Tag archive: understand-other-viewpoints-in-bargaining
You Have More Power Than You Think-Part One
Experienced negotiators know that negotiating power is one of the most important factors influencing outcome. Experiments show that negotiators often underestimate and undervalue the strengths they have in dealing with others. Knowing how to assess your strengths and to understand the limits of an opposer’s power is essential to getting ready for any negotiation. Power may be defined as the ability of one party to control the resources and benefits accruing to the other. To the extent one can control what the other needs, that person holds the balance of power. Our goal in dealing with associates at work is certainly not to control what they need or to take advantage of their weaknesses or constraints. What we want in relation-based internal negotiations is for each participant to express their viewpoints or proposals in the best way possible without fear of censure or personal criticism. We want each person on the team to present its arguments in a rational, coherent manner. Only in that way will the project or collaborative group emerge from the meeting with better ideas and solutions. Our contention is that in negotiation, you usually have more power than you think. In developing this thesis we will consider the sources and limitations of bargaining power. We believe that those who walk into a negotiation more confident of their bargaining position will present their positions more assertively and positively. They will also be less averse to taking the risks that go with every negotiation and better prepared for the emotional frustrations that so often surface when people feel strongly about their positions and ideas. Power in negotiation is not what it appears to be. The other party, like yourself, has constraints on their power that you are unlikely to be aware of. They also have needs exerting pressure on them that they are cognizant of although you are not. In most negotiations you will be far more aware of the pressures on yourself than those of the other side. That’s why you will gain a measure of power by taking the time to discover the pressures and limits on them rather than dwelling on your own constraints. Both parties in a negotiation have constraints that limit their actions, even when they are strong. These limits may be legal or moral, economic or physical, imagined or real. Whatever the reason, these factors reduce their ability to use all the power they possess.Read more »
Negotiating with No Authority-Why It is Wise
Would you negotiate with a person who could make no concessions? Your first reaction is probably “no.” Bit when you think about it, most salespeople you deal with when shopping at a department store cannot deviate from their company policy, price or terms. Most have no apparent authority to change anything. Yet, despite this absence of authority, we do business with them as though they had it. If in the course of the transaction you decide to negotiate for a better deal, you have to start with them. The reason we deal with those who lack authority is that they perform a necessary negotiating function. They serve as conduits to those with authority. Although they cannot grant concessions, they listen to our arguments, supply information and carry our viewpoints to their management. As a buyer, I have dealt with salespeople who, though they did not themselves have authority to change price or terms, knew how to get around obstacles in their organization on my behalf. In a sense, they acted as my agent by urging their sales managers to make significant exceptions and concessions to their offerings. Often these concessions were granted by the sales managers, not so much to help me, but to show their own salespeople that they were willing to do all they could to help close the sale. Some of these people did a better job of getting a “yes” answer from their own organization than I, as the buyer, could ever do. As a manager of both sales and purchasing activities at different times in my career, I have found that there are significant advantages gained by sending someone into bargaining without authority. It changes the negotiation from a “give and take” to a “take and take” affair. If, for example, your negotiating representatives are personable, here are some benefits they are likely to win without giving much if anything in return:Read more »
- They can win some price concessions.
- They can discover what the other party wants and the priorities they place on getting those wants fulfilled.
- They can find new both-win ways for the sides to mutually benefit.
- They can learn about the other party’s decision-making process, who decides and on what basis.
- They can find weaknesses in the other party’s position or arguments.
- They can gain an insight into the minimum concessions higher authority must make to close the deal.