Nothing but negotiation

The Gap Partnership

Co-operation can help achieve a 'better deal' during business negotiations

Both sides can work together to achieve their goals

25 August 2010

Negotiators who co-operate with their adversary can often achieve a better deal when negotiating a contract, it has been claimed.

Many firms may enter business negotiations believing that the talks are a contest in which one team has to win and one has to lose.

Mark Polman, a business management expert, expressed his belief that negotiations will quickly become adversarial should a negotiator enter with a competitive mindset.

He wrote on "If you can foster the idea that the two of you are there to work as a team to accomplish both parties' objectives, then it becomes a problem solving process with the two of you working towards a common goal.

"This will result in the compromises necessary and in all likelihood, a better deal than could be reached otherwise."

Mr Polman stated that negotiators should not issue an ultimatum if talks reach an impasse.

Companies should instead identify the issue which is stalling negotiations and then suggest a solution, he added. 

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