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• A traditional approach
• Hard Bargaining
• Commit to position early in negotiation
• Win-Lose
• Resources are limited
• My Needs Only
• My Interests Only
• Me against You Competition - you are my opponent
• Little priority on future relationships
• Confrontation
• Defensiveness
• Assertiveness
• Position Based - there is only one solution, mine

• Win-Win
• Outcome based on needs of all parties
• Based on Mutual Interests
• Believing that resources are not necessarily limited (expanding the "pie")
• Future relationships as high priority
• Co-Operation
• Assertiveness
• Joint Problem Solving
• Not just the bottom line
• Objective criteria
• Respect the people
• Bargain hard on interests


"Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way."

Daniele Vare

Negotiation is something we all do on a daily basis. It is a voluntary and usually informal process in which parties identify issues of concern, explore options for the resolution of the issues, and search for a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve the issues raised. The disputing parties may be represented by their lawyers in negotiation. Negotiation is different from mediation in that there is no neutral individual to assist the parties.

In its most basic form, negotiation means bargaining to try and bring about a settlement directly with the other party. This is the most common method of resolving conflicts. Parties discuss the dispute and exchange ideas for resolving it until they can agree on a solution. This process continue until the parties reach a settlement or until one of the parties decides to end the process.

Almost any dispute can be successfully negotiated if the parties are willing and able to move from their initial positions to try and reach a final agreement.

There are many forms of negotiation but the two most common are positional or adversarial negotiation and interest based or non-adversarial negotiation. The latter is probably more correctly described as less-adversarial bargaining.

Negotiation can be the quickest and least expensive way of resolving a dispute if the parties are willing to make concessions to reach a solution, however, if neither party is prepared to do so, then it will fail.

Mediation is where a third party facilitates a negotiation between the parties seeking common ground or alternative solutions which may satisfy the needs of all parties to the dispute.

For more details on interest based negotiation see Getting to Yes

An interest is a specific condition or gain that a party must obtain to bring about an acceptable settlement. Interests include:
• SUBSTANTIVE INTERESTS: Needs which must be included in the content of a settlement which are tangible such as time, money, resources, goods, documents etc.

• PROCEDURAL INTERESTS: Needs for specific types of behaviours not "the way that something is done.

• PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERESTS: Needs that refer to emotions and relationships, how a party feels, how a party is treated during the negotiation and afterwards.