global marketplace unless we as entrepreneurs learn to work together and make decisions in a better way. A report published recently in the Wall Street Journal made that point in no uncertain terms. The report, titled “Project Design,” describes seven good ideas and how they moved toward market, some successfully, others not. The editor, Lawrence Rout, wrote:
“It begins with an idea. A pair of women’s jeans that fits well but won’t cost a lot… a car that will appeal to consumers in both China and the U.S…. a watch that can be worn indoors but has a flashlight that makes it particularly useful at night.” And then, Mr. Rout says, “It gets interesting. Because it’s one thing to have a broad idea of what you want to a product to be. It’s something else to figure out how it will all be put together and what it’s actually going to look like.”
The report goes on to cover other products that reached the marketplace after considerable research and collaboration. In every case, it was teams of specialists who nursed these ideas to market, not individuals working by themselves in small laboratories or garages as in earlier times.
This blog is titled, “Moving to Agreement Through Relationship-Based Compromise and Concession-Exchange” for two reasons. When bargaining for anything, we usually proceed toward agreement through a series of reciprocal concessions and compromises. Through the process of sharing information and give and take, we reconnoiter the possible settlement range and move to a fair and reasonable agreement that satisfies both parties. The negotiating and concession exchange process, while far from perfect, is a relatively fast and efficient way to reach agreement.
The words “relationship-based compromise and concession-exchange” in the title are critically important in the context of negotiations taking place within our own organizations. In the workplace it is essential that all concession-making approaches take into account the significance of maintaining and advancing positive relationships between the parties. Unless we do so our ability to work together on a daily will result in little or nothing getting done.
Relationships are, of course, important in external negotiations such as those between diplomats of different countries or buyers and sellers. While important, they are not as crucial there as they are in internal dealing where interpersonal matters like respect, honesty, transparency, belonging and credibility play such a large role. In the next blogs, we will explore the difference between relationship-based negotiation and concession exchange, and the conventional competitive techniques often employed in external give and take negotiations.
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