NEGOTIATION SKILLS: KEYS TO BUSINESS EXCELLENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

Negotiation-Skills-TrainingNEGOTIATION SKILLS: KEYS TO BUSINESS EXCELLENCE IN THE 21ST
CENTURY?

T. Chebet (M.Phil) 1; Jacob K. Rotich (M.Phil) 2; Dr. Alice Kurgat (PhD) 3
1. Maasai Mara University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Business Studies, P.o Box
861-20500, Narok, KENYA
2. Moi University, School of Human Resource Development, Department of Development Studies , P.o
Box 3900-30100, Eldoret, KENYA
3. Moi University, School of Human Resource Development, Department of Development Studies, P.o
Box 3900-30100, Eldoret, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Amidst the growing turbulence in the current business world, increasing premium is being
placed on the ability of organizations to articulate their strategies and positions much more
effectively. Even with the latest milestones in Information and Communication Technology,
business interactions tend to be cold, formal and uneventful. This further compounds the
crisis in the business arena. This paper demonstrates the significance of negotiation skills as a
panacea for this state of affairs. In their most refined state, negotiation skills have the power
to break down barriers, relieve tension and create an atmosphere conducive for business.

INTRODUCTION
The word negotiate is derived from the Latin infinitive negotiaari meaning “to trade or do
business”. This verb itself was derived from another, negare, meaning “to deny” and a noun,
otium, meaning “leisure”. Therefore, the ancient Roman businessman would “deny leisure”
until the deal had been settled (Curry, 1999).
Negotiation is an activity that influences another person. McCormack (1995) define
negotiation in his book Negotiating as the process of getting the best terms once the other
side starts to act on their interest. In other words, negotiation is a process to get what is
wanted. It is a process that leads to an end. The negotiating process involves balancing
matters between two parties so that the negotiator not only gets what he wants but also gets
what he wants in the best possible way (Forsyth, 2009). It is the journey of how to get to the
destination and not the destination itself. Companies should pay more attention on how to get
there but also at the same time should not lose sight of the destinations. Negotiation is
therefore all about the process of arriving at a certain destination.
Negotiation in business is constantly changing. This creates the sense that something is
always happening. There is no one best way, no one best plan, no single uncluttered system
that best produces understanding about negotiation. There are many factors that influence the
negotiation process. The most typical factors that affect how a negotiation will play out are
time, environment, personalities, information, personal issues and hierarchy. Time has a huge
role in an effective business negotiation. Because people are very busy on specific deadlines,
a sense of urgency or even inaction often affects the success of negotiation. In international
business negotiation, companies’ cultural and professional expectations have to be in the
European Journal of Research and Reflection in Management Sciences Vol. 3 No. 3, 2015
ISSN 2056-5992
Progressive Academic Publishing, UK Page 24 www.idpublications.org
same level. The physical environment where the negotiation takes place is also very
important. The number of people in the setting and their behavior and temperament
influences the negotiation. For the negotiation to be effective, it is vital that both parties have
the information needed in their own field. Lack of information gives always unprofessional
image to the opponent. It is also important to have self-esteem that will be appealing to the
opponent’s side. The negotiator should also have the ability to command or demand
performance.
Negotiation is not a compromise. Compromise means giving admissions or settling upon an
intermediate point between two positions. Compromise does not mean getting what the
negotiator wants. Whenever anyone on either side of the bargaining table offers compromise,
it would mean that they are getting ready to lose something. It means that nobody gets what
they really want in the absolute sense. Everyone has to reach a compromise away from their
stated position. This is not a satisfactory way to control a negotiation, and yet most people
think this is what negotiation is all about (Harvey, 2008). In a compromise situation, both
parties are unhappy after a deal because one party had to spend more than they initially
planned and the other party received less than they wanted in the transaction. Usually
compromise is a lose-lose situation. Negotiation can be done without compromise but
compromise cannot be done without negotiation. The fellow who says he’ll meet you halfway
usually thinks he’s standing on the dividing line.

NEGOTIATION SKILLS: KEYS TO BUSINESS EXCELLENCE IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

 

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