Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting Past No: Negotiating In Difficult Situation (4/6)

Now you have stabilized your mental balance (step one) and created a favorable climate for negotiation (step two). It is time to focus on changing negotiation processes, which is step three“DON’T REJECT… REFRAME".  
Difficult negotiation situations are mostly caused by insisting positions. You job here is to change the process from battling at their positions, to discussing each other's interests. How do you do this? You reframe the negotiation. Instead of, rejecting your opponent point views, you accept it and transform it into the negotiation you want to have.
In here, reframing means that you need to put a problem solving frame around your opponent’s positional statements. You act as if he/she was trying to solve the problem, and thus you draw him/her into the new game, which is your game.  You may ask why I need to change the game, if he/she plays hardball, I can play it too! The reality is that those who initiate tactics like stone walls, personal attacks and tricks, they are very good at them. You rarely have a chance to control of the negotiations. Therefore, you should change to negotiation into a cooperative problem solving game, in which you can control and contribute.
 There are two basic methods to reframe the negotiation process:
1) You can shift your opponent’s attention by asking problem solving questions. This questioning technique focuses on the interests of each side, options to satisfy them and the standards of fairness for resolving differentness.  In addition, there are two very important principles when you ask problem solving questions. First, you need to find questions which your opponent has no ready-made responses to. As a Soviet negotiator told a British diplomat after a year of unproductive negotiation, “It is just as frustrating for me to negotiate with such inflexible instruction from Moscow. The problem is that you’re always asking me questions for which I have instructions. Why don’t you ask me questions for which I have no instructions?” Second, it takes only one answer to get negotiations moving, so you have to be patient and persistent. If one question doesn’t get the results you are seeking, try another angle. Remember, successful negotiators ask countless questions.  
2) You also need to reframe the opponent’s tactics: obstructive, offensive and deceptive. Methods of reframing these tactics are given in the chapter summary 1.3. The main purpose here is to redirect these tactics back to problems, not your opponent.
However, if these two methods did not work in the negotiation, you should negotiate the rule of the negotiation with your opponent. You also need to talk about your opponent’s behavior. Often it is sufficient simply to bring it up, but don’t attack your opponent personally. Think of yourself as a friend giving him/her some useful feedback on their behavior, nicely.   
In sum, this reframe step is to help your opponents detach their personal emotions from situations. In some sense, the purpose of this particular step is very similar to the step one “GO TO THE BALCONY”.  The main difference is that you can always force yourself to go to the “balcony”, but you can’t do that to your opponent. No one wants other people telling them what they should think or do, therefore detachments must be done in a non-forceful way, reframing. When conversations shift from positional bargaining to problem solving negotiation, you can move on to the next step, “BUILD THEM A GOLDEN BRIDGE”.   
Click here to download Chapter Summary 1.3 or View it here

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