We can work on Improving Negotiation Skills

1 Discussion: Negotiations Analyze the following article: Improving Negotiation Skills: Rules for Master Negotiators. Describe a key point that stood out to you as a critical step you need to take in future negotiations. What is one area

Improving Negotiation Skills: Rules for Master Negotiators
This article was edited and reviewed by FindLaw Attorney Writers | Last updated August 10, 2018


“A negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us.”1

“Take it or leave it!” “This proposal is non-negotiable.” “Don’t ask me to go back to my client on this. This is all we are going to do.” “This is it. If you don’t want to accept it at that price, forget it.” “Negotiating with you is a waste of time. We’ll see you at the courthouse!” How do you feel when you hear statements like this? How do you feel when people are belligerent; when they hang up on you, literally or figuratively; when they let you know that they do not want to have a dialogue with you about such ethereal subjects as your needs, interests, or concerns about a proposal or a transaction?

If you react negatively to ultimatums, inflexibility, and statements like those in the preceding paragraph, you may come to the realization that other people feel the same way. Unless you are in the military, or subject to some similar hierarchical organization, you will conclude that, if you want to have a relationship with the party on the other side of the table or the other end of the phone, you must negotiate. Negotiation is unavoidable.

Most of us negotiate with one another frequently. Once we realize this, theoretically, we have two choices: accept the fact that negotiation is a way of life in our culture and improve our skills so that we can negotiate with confidence; or, do nothing about it. Some may argue that negotiation is an art, that it is intuitive; or, that we all know how to negotiate, learning basic skills on the playgrounds of life. Perhaps there are naturally gifted negotiators. But, as a lawyer and a mediator who has spent over 20 years litigating, negotiating settlements, negotiating transactions for clients, and negotiating personal transactions, I can attest to the fact that a lot of negotiators are not naturally gifted.

“… most people simply don’t know how to negotiate. Our parents don’t teach us how to negotiate, probably because their parents didn’t teach them how to negotiate. And despite the fact that negotiating is a vital skill, we’re taught nothing about it in school. That leads to the second reason there are so few negotiators: people don’t think it’s possible to learn how to become one. Since we’re not taught how to negotiate we just assume it cannot be taught. The third, and I believe most powerful, reason is fear.”2

We can all improve our skills as negotiators. But, how? Conjure up two individuals: the “Master Negotiator” and the “Novice Negotiator”. The Master Negotiator is not someone who works miracles, who can pull off remarkable “swindles” or hypnotize his or her opponents into barking like dogs and doing other things that they would not ordinarily do. The Master Negotiator is simply demonstratively better than the Novice Negotiator. The Master Negotiator’s skills are obvious. While he may not walk on water, he will consistently get the best deal possible under the circumstances. On occasion, perhaps even frequently, he will get remarkably good results. Why?

What sets the Master Negotiator apart? Why do we consider him a master? What does he know that the rest of us do not? What can we learn from him? My purpose is to address these questions and to provide some answers. My hope is that, if we can observe how the masters do it, the rest of us will improve by following their examples. In trying to formulate a picture of the Master Negotiator I have surveyed the current literature on the subject and added my opinions based upon my own anecdotal research. I have concluded that Master Negotiators follow certain rules that novices do not understand or that they do not implement. I have attempted to state these rules and discuss their corollaries.

This is a work-in-progress. Interested readers can find a copy of this paper and all future evolutions on my web site.

Fundamental Elements of the Negotiation Process

“… negotiations commonly follow a four-step path: preparation, information exchange, explicit bargaining, and commitment. … Negotiation is, in short, a kind of universal dance with four stages or steps. And it works best when both parties are experienced dancers.” 3

One of the interesting aspects to negotiation theory is that even the fundamental elements of the process are subject to varying opinions. The quotation above breaks the process down into four phases. I prefer three. Let’s review the basics before moving on.

Phase I: Pre-bargaining Phase

  1. Information: Learn as much as you can about the problem. What information do you need from the other side?
  2. Leverage Evaluation: Evaluate your leverage and the other party’s leverage at the outset. This is important because there may be a number of things you can do to improve your leverage or diminish the leverage of the other side. What will you do to enhance your leverage?
  3. Analysis: What are the issues?
  4. Rapport:4 Establish rapport with your opponent(s). You need to determine early on if your opponents are going to be cooperative; if not, consider employing a mediator as soon as practical.
  5. Goals and expectations: Goals are one thing; expectations are something else.
  6. Type of negotiation: What type of negotiation do you expect? Will this be highly competitive, cooperative, or something unusual? Will you be negotiating face to face, by fax, through a mediator, or in some other manner?
  7. Budget: Every negotiation has its costs. Lawyers will avoid conflicts with their clients by discussing budgets sooner rather than later. Many times there are a number of choices for enhancing leverage. For example, you may enhance your leverage by taking several depositions, by adding parties to a law suit, by serving subpoenas on witnesses, or by hiring experts. Unless your client has unlimited resources, you will have to make some hard choices, which should be designed to give you the “most bang for your buck”.
  8. Plan: What’s your negotiation plan?

Phase II: Bargaining Phase

  1. Logistics: When, where, and how will you negotiate? This can be especially important in multi-party cases.
  2. Opening offers: What is the best offer you can justify? Should you make it, or wait to let another party go first?
  3. Subsequent offers: How should you adjust your negotiating plan when responding to unanticipated moves by your opponent?
  4. Tactics: What sort of tactics will you employ? What sort of tactics is your opponent using on you?
  5. Concessions: What concessions will you make? How will you make them?
  6. Resolution: What is the best way to resolve the problem? Is there an elegant solution? Be on constant lookout for compromise and creative solutions.

Phase III: Closure Phase

  1. Logistics: How and when will you close? At mediation or later on? Who will prepare the final agreement?
  2. Documentation: Prepare a closing checklist.
  3. Emotional closure: It’s one thing to end a legal dispute; it’s another to address the underlying interests and needs of the parties. If you neglect the latter, the agreement will probably not sustain.
  4. Implementation: It’s not over until it is over.

Some of these elements are self-explanatory and elementary. I address the others below.

Rule 1: Attitude

Rule 1.1: Everything is negotiable all of the time.

Attitude is critical. Novice negotiators do not understand that everything is negotiable all of the time. They give up too easily. If you slam your briefcase and walk out of a negotiation session, they do not understand that this is a tactic; they interpret it as the end of the negotiation.

I had a custody case recently in which I was representing a father who was concerned about his ex-spouse’s emotional stability. Since their divorce, she had changed jobs several times, changed sexual partners several times, and had problems with her temper and her temperance. On his behalf, I contacted her lawyer and requested that she submit to a psychological evaluation. When that request was ignored, we filed a suit, requesting that the father have primary custody of the children. I then proposed to my opposing counsel that we schedule mediation. She refused because “your client wants custody of the children, and my client will never agree to that”. She failed to understand that my client’s lawsuit was a negotiating tactic. Had she understood this, she could have saved her client substantial legal fees. This is a common scenario. Many lawsuits wind up in court because lawyers do not understand that “positions” are always negotiable.

“Many attributes go into making a skillful negotiator, including such things as having a good memory, being ‘quick verbally’, and handling stress well. But effectiveness is as much a matter of attitude as it is of ability. The best negotiators exhibit four key habits of thought that everyone, regardless of their style or IQ, can adopt to improve their negotiation results …
A willingness to prepare
High expectations
The patience to listen

Sample Solution

This page of the article has 2111 words. Download the full form above. The United States is home to the absolute generally famous and productive sequential executioners ever. Names, for example, Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgeway, and the Zodiac Killer have become commonly recognized names because of the horrendous idea of their violations. One of the most productive sequential executioners in American history is John Wayne Gacy. Nicknamed the Killer Clown as a result of his calling, Gacy assaulted and killed at any rate 33 adolescent young men and youngsters somewhere in the range of 1972 and 1978, which is one of the most elevated realized casualty checks. Gacy’s story has become so notable that his violations have been included in mainstream society and TV appears, for example, American Horror Story: Hotel and Criminal Minds. Measurable science has, and keeps on playing, a significant job in the illuminating of the case and distinguishing proof of the people in question. John Wayne Gacy’s history of sexual and psychological mistreatment was instrumental in arousing agent’s curiosity of him as a suspect. John Wayne Gacy was conceived on March 17, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. Being the main child out of three kids, Gacy had a stressed relationship with his dad, who drank intensely and was regularly harsh towards the whole family (Sullivan and Maiken 48). In 1949, a contractual worker, who was a family companion, would pet Gacy during rides in his truck; be that as it may, Gacy never uncovered these experiences to his folks because of a paranoid fear of revenge from his dad (Foreman 54). His dad’s mental maltreatment proceeded into his young grown-up years, and Gacy moved to Las Vegas where he worked quickly in the emergency vehicle administration before turning into a funeral home orderly (Sullivan and Maiken 50). As a morgue chaperon, Gacy was vigorously associated with the preserving procedure and conceded that one night, he moved into the casket of a perished young kid and touched the body (Cahill and Ewing 46). Stunned at himself, Gacy comes back to Chicago to live with his family and graduates from Northwestern Business College in 1963, and acknowledges an administration learner position with Nunn-Bush Shoe Company. In 1964, Gacy is moved to Springfield and meets his future spouse, Marlynn Myers. In Springfield, Gacy has his subsequent gay experience when an associate shakily performed oral sex on him (London 11:7). Gacy moves to Waterloo, Iowa, and starts a family with Myers. Nonetheless, after normally undermining his better half with whores, Gacy submits his originally known rape in 1967 upon Donald Vorhees. In the coming months, Gacy explicitly mishandles a few different adolescents and is captured and accused of oral homosexuality (Sullivan and Maiken 60). On December 3, 1968, Gacy is indicted and condemned to ten years at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Gacy turns into a model prisoner at Anamosa and is conceded parole in June of 1970, an insignificant year and a half after his condemning. He had to move to Chicago and live with his mom and watch a 10:00PM check in time. Not exactly a year later, Gacy is accused again of explicitly attacking a young kid yet the adolescent didn’t show up in court, so the charges were dropped. Gacy was known by numerous individuals in his locale to be a devoted volunteer and being dynamic in network legislative issues. His job as “Pogo the Clown” the jokester started in 1975 when Gacy joined a neighborhood “Sprightly Joker” comedian club that normally performed at raising money occasions. On January 3, 1972, Gacy submits his first homicide of Timothy McCoy, a 16-year old kid going from Michigan to Omaha. Asserting that McCoy went into his room employing a kitchen blade, Gacy gets into a physical squabble with McCoy before cutting him more than once in the chest. In the wake of understanding that McCoy had absentmindedly strolled into the live with the blade while attempting to get ready breakfast, Gacy covers the body in his creep space. Gacy conceded in the meetings following his capture that slaughtering McCoy gave him a “mind-desensitizing climax”, expressing that this homicide was the point at which he “understood demise was a definitive rush” (Cahill and Ewing 349). Very nearly 2 years after the fact, Gacy submits his second homicide of a unidentified young person. Gacy choked the kid before stuffing the body in his storage room before covering him (Cahill 349). In 1975, Gacy’s business was developing rapidly and his craving for youngsters developed with it. Gacy frequently attracted youngsters under his work to his home, persuading them to place themselves in binds, and assaulting and tormenting them before choking them (Cahill 169-170). The greater part of Gacy’s killings occurred somewhere in the range of 1976 and 1978, the first of this time occurring in April 1976. A considerable lot of the young people that were killed during this time were covered in a creep space under Gacy’s home. For the rest of the killings, Gacy confessed to losing five bodies the I-55 scaffold into the Des Plaines River; be that as it may, just four of the bodies were ever recouped (Linedecker 152). In December 1978, Gacy meets Robert Jerome Piest, a 15-year old kid working at a drug store and extends to him an employment opportunity at Gacy’s firm. Piest illuminates his mom regarding this and neglects to restore that night. The Piest family documents a missing individual’s report and the drug specialist advises police that Gacy would in all likelihood be the man that Jerome addressed about an occupation. When addressed by the police, Gacy denied any inclusion in Piest’s vanishing. In any case, the police were not persuaded, and Gacy’s history of sexual maltreatment and battery provoked the police to look through his home. Among the things found at Gacy’s home were a 1975 secondary school class ring with the initials J.A.S., numerous driver’s licenses, binds, apparel that was unreasonably little for Gacy, and a receipt for the drug store that Piest had worked at. Through the span of the following hardly any days, specialists got various calls and tips about Gacy’s rapes and the strange vanishings of Gacy’s workers. The class ring was in the long run followed back to John A. Szyc, one of Gacy’s casualties in 1977. Futhermore, after analyzing Gacy’s vehicle, examiners found a little group of filaments looking like human hair, which were sent to the labs for additional investigation. That equivalent night, search hounds were utilized to distinguish any hint of Piest in Gacy’s vehicle, and one of the pooches showed that Piest had, truth be told, been available in the vehicle. On December 20, 1977, under the pressure of consistent police reconnaissance and examination, Gacy admits to more than 30 homicides and advises his legal counselor and companion where the bodies were covered, both in the creep space and the stream. 26 casualties were found in the creep space and 4 in the waterway. Gacy is captured, indicted for 33 homicides, and condemned to death by deadly infusion. He endeavored a madness request however was denied, and was executed on May 10, 1994.>

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