What is Cooperative Negotiation?

With cooperative negotiation, both parties collaborate to reach an agreement that allows both to obtain maximum performance. In this case, the first step is to create the value and then to distribute it.

When you want to turn a competitive negotiation into a cooperative one, keep in mind that the parties will have to associate to reach an agreement that can satisfy both of their interests. At the same time, they must create and share value.

These cooperative negotiations are very important in today’s world, because they will allow you to sustain the relationship with the other party. In cooperative management, the objective is twofold: first, to create as much value as possible for you and the other negotiator; and secondly, to be able to recover it later. Cooperation forces managers to be creative, since the first step is to create value. Basically, their own interests have an impact on the benefits of the other. This is not about making concessions, but about replacing them with imagination and creativity.

Finally, it must be borne in mind that negotiations are not fully cooperative or competitive, as the situations mix and form a hybrid environment. Here, what matters is that you and the other party strike a balance. The aforementioned book Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton, defends this vision in which the negotiators stop looking for a winning/losing deal and consider the benefit of cooperative negotiation, where both parties win.

It is not a matter of blindly believing in a win-win agreement, but of offering a method that avoids win-lose, which is so ineffective for negotiations. Fisher and Ury propose a procedure that consists of appropriating and creating value through the analysis of interests, separating the person from the problem and basing it on objective criteria.

Logically, for both parties to win, both negotiators must share information. Contrary to what happens in a conflict situation, where the strategy is hidden, in this case it is a good idea to be transparent and seek the benefit of both parties. When negotiating, it is important that we express and share our interests. However, what we should never communicate is the intensity of our interests.

This reference post provides a series of recommendations for business negotiations that can be summarised as follows:

  • Separate people from problems.
  • Focus on the interests and not on the positions of the respective parties.
  • Be creative and seek alternative solutions that benefit everyone.
  • Stress the use of objective criteria.
  • Each party must know their BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), meaning what the real alternative would be if the negotiation breaks down.

Many projects are built over various stages of communication, which will positively influence their development and give great value to the relationship you will be creating with the people around you.

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