When you're thinking about starting a business, the last thing you might think about is negotiations. However, if you want to become successful, you may want to consider the two biggest concerns about negotiating: multiparty negotiations and internal negotiations. Much of the time, you might think that negotiations happen in a large room with a long table, occupied by you and representatives of several other invested groups. This is an excellent example of a multiparty negotiation. In this scenario, you have at least three groups, representing different interests, talking about an issue that relates to all of the parties' goals. Why are multiparty negotiations worrisome? For many who are new to the process, the idea of negotiating with a stranger can be intimidating.
There may be an assumption that the other parties in the discussion are more educated in the ways of negotiation than you are, putting you at a disadvantage. In addition, there may be troubles with power dynamics as all sides try to assert control in order to get an upper hand in the conversation. Another concern with negotiating is the internal negotiation, which sounds less threatening, but can actually have greater consequences when handled improperly.
An internal negotiation is a process that takes place within a company, between employees or between departments. Though everyone is on the same side and should be negotiating for similar goals, when things go badly, it can impact the company as a whole. You will see the other parties in the negotiation on a regular basis. For this reason, you may want to appease others by holding back your own ideas. On the other hand, you might have troubles when a person in the negotiation doesn't feel their ideas were met or heard, so they begin to sabotage the efforts of the group as a whole. Therefore, when internal negotiations are not handled properly, the entire company can suffer reduced productivity, internal fighting, and overall lack of cohesion as a team. With effective and successful negotiation techniques, these concerns can be seen as opportunities to navigate the needs of the whole group.
By using negotiation techniques such as collaboration, compromise, accommodation, and avoidance, you can begin to bridge the gaps between groups and create a peaceful, productive resolution to the matter at hand. While multiparty and internal negotiations might offer some concern for those who are new to negotiating, this should not mean negotiations should be avoided. Instead, companies should learn to get along with anyone they meet or know, to listen to those who have something to say, and to find a way to satisfy everyone who sits down to the table.