Month: January 2024

“Getting to YES” – A reflective blog on communication and negotiation

Getting To Yes” – Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury 

If one struggles with navigating negotiation, this book is worth a read. As many know, negotiating with someone who has opposing views can be rather difficult. Getting To Yes goes into detailed descriptive sections with various routes on how to steer through negotiations with someone with whom they have a relationship. 

One section that stood out to me was “separating the people from the problem”. When there is an issue at hand, some individuals tend to blend the issue, and the person with the issue, into one combined category. By looking at the situation and removing the relationship from the equation, navigating the issue can appear to be much easier.

To do this, there are three key factors involved; perception, emotion, and communication. With perception, you are going to want to put yourself into the shoes of your opposing side. By doing this you are giving yourself the ability to withhold judgment and not blame the other person for why they are thinking the way they are and the reasoning behind what they are proposing. You will also be able to get through your conversation a lot smoother and come to a clear joint consensus after your negotiation while still being able to drive your point across to the other individual. Emotion being another factor simply means understanding why the other person is feeling the way they are and not judging them for the emotions they may be feeling during the negotiation process. By allowing more empathy and less judgment, you are more likely to conclude the negotiation a lot easier than you may have thought when you first began the process. If you were to fail to follow this step, it would become clear that by not cautiously dealing with other’s emotions, you are leading yourself into a disastrous state for negotiation due to the other person feeling as though they weren’t being heard. This also goes into the last point, communication. Communication is an extremely significant factor in how two people talk to each other in an attempt to negotiate. Allowing open communication and realizing why the other person is bringing up certain points, is going to be a much simpler process because it is going to encourage there to be more open dialogue. By not communicating effectively, things may become misconstrued in what someone is saying because you aren’t fully taking in what the other person is saying, resulting in a non-successful negotiation process. Examining these three sections and understanding the significance they hold is really the first piece to understanding why negotiating properly is so important. Taking these steps and applying them to your negotiations are only going to make them stronger and more likely to succeed. 

These are just some of the few factors that are discussed in this book and are deemed most effective in ways to negotiate effectively and efficiently. From my personal experience, a lot of people get caught up in the moment when trying to communicate with each other when negotiating, not really listening to what the other person has to say. Following these steps appears to be what can be deemed as most effective in the long process of negotiating because nobody is caught up in the moment, but is rather more self-aware of where the other person is coming from and why they are feeling the emotions that they are. Taking this guidance and applying it to their negotiating abilities can only strengthen the way that they communicate in the future and in the end, strengthen the type of relationship they would like to have.

Cassidy Utter – Mediation Intern