Creating Value with Integrative Negotiation

Business briefing


You can imagine a situation where two brothers are fighting for the last piece of orange in their refrigerator. There can be various solutions in this particular scenario. One can sacrifice the whole orange; the orange can be equally divided. But if one brother wanted the peel for baking purpose and another wanted the fruit for the juice, then both can enjoy the win-win situation. Similarly, the integrative negotiation is the business strategy where both the potential parties can enjoy win-win situation.

Basic Concept

The basic idea of the integrative negotiation is to take part in the activities together and find out the final outcome which can be beneficial for both the parties. It can be considered as the co operative process of negotiation which can create value from the outcome. Both sides may require substantial amount of compromise to prepare the deal successfully. When both the sides focus on the main point of the deal instead of coming with various secondary issues, the integrative negotiation can be successful.

Implementation Process of the Integrative Bargaining

# Separate the Person from the Problem

When you can observe a problem, you should try to attack the problem and not the person involved with it. The communication, perceptions and the emotions can help the parties to for the creative solutions that can maximize the overall gain.

Role of Emotions:

If one negotiator attacks the other, it is more likely that he/she will reciprocate back. These types of responses will only move towards a conflict. The negative emotions will make the negotiators to pay less attention to the benefits of the other parties. It eventually diminishes the accuracy of the judgment and the final outcomes remain less favorable. The emotions can be managed in the following ways :

  • Identify and understand all the emotions that are included in the negotiation process
  • You should not attack the other parties though it may provide you with a temporary relief. But you will not gain jointly in this case.
  • If the other party is attacking you, take the attack on the problem and not on you. This will enhance your self control and the confidence.
  • If your emotions are strong, you can take a short break. Continuous negotiations with strong emotions may not help you to provide wise agreements.
Role of Perception:

When different parties possess different opinions, the integrative negotiation might create problems. You are required to put in other’s shoes to understand their perspectives. After going through this process, all the perceptions can be discussed individually. Different viewpoints can be reconciled for an improved agreement.

Role of Communication:

Like the misperceptions, communication problems are also common during the negotiation. Instead of talking with the parties, negotiators can talk at the parties or can simply stop conversations. Proper communication is required and can be managed in the following ways :

  • Involve yourself in active listening. This will help you to understand the situation better or make other parties know that you have understood.
  • Open ended and probing questions are to be used for gathering and clarifying the information in the right manner.
  • If the other negotiator cannot understand, just reframe or restate your message in a different way.
  • You should look forward and not backward. As you cannot change the past, blaming the other parties or other parties blaming you will never be fruitful.

# Focus on Interests

You should try to focus on interests instead of the positions. The interests can be divided to various substantive terms of negotiation or the process. The substantive interests may involve the tangible issues. These may include delivery dates, price etc. The process interests can involve as the different methods through which the dispute is being settled. The relationship interests tell you about the type of relationship you are possessing with the other parties. Principle interest is intangible in nature and involves what is right and what is wrong. For satisfying your own interests , you can ask the following questions to yourself :

  • How will the process help me?
  • What will happen if the other party says no to me?
  • What are the purposes served for me?
  • Did I get the position as I wanted?

# Prepare Options for Mutual Gain

The negotiation process may start by identifying the issues and then hammering out the solutions. With this process, the joint gain will not be possible. So the situations should be defined for associating the issues and the interests with them. If the issues are ignored, the agreement will not be reached to the consensus. Capitalizing a new opportunity or solving a problem will be difficult if the clear and shared understanding is not present in the negotiation.

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# Brainstorm

When the interests and the issue of all the parties are identified, the process of searching the solutions may begin. The process can be done by the brainstorming activities. While brainstorming the options, all the parties should possess open and creative minds. They should avoid the following mistakes:

Premature Judgment:

The ideas are acceptable or not should not be judged at very early stage. You should look forward to generate as many solutions as possible and not judge them by evaluation or criticism.

Separate The Inventing And Evaluating Functions:

You are required to invent first, if evaluation is required, you will revisit the options another time.

After your brainstorming activities have provided with a huge list of possible solutions, the negotiators can start evaluating them. Initially, you can begin with the options which seem to be more promising. There can be solutions which will satisfy interests of both the parties. You can combine both the options for creating even improved solutions.

Key Points from the Article

From the article we know

  • The overview and basic concept of integrative negotiation
  • The process of implementing the integrative negotiation

The integrative negotiation strategy can produce wise agreements after satisfying the interests of all the parties.

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