Business Negotiation March 02, 2016

The Age of Collaboration and Negotiation

Not a day goes by in this century that we are not reminded that our economic world is indeed flat. Competition in the global marketplace is more fierce than ever...

Not a day goes by in this century that we are not reminded that our economic world is indeed flat. Competition in the global marketplace is more fierce than ever. The battle for market share, control of resources and technological dominance will continue for the balance of our lives. On a personal level there is little doubt that our jobs, our salaries and our standard of living will be increasingly affected. We see evidence of these changes everywhere.

The workplace itself is changing under our feet and we must move with it. Disputes and disagreements between superiors, peers and subordinates are likely to increase as more of us become knowledge, information and service professionals rather than production or manufacturing executives. Top-down decision-making and management, while still dominant, will gradually give way more and more to team and project organization.

We can safely project that members of these teams will be better educated than those of earlier generations. Each will have developed technically and professionally along paths of specialization previously unheard of. These “idea” people will feel strongly about their viewpoints and concerns. They will defend their ideas vigorously and have a lower tendency to be passive when confronted with conflicting views or values.

The same factors will come to play on the factory floor and service sectors not at so fast a rate as in the professional classes. They will also demand a greater voice in how things are done and managed. They will want to negotiate a greater range of workplace issues.

We are in the age of collaboration and negotiation as far as ideas and viewpoints are concerned. How we handle and resolve the rising tide of conflict is crucial. We can continue to deal with each other as we have in the past and accept an increasing level of dysfunction, or we can embrace a new approach that fosters the open exchange of ideas and increased innovation.

What I propose is a new approach and model for working together and resolving difference harmoniously and productively in an economic world centered on ideas, constant innovation, individual choice and intense competition. That model, “The Effective Negotiating Virtuous Cycle,” with its emphasis on Collaborative Negotiating, Being Heard and Listened To, and Building Positive Relationships, when applied by each of us in the workplace, has the power to help us work together more effectively and lift our level of creativity to greater heights. With that our success in the global marketplace will grow.
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