Part 1: Interests
We all know that everyone negotiates. We all know that we have been negotiating since we were babies, the difference now compared to then is that as a baby, our method of negotiating was crying whereas hopefully now we have a few more tools in our mediator/negotiator toolbox.
Every negotiation, according to Roger Fisher of Harvard's Program on Negotiation, has seven distinguishable elements that are interconnected. They are:
As a mediator, it is important to remember these as you can help the parties move forward, move from positions to interests, and keeping the 7 in mind, it helps move from stalemates (among many other positive uses).
I am going to breakdown the 7 elements into seperate posts by day as a way to get you to keep coming back to my blog (wait, did I just think that or type it?!?).
- I want him to pay me
- I want the radio to stop being so loud
- I want my money back
Interest based negotiationg on the otherhand creates more of a collaborative environment and expands your options. By doing this, its creates a win-win opportunity compared to the combative me versus you/win-lose situation.
- I feel like I was cheated and disrespected
- I need my rest, I go to bed early because I work the early shift
- I paid for a service that I feel I did not get and I am frustrated
Ok, now you know your interests, so you think you are done right? Wrong, you are only halfway there. It is great you know your interests, but in order for the negotiation to get a successful outcome, the agreement must be beneficial to both parties. So yes, you guessed it, you have to figure out the other party's interests too.
Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.
Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.
He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.
(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)