An Overview on Negotiation

Let us first go through a real life situation to understand negotiation better.

Your friends want you to come for a late night movie with them. However you very well know that your parents will never appreciate your staying away from house at late nights and you don’t even want to miss the movie as well as the company of your friends.

What would you do? Will you fight with every one?

Another situation

Tom went to a nearby mall and after a day of extensive shopping came across a CD player which he instantly liked. The cost of the CD player was around $30, but unfortunately he was not left with much cash. There was no way he could leave the CD player as it was an exclusive model and Tom was eyeing the product for quite some time.

What would Tom do in such a situation?

The answer to all the above questions lies in a simple word “Negotiation”. You negotiate so that you achieve whatever you want without the fear of conflicts or misunderstandings. It is a peaceful way of accomplishing things without making anyone angry.

We all will agree that nobody has ever gained anything out of conflicts and disagreements. Disputes in turn increase our stress and we feel restless always. One loses focus and eventually his interest in the organization goes down. It is always wise to discuss among yourselves and reach to an alternative best suited to all through negotiations.

What is negotiation?

Negotiation is a technique of discussing issues among one selves and reaching to a conclusion benefiting all involved in the discussion. It is one of the most effective ways to avoid conflicts and tensions. When individuals do not agree with each other, they sit together, discuss issues on an open forum, negotiate with each other and come to an alternative which satisfies all. In a layman’s language it is also termed as bargaining.

Please go through the above two real life situations once again.

You want to go for a movie but you know that your parents will never agree to your decision. Will you fight with your parents? Obviously NO, instead you will sit with them and try your level best to convince them and negotiate with them without fighting and spoiling everyone’s mood. Probably you will spend the coming weekend with your parents if they allow you today for the movie else you will negotiate with your friends so that they agree for a noon show. Negotiation helps you to achieve your goal without hurting anyone. Your goal in this case is to go for a movie and you negotiate either with your parents or friends to achieve the same.

In the second situation, Tom could not afford to lose the CD player as it was an exclusive one, thus he tries to negotiate with the store owner to lower the price so that it suits his pocket and even the store owner earns his profit as well.

Negotiation is essential in corporates as well as personal lives to ensure peace and happiness.

Your boss asks you to submit a report within two working days and you know that the report is a little critical one and needs more time. Will you say a yes to your boss just to please him? Your yes might make the boss happy then but later you will land yourself in big trouble if you fail to submit it within the desired time frame. It’s always better to negotiate with your boss rather than accepting something which you know is difficult. Ask for some more time from your boss or probably don’t make an exhaustive report. Negotiation is better as it would prevent spoiling your relation with your superiors later.


An individual representing an organization or a position who listens to all the parties carefully and comes to a conclusion which is willingly acceptable to all is called the negotiator.

Skills of a negotiator

A negotiator ideally should be impartial and neutral and should not favour any one.

He needs to understand the situation and the parties well and decide something which will benefit all.

It is not always that people will easily accept the negotiator’s decision; they may counter it if they feel their personal interests are not satisfied. In such a situation, where the negotiator is left with no choice, he must use his power to impose his ideas on all, after all one can’t please everyone.

A negotiator has to be a little tactful and smart enough to handle all situations and reach to a conclusion.

Elements of Negotiation


Process + Behaviour + Substance (Agenda)

  • Process- The way individuals negotiate with each other is called the process of negotiation. The process includes the various techniques and strategies employed to negotiate and reach to a solution.

  • Behaviour- How two parties behave with each other during the process of negotiation is referred to as behaviour. The way they interact with each other, the way they communicate with each other to make their points clear all come under behaviour.

  • Substance- There has to be an agenda on which individuals negotiate. A topic is important for negotiation. In the first situation, going for the late night movie was the agenda on which you wanted to negotiate with your parents as well as your friends.

To conclude, negotiation is simply a technique, a discussion among individuals to reach to a mutual agreement where everyone gains something or the other and conflicts are avoided.

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