Collaborative Principled Negotiations
A beneficial method to use during negotiations is called collaborative principled negotiations. The idea is for both parties to enter into the collaborative process with the focus on the interest, not positions. Previously, the parties would enter into negotiations with certain positions in mind and the positioned negotiations proved to be long and unsuccessful. This paper will discuss how trust is used in during principled negotiations and how BATNA makes the negotiations more successful than the previous positioned negotiations.
The ideal way to begin negotiations is to create a collaborative team environment and separate the parties from the problem. The way to achieve this is to encourage the people focus on the interest at hand and not their specific positions. Together the parties can brainstorm and create a variety of solutions before making a final decision. The final agreement can be based on objective external standards and both parties can work together, through trust to find the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). “Integrating trust-building approaches into the collaborative team environment will help position teams and their respective companies for strategic competition in the marketplace” (Herzog, 2001, ¶ 1).
Any relationship involves giving a little and taking a little – cooperation, trust, and meeting expectations. Business relationships are no different; they too require trust, cooperation, and having expectations being met by both parties. Macoby says, “Profitable partnering relationships between companies are cemented by building trust, not by contracts. A relentless assault of trust and respect is a major factor in making alliances work … trust [is] the single most important ingredient in making ventures work. You have to be allied with someone whom you can work through problems. (1997)
Life and any business relationship is easier if both parties know that they can trust the partners or other parties to uphold an agreement. Additionally, knowing that the other parties is not just in the relationship for ulterior motives helps keep ethics and honesty at the forefront of the collaborative partnership.
On successful and unsuccessful projects, collaborators begin the projects with perceptions regarding their own and their fellow collaborators’ motives and expectations. Collaborative teams on successful projects participate in the shared conditions and processes identified in the research. The result is open and honest communication, collaborating team members getting along, and a trusting environment.
The consequence of this is that high levels of trust are built between the collaborators, the project is successful, and consideration is given to continuing the relationship. (Herzog, 2001, ¶ 15) On unsuccessful projects, the processes and conditions for success are present. However, without collaborative sharing of these conditions and processes, understanding of others and open and honest communication does not result, conflict and misunderstanding is normal, and levels of trust are low. Consequently, the projects will likely be unsuccessful, the collaborators will not establish trusting relationships, and new collaborative projects will not result. (Herzog, 2001, ¶ 16)
Hartman and Romahn (1999) extensively researched various types of trust described by others. They found that trust falls into the three main categories of emotional trust, competency trust, and ethical trust. If people are aware of how trust affects them, they are better able to build that trust in a relationship.
For example, when working on a business relationship and one of the parties knows that the other party does not feel there is a great deal of competency than the first party can work harder to prove competence and help sustain the relationship and build greater trust. Hartman and Romahn developed a model that shows how combinations of these three types of trust influence collaborative levels of trust. This study suggests that “collaborative sharing” may be instruments through which emotional, competency, and ethical trust are built on collaborative project teams (1999).
The whole idea is to give a little and work together. Collaborative project teams are designed because the parties involved can become more and provide more when working together and helping one another through areas of strength and weakness. By working together the final product or service is superior to just party doing it alone. Principled negotiations are all about working together.
Using principled negotiations helps the team collaborative effort because the effort is put forth to achieve success in the end rather than immediate gratification for one party or another. Trust is essential and strong foundations are built on trust and once both parties involved in the negotiations knows that the trust is present and unwavering, the ability to contribute more becomes more apparent and negotiations become a very successful result and future negotiations are less of a problem.
Hartman, E, & Romahn, E. (1999). Trust: A new tool for project managers. Project Management Institute 1999 Seminars & Symposium, Philadelphia, PA: Papers presented October 10 to October 16, 1999 [CD-ROM]. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.
Herzog, V.L. (2001). Trust building on corporate collaborative project teams. Project Management Journal. Sylva: Mar 2001.Vol.32, Iss. 1; pg. 28, 10 pgs
Macoby, M. (1997). Building trust is an art. Research Technology Management, 56-57.