The Power Of Commitment In A Negotiation

If you want to reach a deal in a negotiation, then it's going to take commitment
If you want to reach a deal in a negotiation, then it’s going to take commitment
Image Credit: Fouquier ॐ

When you think about your next negotiation, what comes to mind? Do you see yourself locked into a small, hot room with the other side staring at each other over an old, battered wooden table using all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that you know? If you do, then you are probably mistaken. For you see, in any modern negotiation it really takes a collection of people on both sides of the table in order to create a deal that both sides can agree to. If we’re going to be able to pull this off, then it’s going to take commitment.

What It Takes To Create A Deal In A Negotiation

So it turns out that making a deal as a result of a negotiation is actually quite difficult to do. Any sort of deal that we’re going to be able to put together is going to require the input and agreement from a lot of different people. There is really a tangled web of interacting people who will be involved.

The deal that comes out of a negotiation will be designed to satisfy everyone who has been involved in the negotiations. We are, of course, going to have to take care of our own needs and wants, but it does not stop there. Instead, we are also going to have to realize that the other people involved in the negotiations are going to have their own sets of concerns, needs, and interests as well. These will all have to be addressed if we want to have any hope of reaching a deal with them.

Just trying to meet the needs of so many people as part of a single negotiation can make things difficult. Just to make things even more complex is the realization that we do not have a free hand during the negotiations to do anything that we want. Instead, we need to realize that we are operating under a set of constraints that will limit what we can and cannot do. If we are aware of the constraints that we are dealing with, then we’ll be better positioned to make deals that everyone can live with.

The Three Constraints

When we think about the constraints that we are operating under, we need to realize that the first of these has to do with our own individual values. The way that we choose to see the world via our emotions, our quirks, and our expectations can cloud how we see things. We need to understand that what we want right now might be at odds with what we know that we’re going to be needing later on.

The next constraint that we need to be aware of is the commitment of others to what we are trying to negotiate. We need to understand that there are people who want the same things that we want and their support can help to magnify the impact of what we are asking the other side to provide us with. If they don’t want the same things that we want, then we may find our bargaining position starting to be weakened.

Finally, the third source of constraints in a negotiation come from, where else, the other side of the table. The other side does not have our best interests at heart, in fact they may have a completely different set of interests that they are trying to achieve. We need to be able to identify those constraints that are being put upon us by the other side as well as understanding that those constraints may not be in our own best interests.

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of any principled negotiation is to reach a deal with the other side of the table. Although in our minds we may view a negotiation as being a discussion between ourselves and one person on the other side, the reality is that there are often a great number of people involved in the negotiation.

What this means for you is that if you want to have any hope of creating a deal with the other side you are going to have to make sure that you are aware of the wants and needs of the various people who are involved on both sides. You are also going to have to be aware of the different types of constraints that you are working under. One set of constraints is simply the way that we see the world. This frames how we view issues and what kinds of solutions we are willing to entertain. Commitment can also be based on the amount of support that we are getting from others on our team. Finally, constraints can also be placed on us by the other side of the table.

Commitment is a critical part of reaching a deal in a negotiation. As a negotiator you need to realize who you need to get commitment from and all of the constraints that you’ll be dealing with. If you have a good understanding of these issues, then you’ll be able to get the commitment that you are looking for and this will lead to the deals that you are trying to achieve in your negotiations.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If you are starting to feel pressured by the constraints that the other side is placing on you, what steps should you take?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

p>Let’s face it: as negotiators, we talk a lot. We open the negotiation by stating our position, we argue with the other side about their positions, and we use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to talk through the issues that are preventing us from reaching a deal. The one thing that really does not show up at a most negotiations is silence. However, as we search for powerful tools that we can add to our negotiating toolbox, perhaps this is something that should be there…