Do you sometimes feel like life is just one extended negotiation? We negotiate with different people all the time—whether it’s with our parents, children, coworkers or strangers. But have you noticed how we use different negotiation styles every time? The persuasion techniques we use with our coworkers are completely different from the way we bargain with shopkeepers.

We use different negotiation skills and strategies to fulfill our objectives. Let’s look at some of these methods and understand negotiation in detail.

What Is Negotiation?

Negotiation is a type of strategic discussion used to reach agreements and settle disputes between two or more people. It’s a process of communication that persuades someone to agree with an opposing viewpoint. Negotiations generally end in a compromise that benefits everybody involved.

We engage in various types of negotiations depending on the situation we’re in. Here are some of the most common features that can make any type of negotiation successful:

  • Negotiation isn’t always about winning, it’s about reaching an agreement

  • Without flexibility and open-mindedness, negotiations can create conflicts

  • You must be able to monitor your emotions to present objective arguments and negotiate constructively

Types Of Negotiation Strategies

We should consider different types of negotiation tactics and judge the situation we’re in before we engage with others. Let’s look at a few effective negotiation strategies that might prove helpful.

  1. Distributive Negotiation

In this type of negotiation, people argue over a single issue. At its simplest, we engage in distributive negotiation when the grounds for negotiation aren’t very flexible. For example, if you want to buy a limited edition watch, you can lower the price only to a certain extent. You’ll have to settle for the price that the seller states.

  1. Integrative Negotiation

This type of negotiation is a complex process as it focuses on multiple things at the same time. However, it leads to trust and cooperation, because everybody walks away satisfied. For example, when you accept a job offer, you may negotiate the terms and conditions before confirmation. Your employers will agree because you’re an ideal candidate. Integration is a valuable problem-solving tool for organizations.

  1. One-Shot vs. Repeated Negotiations

Some negotiations are one-shot, where people negotiate only once. There is no intention of negotiating again in the future. For example, public auctions. The buyers get to place their bids only once. There’s no room for future negotiations because the item is auctioned off.

On the other hand, repeated negotiations are those where people engage in negotiations more than once. This creates a sense of mutual trust because it allows different individuals to communicate for a prolonged period of time. For example, brainstorming sessions in workplaces lead to repeated negotiations as people continue to suggest ideas until they reach a consensus.

What Are Negotiation Skills?

Negotiation is an art that can be mastered over time. You can develop negotiation skills and learn how to persuade others successfully. The ability to negotiate well requires foundational skills like communication, planning and cooperation.

Here are the different types of negotiation skills we use in life:

  1. Build Rapport

Communication is at the core of meaningful negotiation. It’s important that you listen more than you speak. It may not be feasible to engage in small talk but it’s a fruitful way to know others’ viewpoints. Build rapport in order to ease yourself into the negotiation process.

  1. Have A Strategy

Never rush your negotiations. Always take the time to prepare and follow a plan. When you have a concrete strategy in place, you’ll know how to steer the discussion during critical moments. For example, you may establish a timeframe for your negotiation process. That’ll help prevent unnecessary discussions that may lead to conflicts.

  1. Develop Your BATNA

A Harappa framework, BATNA stands for ‘Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement’. It’s considered to be the most beneficial alternative you take if negotiations fail or you can’t reach an agreement. In short, your BATNA is your ability to walk away and take another deal. Now imagine you’re flat-hunting. You’re likely to use BATNA and talk to a broker who can show you places for a lower fee.

Harappa Education’s Negotiating Wisely course will teach you how to negotiate successfully. You’ll learn the necessary skills to persuade others and make compelling arguments. The Contentious Tactics framework will show you the various strategic methods to maximize gains in negotiations. Leave a lasting impression with the power of your negotiation skills!


Explore topics & skills such as What is Negotiation, Negotiation Skills, Negotiating Technique & Persuasion and Negotiation from our Harappa Diaries section and learn to negotiate wisely.

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