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close this bookNegotiator : The Councilor as Negotiator: Handbook 7 (UN Habitat - United Nations Centre for Human Settlements )
close this folderPart I - Essay on the council as negotiator
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentWin - win negotiating
View the documentAn enlightened view
View the documentReflection
View the documentWhy is negotiating important in local government?
View the documentRespect cultural differences
View the documentReflection
View the documentHow to negotiate more successfully
View the documentPrincipled negotiations
View the documentWhat do you REALLY want?
View the documentDon't announce positions but know what they are
View the documentNegotiation skills: one of the councilor's best friends
View the documentKey points
View the documentReferences

Principled negotiations

These four steps provide the basic method for negotiating what Fisher and Ury call a principled approach. This approach is "designed to produce wise outcomes efficiently and amicably." Let's look at the four steps in a bit more detail.

People: Negotiations often get sidetracked when people problems aren't separated from the substantive issues being bargained about. When negotiators start attacking each other, rather than working side by side to solve the problems that brought them together in the first place, principled negotiations can become unprincipled fast!

Interests: We've mentioned this step before but it's worth repeating. Don't go into negotiations with a stated position. Instead, you want to focus on your underlying interests, the benefits you want to gain through negotiating.

Options: Before you start to focus on the final agreement with those you are negotiating with, spend some time inventing options that will be mutually beneficial - that will meet your needs and the needs of the party across the table.

Criteria: Insist on basing your agreements on objective criteria. Without these standards, or measures, the agreements tend to get more fuzzy and less defined the further you get from the bargaining table. Objective criteria help you and others carry out the agreements you've made in a principled manner.

Principled negotiations are negotiations based on merit, and these four steps merit your attention if you want to be a successful negotiator.

Let's take a look at a very different view of the negotiating process, one proposed by the behavioural scientist and organization specialist Peter Block. In his book, The Empowered Manager, Block advocates the use of positive political skills to be more effective as a manager (which is quite an interesting twist when we are talking to elected politicians). He puts the negotiation process into the context of building coalitions and support for your vision, whatever that might be. The critical variables in the negotiation process, according to Block, are agreement and trust. He defines the relationship between negotiators on these two factors and differentiates them according to whether the relationship is marked by high or low agreement and high or low trust. These criteria correspond to those put forth by Fisher and Ury, but Block uses such rhetoric as "justice and integrity" to emphasize his approach to negotiation.