LegalGears is about agreement and the means people use to get there: negotiation. Negotiation is a necessary precursor to agreement, even if the negotiation is as simple as, “Sushi tonight?” But just what is negotiation? It has been described as the means of “getting what you want from others” (see last month’s post) and defined by the Oxford English Living Dictionaries as “Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.”
The description and definition may be efficient at expressing what negotiation is, but their efficiency leaves out the human experience. After all, negotiation on any level is the interaction between people who may have different interests and different objectives, but who are trying to achieve enough consensus so that each side gets its “must haves”. People are not simply rational value-evaluators and decision-makers, they are also sentient beings with complicated histories and backstories.
The decision whether or not to arrive at agreement is the product of both rational consideration and emotional evaluation and results from the give and take between the parties. As with negotiation, the question can then be asked about “give and take”, just what is it? One way to begin this inquiry is to see the process as persuading the other party of certain ideas and concepts central to achieving your own goals.