William Ury – Negotiating conflict
Goal is not to get rid of conflict, but rather creative conflict.
We are the biggest barrier to resolving conflict. We have a tendency to react. When angry, we will make the best speech we will regret.
Cf. Joyce Hugget, “Creative Conflict” maybe the best book on self-examining, Gospel-centered, creative/constructive conflict
Most significant skills to being a good negotiator
1. See the people and the problem differently. Be hard on the problem, but soft on the people. Be a listener. Empathize. Negotiating is an exercise in influence. How can you change someone’s mind if you don’t know where they are? Give respect.
2. Be creative. What are the interests?
3. Be fair. Based on objectivity.
People: Separate the people from the problem.
Interests: Focus on interests, not positions. Why is it that you want your position? as you understand interests, you can come up with potent solutions. Eg: two people who want an orange. One wants it for the peel, the other for the fruit (interest) vs. both want the fruit (position).
Options: Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do. Be creative in finding solutions that can meet the interests of both parties.
Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard. Standards that are independent of each other’s will, based on fairness.
BATNA – best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Contingency if you can’t reach an agreement. Having an alternative gives more negotiating confidence and discernment. It also gives you a metric to see if your final agreement is better or worse than the alternative you’ve thought about.
Bottom line says that if you don’t get it, I am going to walk. It is the ultimatum stance and may not be helpful as it distracts you from your interests by only emphasizing positions.