Negotiation happens every day in business, whether you are hammering out contracts with customers or suppliers, discussing compensation with new hires, or engaging in difficult conversations with peers and senior management. Whether you are a natural-born negotiator or not, there is no doubt that negotiation skills are essential to your professional success. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone: there are proven approaches and techniques to take your business deal-making to the next level. The Science of Negotiation: Strategies for Successful Business Deals combines the latest research in negotiation theory and practice with diverse case studies to explore the fundamental principles behind effective negotiation strategies. The book looks at the underlying dynamics of negotiations and how you can shape the outcome of a transaction through creative and analytical thinking.
The text also explains the role of emotions in the process and how they can be used as leverage to work out a deal. Until recently, experts have generally not paid much attention to how specific emotional influences affect negotiation outcomes. But researchers are now studying how emotions such as anger, fear, envy, anxiety and others affect the way we overcome conflict, reach agreement and create value in negotiations. One of the most important negotiation techniques is claiming and creating value. This involves knowing what you are trying to achieve and then building a case that supports your position. For example, it is not uncommon to find that you can increase your potential for a win-win result by expanding the scope of the conversation and considering what the other party’s different preferences might be.
One useful analogy is that of baking a cake: the more you share with the other party, the bigger the ‘cake’ you can bake. However, if you give too much away your position can be weakened and you may end up with a smaller slice. Another important point is avoiding a non-negotiable stance. It is easy to fall into this trap, especially if you are confident that your position is right and your opponents are wrong. But this strategy often backfires. If you stick to your non-negotiables, the other party may use your inflexibility as a cudgel against you. Finally, be sure to ask lots of questions. This can be a challenge because many people feel that asking too many questions is rude or invasive.
But research shows that people are more likely to regret errors of omission than those they have committed, so make learning a central goal in your negotiations. The Science of Negotiation is a must-read for anyone involved in business deals and who wants to learn how to maximize their success. It is a timely and insightful book that demonstrates how the power of analytical thinking can be applied to even the most complex negotiation scenarios.