What is Conflict Negotiation?
Conflict negotiation is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict permanently, by providing for each sides’ needs, and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome.
In many negotiations, both parties are aware of what their interests are, and are willing to engage in a give-and-take process with the other party to come to an agreement. But conflict negotiation often ends with people focusing on either power, rights, or interests.
Exerting your rights or power tends to escalate disputes. But an interest-based conflict negotiation strategy tends to generate greater satisfaction and better working relationships, and is often less expensive. Unfortunately, when we’re feeling angry and wronged, power-based threats and rights-based lawsuits spring to mind. Often, these approaches are aimed at meeting our immediate needs.
Remember, however, in negotiation, your problem is likely the other side’s problem, and vice versa. This knowledge can help improve your conflict negotiation skills. Understanding that your counterpart is motivated to work with you to solve problems can promote conflict negotiation and help you collaborate to avoid worst-case scenarios, such as mortgage foreclosures, damaged reputations, and lawsuits.
The areas where you and your counterpart do not see eye-to-eye are areas of growth and opportunities for value creation. Understanding your differences, you can best work to reconcile them in order to achieve bargaining success. Increasing our respect for views contrary to our own and learning to live with fundamental differences in values and beliefs are themselves laudable goals.
To learn more, and discover how to improve your dispute resolution skills, download this free report, Dispute Resolution, Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, from Harvard Law School.
We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information on how to improve your dealmaking skills to our website.
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