What’s interesting about a word like “negotiation” is that everyone *thinks* that they know what it means. However, once you start asking them for details we all start to wave our hands and seem to be at a loss for words. The kiss of death phrase “you know…” shows up and suddenly we realize that although we still think that we know what negotiation is, we strangely seem to be unable to describe it to someone else.
Since we’re talking about those of us who find ourselves accidentally playing the role of negotiator, we can probably skip the dictionary definition and move on to trying to clearly state just what negotiating is. Here’s my favorite way to put it:
“Negotiating is when two or more parties communicate in order to determine the nature of future action.”
What do you think? I’m always a fan of keeping things simple and this definition seems to do a good job of capturing it.