Disputing parties are taken through a process aimed to determine their favorable and worst alternatives that do not regard agreement from between them. Each side has a different BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement) and WATNA (Worst alternative to a negotiated agreement).this approach can be of much assistance when considering a reasonable settlement.
An agreement that is efficient and intelligent is excellent in negotiations and serves to enhance the relations of the concerned parties. Good agreements are those that meet the interests of all parties, are fair and most importantly, they can last. The objective of the author is to construct a procedure for establishing reasonable consensus.
Positional bargaining is a common trend in negotiations. This involves situations where the negotiating parts open up on their stand in a problem. Each party bargains from its district position in an attempt to establish a common position for all the involved parties. An example of this type of bargaining is evident in situations that involve price haggling. The author demonstrates that good agreements are never a product of positional bargaining largely because it neglects the concerns of the parties and from this argument; the authors’ position is that the method is inefficient and lacks the ability to establish cordial relationships.
Principled negotiation is diverse and therefore can be used basically in all disputes. The authors are convinced that better agreements are possible with this method. Four principles are key to this procedural negotiation. All the four principles are adhered to during the negation process to reach a lasting acceptable and fair consensus.
Firstly, it is required that issues and people are given proper distinction. Separation of issues and people provides an opportunity to address issues while keeping relationships intact. In addition, separation allows for better reflection in order to identify the substantive challenge. This step is necessary because people have a tendency to associate themselves with issues and the positions of their parties on personal grounds.
This often results in a situation where they will view responses as personal attacks. Problems can arise from differing perceptions due to varied analyses of situations, emotions especially when parties think that their concerns are not factored and also due to neglect of communication that mainly results from distraction arising from overconcentration of parties in preparing their responses and lack of interest in listening. Problems can be best dealt with by preventing their occurrence, mainly by establishing good relations among the parties.
Secondly, there should be a clear focus on the concerns/interests. Good consensus building is based on the interests that parties are concerned with rather than their respective positions. The positions are the things a party decides upon while those considerations, upon which decisions are built, are termed as interests. The interests should be identified, of both parties, and then discussed in detail by the negotiating parties. All parties must bring forth interests that accommodate the concerns of the other party. This will create motivation among the parties and therefore help in reaching a common negotiating point.
Thirdly, options are generated. This stage may be challenging especially when parties rush to arrive at decisions and neglect considering alternatives. In other circumstances one party may want the other to provide a solution, usually resulting in a situation where a problem is defined in the sense of win-lose manner. This situation can be avoided when parties find options to their differences such as establishing reconciliation of conflicting interests by one party taking items that are less expensive to their side and of high benefit to their partners.
Fourthly, adoption of objective criteria sets in. This arises under circumstances when the interests of the parties are directly conflicting. If the differences are given grounds to intensify, they will destroy cordial relations and lower the spirit of negotiation. Each issue needs to be handled from a shared search perspective of the objective criteria. A party must be willing to reason from the basis of reasoning established by the other party.
Both parties need to be open-minded in a reasonable sense that portrays them as being willing to compromise positions when need arises. Negotiators must be able to withstand pressure, bribes and pressure.
BATNA/WATNA is very powerful in dispute evaluation and assessment. It helps to restore thrust in a stalemate. Mediators need to lead their clients through the analysis process in a systematically organized manner that will result in valuable reconciliation services and make them even better negotiators.
Fisher, R., Ury, W., & Patton, B. (2012). Getting to yes: Negotiating an agreement without giving in. London: Random House Business.