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The art of negotiation

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  • Publish date: 18 July 2017
  • Archived on: 18 July 2018

If you pride yourself on being a hardcore dealmaker who doesn’t back down, it might be time to change tack. Nina Bryant finds out how the experts define the art of negotiation.

On a day-to-day basis in business it can be easy to forget that negotiation isn’t just the preserve of those doing big City deals. We are all in negotiation in the workplace – hiring or being hired, assigning or being assigned tasks, and in discussions about pay, as well as when establishing a new supplier or other trade relationship.

Between consultants and trainers, a huge range of techniques and tips has been amassed for improving negotiating skills, many of which can be applied in all spheres of our negotiating life. Even 36 years ago, Roger Fisher and William L Ury called conflict a “growth industry” in their now-famous book on negotiation theory, Getting to Yes: “Everyone wants to participate in decisions that affect them; fewer and fewer people will accept decisions dictated by someone else.” The cliché approach of someone forcefully laying down a deal and expecting everyone else to accept it is unlikely to wash in the 21st century.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 256, July/August 2017. 

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