Explain different types of Negotiation Strategies.
Ans. The intentions of the negotiator determine his choice of conflict resolution strategies. The strategy adopted has a tremendous impact on the outcome of conflict.
Depending on the level of concern the negotiator has for one’s own outcomes and for the outcomes of others, the negotiator may adopt one of the following five strategies:
1. Compromising: This strategy aims at finding a middle ground. Often the person gives away something in exchange for something, else. A person using this strategy has a moderate degree of concern for one’s own interests and the interests of others. There is no clear outcome when this strategy is used.
2. Forcing: This is an aggressive and dominating strategy aimed at achieving one’s personal goals at the expense of others. This style of conflict resolution reflects a high concern with one’s own interests but low concern with the interests of others.
3. Avoiding: In this strategy the negotiator has little concern for one’s outcomes as well as those of others. The individual physically and mentally withdraws from the conflict. This often results in a lose-lose outcome.
4. Smoothing: In this strategy the negotiator is more concerned with others outcomes than one’s own outcomes. The participant does not mind giving the other side whatever they want. The negotiator deliberately seeks a solution that is beneficial to the other side even though it may not be in his best interests.
5. Confronting: In this strategy the negotiator participant faces the conflict head-on and aims at a solution that is mutually satisfactory. The negotiator strives to find a solution that is acceptable to both the parties. This strategy seeks to maximize the outcomes for both the sides. This strategy is also known as problem solving or integrating.
Of the five negotiation strategies mentioned above, the confronting strategy is viewed as the best one. It is a strategy that really seeks a resolution to the conflict. The benefits of the confronting approach are:
(a) It is productive since both parties gain.
(b) It examines the cause of differences between the two parties and seeks a creative solution of the problem.
(c) It aims at a solution that integrates the interests of all concerned parties.
(d) It maintains the self-respect of both the parties and creates mutual respect between them.
In contrast to the confronting strategy, the avoiding and smoothing strategies have the following effects:
(1) They are helpful in managing the conflict process.
(2) They are useful in controlling the intensity of conflict and reduce its harmful effect.
(3) The source of conflict continues to exist even after the conflict is over.