Many of today’s negotiations becomes very complex and involve many varying issues. Should these complex negotiations commence with agreements in principle or have you been better served by leaning towards applying agreement with a fact-by-fact, issue-by-issue basis?
There are benefits and drawbacks to both negotiating approaches. How you start can determine in places you end up.
Piecemeal negotiations build gradual trust and enable the parties to acquire a better feel for the complete story. Each party learns about each other’s needs and priorities. The step-by-step inquiry process uncovers the danger areas and sometimes revels hidden opportunities. The piecemeal process is ideal when details is available and overall differences between your two parties are certainly not too large.
Advocates of any Lump Sum or “agreement in principle” approach start differently. Logical principles are first established. Then, conflicts involving specific facts and issues could be fitted into the consented to framework. Issues is usually traded within a broad-brush solution to for other concerns. The focus of bargaining becomes relevant to overall performance rather than details.
I favor a hybrid approach that blends both piecemeal along with the lump-sum concepts. I like to begin by stating the principles that govern my thinking and exploring what’s most important for the other party. I do not seek agreement on principle, but only an insight inside the other’s viewpoint. Once this broad framework is established, I negotiate with a piecemeal cause these tactical reasons:
1. People have any excuses for closure this also is satisfied, partly, by piecemeal agreements.
2. Piecemeal agreements can reveal much of a person’s personality and also the intensity of their demands and positions.
3. Perceptive listening after a piecemeal process may reveal weaknesses inside other party’s position and power structure.
4. An item-by-item discussion permits one to retreat gracefully from unrealistic positions but still fulfill the behavioral expectations of these he or she represents.
5. During these item-by-item discussions we frequently discover mutual opportunities that neither of people thought about – opportunities that always pave the method to a more satisfying and rewarding agreements for both individuals.
If one agrees in principle, one does not need to agree on the various components. If one agrees on the various, one does not need to agree on the entire.
Some people sell themselves short by feeling that their integrity reaches stake on each issue. Once committed with a point, they’re embarrassed to retreat. Nonsense! In negotiation the sum of the parts does not need to equal the full. The deal is conducted when we shake hands. Not before.