The Negotiator Magazine

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A successful negotiation, whether that is in the USA Australia or anywhere around the world, revolves around three critical elements:

  1. Types of negotiations
  2. Different possible outcomes
  3. Negotiating Styles

Because these elements are so critical, I've decided to split this article into a background on negotiation and then an examination of each element.


Negotiation has been defined quite differently by a number of autllors, researchers and academics. Below are a sample of tllose def1nitions:

"The processes by which two or more interdependent parties who do not have identical preferences across decision alternatives make joint decisions" (Bazerman & Carroll, 1987).

"It seems best to define 'negotiation' as including all cases in which two or more parties are communicating, each for the pmpose of influencing the other's decision." (Fisher, Emeritus Professor, 1991).

"Communication is at the heart of the negotiating process and is the central instrumental process." (Lewicki & utterer, 1985).

"Negotiation includes cooperation and competition. Common and conflicting interests, is nothing new. In fact, it is typically understood that these elements are boili present and can be disentangled." (Lax & Sebenius, 1986).

These def1nitions touch on each of the tluee elements, and my experience is if you wish to become globally effective or just better in your domestic market, you better be a good negotiator and know how to apply each element.

1. Types of Negotiation

Understanding the importance of identifying the type of negotiation you are involved in often means the difference between success and a poor outcome.

Out of habit, most people enter into every negotiation in the same way. This is not only time-consuming but counter-productive. After all, you don't treat each of your friends and acquaintances exactly the same way, do you? Isn't there someone you know who's a bit more sensitive than most so you have to be extra careful not to hurt their feelings. Or what about tllose members of the family witll such a tlllck hide that you need to be uncommonly blunt to get the message across?

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March 2005