The Art of Negotiation


Being able to conclude an agreement that satisfies both parties is not easy …

What is Negotiation

The term “Negotiation” derives from “Negotium” (from the Latin “Nec” which means “Non” and “Otium” or “Idleness”) and indicates the “Time dedicated to Business and subtracted from Idleness”, ie oriented towards obtaining a Result.

Negotiation is therefore an “Interpersonal” Decision-Making Process which is necessary when it is not possible to unilaterally achieve the Objectives, as there is an initial situation of “disagreement” with the counterpart.

In summary, Negotiation can therefore be defined as the Art of “transforming a Conflict into a Development Opportunity”, or of making the Interpersonal Relationship evolve by making it return to a “situation of harmony”.

The Assumptions of the Negotiation Process

The prerequisites for finding a Satisfactory and Rewarding Agreement for the Parties are the following:

  • Presence of Subjects with Diverging Objectives and Interests (at least in part)
  • Existence of an interdependence between the Parties, such that the Objective of each is possible through the Other

It should be borne in mind that the Negotiation always arises from a Conflict Situation and always takes place through the Choice of a Communication Mode (by an Interlocutor) and a Relational Approach (between the parties).

The Stages of the Negotiation Process

To remove the “obstacles” that do not allow the parties to find a satisfactory solution between the “Win-Win” type parties (which can be translated from English as “I Win – You Win”) you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Strategic Structuring: through the ability and competence in finding an agreement;
  2. Tactical Phase: observing and controlling one’s own and others’ behaviors;
  3. Negotiation Game Solution: through the use of Negotiation or Problem Solving Techniques.

In each phase there must always be the “common” will of the parties to find an agreement.

The Secrets of the Art of Negotiation

The Negotiation Process is therefore a complex activity that develops only with the passage of time and experience: for these reasons it can be considered as the Art of “finding a rewarding agreement between the Parties”. Therefore, there are many “Secrets” to better carry out the Negotiation, among which the main ones concern the ability to “understand and meet the needs of the interlocutor”, through Attention, Active Listening and Effective Questions.