The main essence of negotiation is to reach an agreement based on mutual understanding between the parties involved. This process is characterised by various factors as going to be outlined below. Against, this background, negotiating for a tender to supply textbooks to a certain school for instance, may require teamwork as a strategic approach. Thus, the main aim of this reflective report is to critically analyse a personal action plan in this negotiating process. The report details the critical steps I will implement as an individual while remaining part of the team and it also seeks to explore the measures that can be put in place in order to be a successful negotiator in the future in real life situations.
Gathering facts as well as the other relevant information related to a subject of interest in negotiation is imperative as it works as a guideline towards the attainment of set goals to be achieved. Information related to the school requirements related to the supplying of textbooks forms the foundation of the negotiating process. The major aim of entering into a negotiation is to get the tender which is part of the business.
Collecting this information is vital in that it better positions myself to know all the facts at hand that may be required to convince the administrators to award the tender to us. This also helps create awareness of the other party’s information about their operations. For instance, in schools, there are specific textbooks required to be used according to the syllabus and this enlightens the negotiator on basic requirements in soliciting for such a deal. Whilst the negotiating forum is comprised of a team, working as an individual is significant in that it equips me with the correct tactical approach given that I will have all the necessary knowledge required in negotiating for a tender.
Negotiation of such magnitude has to be approved by a board hence the need to be as authentic as possible so as to avoid taking a biased direction. This is based on a real life situation hence the need to reflect that the negotiation will be based on real knowledge about the particular subject. In a distributive negotiation, the party who gives an aggressive first offer is better positioned to gain positive results in this kind of negotiation since he or she has the anchor to direct the process given that some concessions can be made along the line.
The strategic negotiation process should be influenced by the individual’s RP which should not be conceded for the other offerings as this would weaken the negotiator’s position. Apparently, the negotiator should first conduct a thorough research about the other party’s BATNA as well as making considerable efforts to estimate their RP.
The main advantage of this approach is that the negotiator is endowed with the capacity to make bilateral concessions where necessary which will be based on the facts obtaining on the ground. This stage requires a holistic approach given that it forms the crux of the negotiating process. Knowing the other party’s BATNA is crucial in that discussions held will be based on the same wavelength of understanding where the negotiator can be in control of all the proceedings where necessary concessions can be made if needs be.
Facts are clarified and the correct position is adopted and the negotiator is entrenched with the power to determine the course of action to take with regards to the attainment of the set goals. It become relatively easier to make an offering when all the required information is readily available since the negotiator is aware of the consequences of such action. Party negotiation is a process hence the style adopted by the negotiator plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the process. This is very important as far as grooming a negotiator is concerned.
Whilst two extreme styles namely; the tough and soft approaches are widely seen as common in a negotiating process, the zero-sum versus integrative approach can be more accommodative since it can allow the negotiator to have considerable room to make informed decisions that are based on the responses from the other party. It is imperative to use persuasion in a negotiation process rather than threats as this would undermine the purpose of negotiating. This is meant to ensure that the negotiator can be able to convince the other party that promises that would be made during the negotiation process can be fulfilled.
In this case, I as the negotiator will be strategically positioned such that I am sidelined or will end up dancing to the tune of the other party but will be in control of the whole process. In order to overcome some of the barriers that may be encountered in the negotiating process, I will make every effort to be rational when negotiating so that I do not deliberately undermine the potential of the other negotiating party though there is every need to make the first offer as this would give me the advantage of manoeuvring the process in my direction.
By virtue of being open, I will stand better chances of achieving maximum cooperation from the other party. The behaviour of the negotiator plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of the negotiation process. Taking a neutral but firm position is always advocated as it gives the negotiator a better position make necessary concessions while upholding the principle of fairness and equity during the process.
Where there is openness in the discussion, chances of reaching a mutual agreement will be very high since all the decisions reached will be based on common understanding. In order to reach a win-win situation, the expanding the pie approach will enable me to create mutual trust with the other party where sharing of information can be made possible. Provision of vital information is important in that considerable gains will be achieved where informed decision based on mutual understanding will be made. Essentially, the purpose of negotiation is to reach an agreement between two parties where there is no one who will cry foul at the end of the day.
By expanding the pie, the negotiator tries to ensure that diverse ideas are accommodated while at the same time trying to ensure the retention of the intended purpose of negotiating. Dictating everything to the other party is not encouraged as it defies the purpose and spirit of the negotiation process. Whilst much groundwork is done individually, group negotiation can also be adopted in this plan to negotiate for a tender to supply books to a school in this plan.
There are likely chances of gaining useful contributions from the other members of the team where ideas and knowledge can be freely shared and can be debated upon. Something that has been agreed upon by a group of people stands better chances of being authentic and ultimate approval which can be an indicator for success if brought to the negotiating table. Negotiating in a group gives them the chance to reflect on the best and worst case scenarios and alternative action that can be taken in the view of any such kind of situation emerging.
Sharing of ideas is ideal in a fair and open negotiation as there will be no hidden agenda that can take the other party by surprise. Over and above, it can be noted that negotiation is a process which requires a holistic approach in order to attain the set goals. There is need to establish an RP then embark on a drive to establish the other party’s BATNA as the focal point of the negotiation process.
Being a good listener and planning an opening offer are good recipes for success in a negotiation. Barriers likely to be encountered can be overcome if the negotiator has all the information required in making an informed decision which is not biased.