Principled NegotiatingThis document takes a look at principled negotiating, a strategy discussed in the book “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In.” By analyzing this strategy one will see it draws many parallels to gifted advocacy. These parallels can be used to make one feel confident and comfortable in the role of a gifted advocate. For a summary of “Getting to Yes”, watch this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R4zit1ekUts).
DefinitionPrincipled negotiation can be defined by two key components:
The idea is by using these components you will produce a wise agreement that meets legitimate interests, resolves conflicting interests fairly and starts the beginning of a working relationship (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991, p. 4).
What is a must for Principled Negotiating to Work?Flexibility. More often than not when someone is negotiating they don’t look for mutual gains because they are too focused on their own position. When this happens less time is dedicated to meeting the concerns of the parties involved and there is a chance the meeting could turn personal. This is where flexibility comes in. Keep an open mind and look at all of the possibilities that exist. Meeting whatever concerns that are on the table allows for mutual gains and progress to be made (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 5).
Steps to Accomplish Principled Negotiating
The Negotiation/MeetingTry not to frame the negotiation or meeting as a “contest of will” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 20). Instead use “accurate perceptions, clear communication, appropriate emotions and a forward-looking, purposive outlook” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 21). “Where perceptions are inaccurate, you can look for ways to educate… Where misunderstanding exists, you can work to improve communication” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 21).
During the meeting it is important to keep in mind three things:
Understanding Doesn’t Mean AgreeingYou want to remember that when you speak you are doing so to be understood not debate. Think of you and the other party as two court justices trying to work out a joint opinion. Try to speak about yourself and not them. In the end, you want to separate the substantive problem from the relationship to build a working relationship (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 pgs. 35, 36, 37).
Reconcile InterestsFor every interest there usually exist several options to fulfill it. This is why one must reconcile interests rather than positions (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 42). This is a collaborative approach, since you are willing to hear and discuss their interests. For this reason they owe it to you to listen and discuss yours. “As long as you do not seem to imply that the other side’s interests are unimportant or illegitimate, you can afford to take a strong stance in setting forth the seriousness of your concerns” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 51). This can be a fine line because you don’t want the other party to feel under attack, but rather that your interest deserves attention (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 51).
How to Create Options
Brainstorm with the other side, which will lead to joint problem solving. Remember, options invite other options. Positions do not. (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 pgs. 63, 65).
What if Administrators Won’t Budge?Sometimes gifted advocates will run into situations where the school they are working with simply will not budge. In cases where all of the leverage lies on the other side it might be helpful to develop a BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 97).
A BATNA aims to provide one with two important objectives. It first is to “protect you from making an agreement you should reject” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 97). Second, it will “help you make the most out of assets you do have so that any agreement you reach will satisfy your interests as well as possible”( Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991 p. 97).
How to develop a BATNAComing up with a strong BATNA can be done by following three steps:
ConclusionIn the above information there probably isn’t much that you didn’t already know or have experience with. The authors of “Getting to Yes” Roger Fisher and William Ury point this out in the conclusion of their book. They said their goal was to organize common sense into a practical structure that could be acted out or used as a starting point. Fisher and Ury also note that a book and it’s information can point you in the right direction, but best thing to do when negotiating, or advocating in this case, is to learn from doing.
Work CitedFisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton B. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Penguin Books
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