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The Art of Negotiating: Creative Collaborations
by Andrew E. Schwartz

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Negotiating is a hot topic these days for a good reason. It is difficult to imagine a more vital managerial skill than the skill of negotiating. Effective managers must be superior negotiators. Without solid negotiating abilities, managers will inevitably make serious mistakes in dealing with people at all levels, both inside and outside their organizations.

As negotiators, managers must concern themselves with substantive issues and their continuing relationships with people. If they push too much, they may create hard feelings and a desire to exact revenge. If they are overly concerned about getting along with others, they may lose in many substantive areas, thereby negatively impacting upon their department and their organization.

Successful negotiating involves trading-off between getting along with people and getting what you want. All negotiators face this dilemma: “How can I get what I really desire and yet maintain a friendly relationship with the other side?” Those who can achieve these seemingly contradictory objectives have mastered the art of negotiating.

Negotiation is a discussion between two or more people with the goal of reaching an amicable agreement on issues separating the parties when neither side has the power nor the desire to use its power to get its own way.

Five Approaches To Negotiating

Forcing: A Win-Lose Outcome: This is a hard-nosed approach that makes heavy demands from the outset. Emotions are displayed frequently, few concessions are made, and the bottom line may be concealed. This technique is used when the other side is determined to make you lose, or in one-shot deals. One advantage of this approach is that it normally uses less time than other approaches and leads to total victory if you have more power than the other side. The disadvantage of forcing is that it can lead to stalemate if the other side uses the same approach. The other side can also become resentful and vengeful.


Andrew E. Schwartz, CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates of Boston, MA a comprehensive management training and professional development organization offering over 40 skills specific programs and practical solutions to today's business challenges.

Copyright, AE Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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