Yes Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

The principles-based method of negotiation was developed in The Harvard Program on the Negotiation of Fisher, Ury and Patton. [6] Its aim is to reach an agreement without compromising trade relations. [7] The method is based on five sentences:[8] No method of negotiation can completely overcome differences in power. However, Fisher and Ury propose ways to protect the weakest side of a bad deal and help the weaker party make the most of its fortune. Fisher and Ury`s first principle is to separate people from subjects. People tend to take personal care of the topics and positions of their site. And so they will tend to take answers to these questions and positions as personal attacks. Separating people from subjects allows parties to tackle problems without damaging their relationship. It also helps them to ask more clearly about the content of the problem. Thank you for everything you`ve done – and share it so openly.

I am not sure there is a name for that, but I use a technique that seems very useful when I help groups negotiate agreements, that is, to start testing simple agreements, and then gradually move towards more ambitious agreements. It could be with “So I`ve heard that we all believe we`re going to solve this problem. Is that right? I think it is helpful because it indicates that we agree on some points, that we are making progress and that we are moving towards a solution. It is also useful because it helps me to understand where the divergence and convergence is, so that I can better concentrate the negotiations. Instead, the weaker party should focus on evaluating its best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). The authors note that “the reason you negotiate is to produce something better than the results you can achieve without negotiation.” [p. 104] The weaker party should refuse agreements that would make it worse than its BATNA. Without a clear vision of its BATNA, a party negotiates blindly.

BATNA is also the key to making the most of existing assets. The power in a negotiation comes from the ability to detach itself from negotiations. Thus the party with the best BATNA is the most powerful party in the negotiations. In general, the weaker party can take unilateral steps to improve its negotiating alternatives. They need to identify potential opportunities and take steps to develop those opportunities. The weaker side will have a better understanding of the context of the negotiations, even if it tries to appreciate the BATNA on the other side. Fisher and Ury conclude that “the development of your BATNA will not only define a minimum agreement, but also increase that minimum.” [p. 111] This global bestseller by William Ury offers a concise, progressive and proven strategy for reaching mutually acceptable agreements in all conflicts. Negotiating advice and techniques can be applied to family situations, business disputes… including international conflicts. The theories and tactics presented in Getting to Yes are based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, an organization that deals with all levels of negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution.