Negotiation is an interactive process between two or more parties seeking to find common ground on an issue or issues of mutual interest. Negotiation is also useful in disputes where the involved parties seek to make or find a mutually acceptable agreement that will be honoured by all the concerned parties.
In its simplest form, it involves two or more people/organisations coming together to seek and arrive at a mutual agreement on one party purchasing goods or services offered by another party. It is a vital part of the purchasing/contracting process.
While relationship between the organisations is important for negotiations, managing personal relationships is equally crucial in negotiations. Negotiation involves skills which individuals with proper training and experience can learn and improve upon. Although some are born with good negotiation skills, it can be developed or enhanced through practice. More than ever, negotiation today is becoming a group activity rather than an individual activity. So, in addition to the knowledge and skills required to be an effective negotiator, while negotiating you must learn to work as a team.
Robert Trent and Robert Handfield, the authors identify five phases in the negotiation process. They are as follows: ? Identifying the product or service to be procured/contracted.