Negotiation refers to the process of reaching an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. Thus, it necessarily requires the recognition and analysis of the interests of all parties. Successful negotiation requires careful understanding of the perceptions and interests of each party and the utilization of surefire techniques of negotiation (Management Sciences for Health and United Nations Children’s Fund 1998).
It is suggested by many that the hardest part in any negotiation occurs before the parties sit down at the negotiation table. This means that a lot of the success in negotiation may be attributed to adequate preparation prior to the actual negotiation process itself (Management Sciences for Health and United Nations Children’s Fund 1998).
Preparation to negotiation involves planning and intelligence gathering. One of the important things that a negotiator must learn include the interests and expectations of the parties, the non negotiable and negotiable terms, different negotiation strategies, and possible concessions and other alternatives. Preparing adequately for negotiation would enable the negotiator to anticipate issues and problems and plan strategies in advance, placing him at an advantage (Dolan 2004).
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Negotiators must act ethically in any given situation. It should be kept in mind that the goal of negotiation is the resolution of conflict and reaching an agreement mutually acceptable to parties. Therefore, both parties must treat each other with respect, transparency and honesty so that the process remains a viable option in case of conflicts of interest (Cohen 2004).
Finally, negotiators must know how to act when actions get stalled. There may be no hard and fast rules in such kinds of situations; the ultimate guide to any negotiator lies in the nature of the negotiation process itself, which is a tool for reaching an agreement. Thus, when actions get stalled, parties must exert effort to choose alternative courses of action that could still benefit all stakeholders (Management Sciences for Health and United Nations Children’s Fund 1998).
Cohen, S. P. 2004, “Negotiation Ethics: A Matter of Common Sense.” The Negotiator Magazine [Online], Available at http://www.negotiatormagazine.com/article217_1.html
Dolan, J. P. 2004, ‘Six Steps For Negotiation Preparation,’ Available at
Management Sciences for Health and United Nations Children’s Fund. 1998, ‘Negotiation Techniques,’ Available at http://erc.msh.org/quality/ittools/itnegot2.cfm
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