Negotiation is a fact of life. Everyone negotiates something every day.
Any method of negotiation may be judged by three criteria:
1. Should produce wise agreement if it is possible
2. Should be efficient
3. Should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties
Negotiation takes place on two levels:
- Addresses the substance; and
- Focuses on the procedure for dealing with the substance.
Negotiations are viewed as hard if:
- Participants are adversaries;
- Goal is avictory;
- Concessions are demanded as a condition of the relationship;
- Others are distrust in search of the single answer: the one you will accept;
- Becomes a trial to win a contest of wills; and
- Pressure is applied.
Negotiations are viewed as Soft if:
- Participants are friends;
- The goal is reaching an agreement;
- Concessions are made to cultivate the relationship;
- People are soft on the other people and the problem;
- Others are trusted;
- Positions are changed easily;
- Offers are made;
- There is a search for the single answer: the one they will accept;
- Insistence on anagreement is pursued;
- A contest of wills is avoided; and
- Parties are willing to yield on pressure.