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Preparing for Negotiations

#TLDR: Out of many aspects critical for successful negotiations, let's focus on one today: Creating clarity on opposing, shared, and differing interests of two parties in light of conflict type (task, relationship, or value)

Most interactions in our professional lives are some kind of negotiations and hence, at #PBJAM, multiple aspects of negotiations reflect in #behaviors related to the six #facets. Normally, negotiations are needed whenever there is at least one type of typical conflict, namely,

  1. Task-related conflict: Most objective conflict where two parties are trying to figure out who does what

  2. Relationship driven conflict: Less objective conflicts where two parties are trying to figure out who is accountable for what

  3. Value-based conflict: Hard to recognize and harder to solve the conflict that arises out of differing values/beliefs of two parties

No matter what type of #conflict you are dealing with, it helps to bring #clarity not only in your thoughts but also in #discussions. One of the preferred approaches is categorizing #interests of both parties as follows:

  1. Shared Interests: These are the outcomes or features of the process beneficial for both parties

  2. Differing Interests: These interests are not conflicting, but are mutually exclusive to both parties

  3. Opposing Interests: These are the ones where both parties have disagreements and want to push their own interest over others

As you can see, by classifying the type of conflicts, you can remove most of the noise that exists in the negotiation process. I normally prefer to fight over value-based conflict and let go of task (or even relationship-driven) conflicts by accepting the position of another party.

In my experience, the majority of the noise comes from task and relationship-driven conflicts and as soon as you compromise on them, your counterparts become much more open to discussing and resolving value-based conflicts.

From this reduced universe of conflicts, it helps then to list the interests of both parties and focus on opposing interests as the crux of negotiations. This improves the quality of discussions and helps to close the negotiations faster (not always in your favor, though!).

What has been your experience? What have you seen that works best for you?

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