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Conflict resolution and principled negotiation. GLEON Fellowship Program August 2013 Workshop. Based on Getting to Yes by Fisher, Ury , and Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project. Today’s talk and tomorrow’s discussion. Introduce traditional bargaining: positional negotiation

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conflict resolution and principled negotiation

Conflict resolution and principled negotiation

GLEON Fellowship Program

August 2013 Workshop

today s talk and tomorrow s discussion
Today’s talk and tomorrow’s discussion
  • Introduce traditional bargaining: positional negotiation
  • Outline an alternative strategy: principled negotiation
  • Example-based
  • Tuesday: academic case studies
we negotiate every day
We negotiate every day…
  • With a friend about where to go to dinner
  • With a supervisor about a deadline
  • With your landlord about the terms of your lease
the problem positional negotiation
The ProblemPositional negotiation
  • Positional bargaining involves successively taking- and then giving up- positions
  • Shopkeeper example
the problem positional negotiation1
The ProblemPositional negotiation
  • Soft: Make concessions on position to preserve relationship
  • Hard: Insist on position at the cost of the relationship
slide8

The ProblemPositional negotiation

  • Hard bargaining
  • May produce unwise outcomes
  • Inefficient
  • Endangers ongoing relationships
  • Ineffective for multiple party disputes
  • Risk of losing face or getting locked into stated position
  • Soft bargaining
  • More efficient
  • Vulnerable to hard bargainers
  • The major problem in many negotiations is that people assume positions as either hard or soft bargainers
the method principled negotiation
The MethodPrincipled negotiation
  • Fisher, Ury, and Patton suggest it is possible to be soft on the people and hard on the problem
  • People: Separate the people from the problem
  • Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
  • Options: Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do
  • Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard
separate the people from the problem
Separate the people from the problem

Recognize that emotions and egos can become entangled with the problem in negotiations. These can adversely affect your ability to see the other party's position clearly.

  • Union example
  • Clarify perceptions
  • Pay attention to core concerns
  • Recognize and legitimize emotions
  • Communicate clearly
    • Listen first to understand, then speak to be understood
separate the people from the problem1
Separate the people from the problem

Many emotional responses are driven by ‘core concerns’

  • Autonomy: the desire to make your own choices and control your own fate
  • Appreciation: the desire to be recognized and valued
  • Affiliation: the desire to belong as an accepted member of some peer group
  • Role: the desire to have a meaningful purpose
  • Status: the desire to feel fairly seen and acknowledged
  • Ignoring these concerns can generate strong negative emotions
focus on interests not positions
Focus on interests, not positions

Explore the true interests underlying the positions of each side, rather than a focus on the superficial positions with which parties come to the table. The initial positions presented may obscure what the parties really want.

  • Tenant-landlady example
  • Ask questions to explore interests
  • Talk about your own interests
invent options for mutual gain
Invent options for mutual gain

Parties set aside time together to generate alternative candidate solutions. The idea is that parties contribute together creatively to generate possibilities for mutual gain (a ‘win-win’ agreement).

This step involves:

  • Brainstorming
  • Broadening options
  • Looking for mutual gain
  • Making their decision easy
obstacles to inventing options premature judgment
Obstacles to inventing optionsPremature judgment
  • Creativity can be difficult when under scrutiny and immediate judgment
  • The fear that inventing options may reveal information that may jeopardize your bargaining position may limit creativity
obstacles to inventing options searching for the single answer
Obstacles to inventing optionsSearching for the single answer

People often try to create solutions that narrow the gap between positions, rather than broadening options available

    • “I’ll pay $200”
    • “$250 is the best deal I can offer”
  • Options need not lie on a single dimension
  • Racing to the single answer may cut short a wiser decision making process selected from a large number of options
obstacles to inventing options the assumption of a fixed pie
Obstacles to inventing optionsThe assumption of a fixed pie

Many of us often assume a ‘fixed sum’ game, assuming very limited potential outcomes

  • Orange example
obstacles to inventing options solving their problem is their problem
Obstacles to inventing optionsSolving their problem is their problem

Each side is most concerned with their own immediate interests

  • There is often a psychological reluctance to legitimize the other side’s interests because of the risk of weakening one’s own position
  • Failure to detach from your own position will narrow your ability to come up with solutions that satisfy both parties
prescriptions to the obstacles
Prescriptions to the obstacles
  • Separate the act of inventing options from the act of judging them
  • Broaden options on the table rather than looking for a single answer
    • Look through the eyes of different experts
    • Change the scope of the agreement
  • Search for mutual gains
    • Dovetailing differing interests
  • Invent ways of making the other side’s decision easy
  • Iraqi farmer example

Photo credit: Reuters

using objective criteria
Using objective criteria

Use an objective criteria for evaluating the candidate solutions. Options should be consistent with

  • Fair standards or procedures
  • Precedent
  • Market value
  • Independent third party
  • ‘One cuts, the other chooses’
    • Cake example
    • Law of the Sea example
knowing your alternatives to negotiating
Knowing your alternatives to negotiating
  • If there is a large power imbalance, you may feel destined to be on the losing end of the deal
  • You may be pressured into accepting an outcome that is not beneficial to you
  • You may be too committed to reaching an agreement
    • E.g., you have invested a lot of time negotiating a deal

Know your best alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA)

knowing your alternatives
Knowing your alternatives
  • The reason you negotiate is to produce something better than the results you can obtain without negotiating
    • Selling the house example
  • Knowing you BATNA will allow you to weigh potential outcomes against your alternatives
knowing your alternatives1
Knowing your alternatives
  • Sharing your BATNA with the other side may strengthen your bargaining power
  • Knowing the other side’s BATNA will allow you to have realistic expectations for the negotiation
generating a batna
Generating a BATNA
  • Invent a list of actions you may take if no agreement is reached
  • Improve the promising ideas and convert them into practical alternatives
  • Select the alternative that seems best
  • Job offer in Chicago example
knowing your alternatives cautions
Knowing your alternativesCautions
  • Considering the aggregate of alternatives
    • Salary raise example
  • BATNAs may be more favorable than any negotiated outcome
the method principled negotiation1
The MethodPrincipled negotiation
  • Be soft on the people and hard on the problem
    • People: Separate the people from the problem
    • Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
    • Options: Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do
    • Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard
    • Know your BATNA
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Image credit: Sacha Chua http://sachachua.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/book-getting-to-yes.png