Almost everything in life involves a negotiation of some type. In the business world this is especially true. We negotiate with clients, personnel, and vendors. Before we begin it is important that we are aware of some of the issues that might come into play during the negotiation. If we are aware of these before we start we are better able to recognize them while we are in the midst of the negotiation. We are better able to have successful negotiations. What are those considerations and issues?
Saving face – Face is the image of ourselves that we want to portray to the public. When we encounter people we want them to see us in a particular light, mostly in a way that commands respect
Face Threat Sensitivity – How we view an interaction as a potential threat or danger to our ability to maintain face.
Social costs – These are intangibles and that is where the concept of saving face enters into the equation. If we feel inferior to another, and we feel as if we might be taken advantage of, then we often hesitate to negotiate. The social cost of losing face and being viewed in an unattractive manner by the other is a price we often choose not to pay.
Negotiation Self-Efficacy – How confident are we in our ability to handle a negotiation. If we have low self-esteem or a lack of communication skills we would naturally have low negotiation self-efficacy. We often do not believe we are capable of handling a complex situation. On the other end of the spectrum, if we have high self-esteem we view ourselves as being capable of generating a positive outcome in any environment.
Economic Costs – This is a numerical reality, and it is often one of the deciding factors that we often take into account when we are considering engaging in a negotiation. For example, how much might it cost us financially if the negotiation does not fare well? If we are considering entering a negotiation for a raise but know that the company usually only makes a minimum offer and we will not receive what we want, we often hesitate to enter into the discussion.
Knowledge of Scripts – This is how well we knows or understands what is taking place. If we go into a negotiation without knowledge of the situation or all the angles involved, our Face Threat Sensitivity will be negatively affected. Before entering a negotiation we should have knowledge of how we are going to act and respond to the other party.
Knowledge of Content – This is what feeds the knowledge of scripts. The more we knows about the totality of the discussion, the better off we are and the better chances we have of maintaining face. Our chances of success are enhanced.
Negotiation is indeed an art. If we work on our communication skills, we have a much better chance of being successful. If a person truly wants to improve their communication skills, developing strong negotiation skills is important.
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