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Business Negotiation Essay

Business negotiations typically involve the efforts to secure the interests of the respective parties by proposing policies or agreements that are favorable for the proposing side with the consent of the other party. Business interests are sensitive since they stand at the heart of every business negotiation. Thus, it is important to carefully consider the extent to which the other party may or may not agree with the proposals in the negotiation. Prudence is a crucial factor in this type of business activity.

There are several things that should and should not be done during a business negotiation. For one, it is important to keep in mind the limitations of each negotiating party. Offering proposals that are beyond the capabilities of other parties or can damage their business interests are likely to fail. Instead, offer proposals that are within the boundaries of the other party’s business interests and capabilities without sacrificing your business interests. This approach presupposes an understanding of one’s business interests as well as an understanding of the other party’s business interests.

An understanding of the other party’s business interest can be achieved through proper business research and using the most relevant data available. During the actual business negotiations, having

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the knowledge about the business interests of the other party can help gauge what proposals can be made and what objections can be raised. Another tip is to keep communication lines open. That is, all possible means of communication should be used to their fullest potential especially prior to entering into a business negotiation.

That is because proper understanding of each one’s goals and prerogatives is vital to the progress of the entire negotiation. With such an understanding, both parties can easily reach the state of “equilibrium” where, according to James K. Sebenius (1992), “each party, given the choices of the other parties, has no incentive to change its plans” (Sebenius, 1992, p. 18). However, other factors bear significant weight prior to the attainment of such an equal condition. One of such factors is the anticipation of a probable disagreement arising from conflicts in business interests.

According to Shankar Ganesan (1993), conflicts of business interests usually become more prominent when the negotiating parties offer their own proposals that are directly or indirectly opposite to the proposals of the other party (Ganesan, 1993, p. 188). Thus, in a business negotiation, a negotiator should not press nor entirely expect the other party to adhere to his proposals. Rather, a negotiator should see to it that he is fully aware of the business concerns of the other party and should consider the offers given by the other side.

Failure to give space to what the other party has to say or propose can ultimately end the negotiation to a stalemate. Worse, negotiation disagreements can lead to distrust and an unfriendly business relationship among the negotiating sides, thereby preempting the possibility of future negotiations. Other “do’s” in a business negotiation include the need to maintain a warm but professional environment. Negotiators should strive to keep a business atmosphere where each individual is comfortable and is free from outside distraction.

Negotiations should be arranged in places where there is minimal or zero distraction from uninvolved people especially the public and where negotiators can actually talk to and listen to one another. Courtesy should be observed during the negotiation process. Any unruly or untoward behavior should be avoided as business negotiations are typically “formal” in nature and require civil behavior. References Ganesan, S. (1993). Negotiation Strategies and the Nature of Channel Relationships. Journal of Marketing Research, 30(2), 183-203. Sebenius, J. K. (1992). Negotiation Analysis: A Characterization and Review. Managment Science, 38(1), 18-38.

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