Feb 6, 2018 in Communication

Negotiation is a communication between the parties to achieve their goals, in which each party has an equal opportunity to monitor the situation and making of the decision. In the narrow sense, it is a method of alternative dispute resolution. In the wider sense, the negotiation is the communicative interaction between people or social groups. In the process of communication between the participants is an exchange of all kinds of information. Many negotiating couches give numerous advises how to succeed in negotiation, but it is not enough to learn the negotiating techniques from a book. “You must actually negotiate” (Freund, 1975). In real life, negotiation is everywhere, starting with simple communication between people at home, at work or on the street and finishing with global negotiation of politicians or people with authority.

The situation which happened in a small town is a valid example. The authorities announced its decision to build a new city-hall on the place of central park. They were going to cut the trees and occupy the third part of the park. Besides, the new city-hall was going to block the main entrance to the park, so if someone wants to reach it, he or she must go around the huge building. The citizens called the protest and wrote offensive articles about the authority and its decision. The town mayor explained that the new building process will not harm the park. The people calmed down. However, on the plan, which the authority posted on its web site, it was clearly seen that the city-hall will stand in the place where the trees are. Moreover, they will pull down the fountain and the summer stage. The organization of young citizens “My Way” decided to lead the negotiation with the authority and its representatives. They started with the introduction of themselves. They presented the organization and explained their main policies which consider healthy lifestyle, clean ecology and charity. It is very important because “a failure to understand each player’s role can be costly” (Sebenius, 2002). After “getting to know one another” stage, they moved to the definition of goals. The authority wanted a city-hall instead of the park, the My Way wanted to keep the park. The next step of the My Way was the start of the process by their appeal about the importance of the park, about its historical value and resort to the nostalgic feelings of the authority representatives. The town mayor assured that this area was organized for the creation of the administration building. He referred to the plans of town housing made a few years ago. The members of organization convinced with the proving of the importance of the park in the center of the town and its uniqueness. It comes time to find the compromise and make an agreement. The negotiators discovered “hidden sources of value” (Lagace, 2006) of the park as a remarkable place and a favorite place of citizens. The historical facts about its creation and the significance of its name were more important than the city-hall. However, it was no other place in the town centre where the new city-hall could be built. That is why, the parties came to such compromise. The city-hall is going to be built, but the architects will remake the plan of the building. It is going to be smaller. Considering the place, it was decided to build not at the entrance into the central town park, but on the other side of the park. It is going to take an extra 10 minutes to get to the city-hall, but it will be almost in the city center. It will take only a little place in the park, so the main walk and entertainment zone will not be touched at all. Moreover, the new project of the city-hall will be less expensive, so the rest of the money is going to be used for the further improvement of the town. Everyone was satisfied.

According to the Ed Brodow’s tips, the first two secrets of successful negotiation are asking without being afraid and listening. The first protesters did not want to listen to the authority’s arguments. However, My Way did everything right. They explained their position and listened to the town mayor’s opinion. It is important to act calmly, confidently and politely. The improvement of interpersonal skills plays a significant role in negotiations (Tracy, 2012). The successful negotiation is not hard to reach. It is just the question of practice and communication skills.

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