In negotiations, the various parties may enter with the goal of achieving one or more results. These desired outcomes may include promoting a certain behavior or obtaining a specific product or financial sum. Although such targets are important, there are other ways to evaluate the overall effectiveness of a negotiated agreement.
1. Economic Success
A common metric is the degree to which a deal proves financially advantageous. Economic success can be measured in terms of individual gain and mutual gain. Both are important, and it is crucial to pay attention to the expenses and expected outcomes for your own company, as well as for all parties involved in the negotiation as a whole. Focusing solely on individual gain can sow resentment among others at the negotiating table. Focusing on the mutual gain of the group, meanwhile, can provide a clearer measure of an agreement’s likely effectiveness, particularly in the long term.
2. Relationship Strength and Reputation
Beyond the outcome of a specific agreement, it’s important that the process and outcome strengthen the relationships among the parties so that future negotiations can proceed smoothly. While short-term gains may be tempting, it pays to explore long-term cooperation.
Related to relationship building is the reputation of the individual negotiator or team. A negotiator’s standing depends upon the degree to which he or she is respected, and this respect is fostered through open collaboration and trust. Conversely, a negotiator with a poor reputation may find it impossible to secure a favorable agreement for a client.
Reaching an agreement is not the final step in a negotiation. The agreement must be enacted and honored. Even when negotiations have proceeded smoothly, attention must be paid to the capabilities of all parties to deliver on their part of the deal. Among the key factors are the ability of all parties to perform to expectation, and the durability of the specific agreement and the overall relationship. A strong long-term relationship can nurture success. However, in situations where the parties have been unable to develop mutual trust, any agreement may prove fleeting. That can leave negotiators with a sense of resentment and frustration, ultimately compromising not only the strength of the current agreement but also the potential for further deals.
Efficiency can refer to the degree to which the benefits of an agreement have been maximized for all negotiating parties. In essence, an “efficient” negotiation ends with all parties having received the best gains possible. Efficiency is a metric for measuring group success, rather than individual gain. If an agreement satisfies one party but leaves another discontented, it is open to improvement. By adopting a mutual-gains approach, where the priority is the success of all parties, negotiators can provide a strong foundation for future deals.
By adopting a global perspective that looks beyond the potential benefits of a single agreement, negotiators can position themselves and their clients for long-term mutual gains.
Negotiation Essentials was outstanding, more than I could have hoped for with the content and ease of understanding of the video lectures on CD, the weekly simulations and reviews and reading that was not overwhelming heavy or voluminous. What I learned was significant. My negotiating capability is not just slightly improved but decidedly so and will greatly aid me in my business pursuits and personal relationships as well. I believe applying what I learned in this one class will bring an exponential return on my monetary and time investment. I recommend it highly to others considering the class. Very impressed by Notre Dame, Dr.'s Paulson and Holt and University Alliance. Thank you for making this program available. It was exactly what I was seeking.