The Negotiator Magazine

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Principle 3: Negotiations Only Work Because Both Sides Have Different Needs.

Negotiations reach deadlock when the parties believe they are both fighting for the same slice of the cake. But the cake is not fixed and doesn't have to be fought over. Each side can work out which piece of the cake they want.

A bad deal:
Dad, can I have a pound to spend?
No, go away. I'm tired.

A good deal:
Dad, can I have a pound to spend?
No...not unless you wash the car for me.
It would cost you £3 to wash the car at the garage. I'll do inside and out for £2.
£1.50 and make sure it's vacuumed.
OK.  Deal!

Principle 4: Negotiations Need Ritual To Replace Conflict.

Negotiations follow ritual procedures. These include formalities at the start, such as the ritual exchange of formal letters outlining your differences, the presentation of respective cases, the haggling as each side moves towards each other, breakdown and then edging towards a settlement.
Ritual is important because...

5. Principle 5: Negotiations Are Back-And-Forth Communications.

A negotiation is a form of communication: it takes place between people, usually face-to-face around the table, sometimes voice-to-voice on the phone and ultimately pen-to-paper. In the space of one negotiation session, the following communication skills may be needed: reading offers and proposals; giving a presentation; selling ideas and proposals; influencing; listening; taking notes; persuading; suggesting; empathizing; reading and using body language; reporting back to others; writing clear agreements; making announcements to others. Not surprisingly, negotiations are often called "back and forth communications".

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October 2006