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matrix vision newsletter
Negotiation Issue
January, 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 1
In This Issue
Negotiation - What it's Not and What it is
You Can Negotiate Anything
Sydney Hills Business Chamber Breakfast
15 Important Negotiation Behaviours
20/20 Insight Gold
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Story of the Month

A sales-woman is driving home in the rain when she sees a little old lady walking by the roadside, heavily laden with shopping.


Being a kindly soul, the sales-woman stops the car and invites the old lady to climb in. During their small talk, the old lady glances surreptitiously at a brown paper bag on the front seat between them.


"If you are wondering what's in the bag," offers the sales-woman, "It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."


The little old lady is silent for a while, nods several times, and says ........ "Good trade."

Negotiation Quotes
"Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree."
Dean Acheson
" Imaginative, sanguine men will never recognise that in negotiations the most dangerous moment of all is when everything is moving according to their wishes.
Honore de Balzac
"If you can't go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it.
Ashleigh Brilliant
"Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable for you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.
B. C. Forbes

 "My father said: "You must never try to make all the money that's in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals.
J Paul Getty

"In business, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate."
Chester L. Karrass
"The first principle of contract negotiation is don't remind them of what you did in the past; tell them what you're going to do in the future."
Stan Musial

"We have two ears and one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less."

Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter for January.  This month's newsletter is focussed on developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes to improve our ability to negotiate successfully.    
This newsletter presents some tips and tools on how to improve your negotiation skills.  We have articles including: 
  • what is negotiation?
  • a checklist on preparing to negotiate,
  • an excerpt from "You Can Negotiate Anything", and
  • 15 important behaviours to think about in the way you negotiate.

Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!

If any of the information interests you and if you would like to find out how it can help you please contact us.  We would love to talk with you.
Negotiation - What it's Not and What it is
Negotiation 1 
Negotiation is one of the more abused words in the English language.
Real Estate Agents commonly refer to themselves as 'negotiators'.  Yet especially in domestic sales, what do they ever do except discount the price of the property?
One of the world's largest management consulting firms bought a Selling Skills course for its consultants.  To avoid offending their sensibilities it was re-titled 'Negotiating Profitable Partnerships'.
So what is negotiating?  Is it discounting?  Talking about a solution to a problem? A euphemism for selling?
None of these is really a correct use of the word, Negotiation.  Reference to the dictionary definition immediately show why.
 A Definition
A short dictionary definition of Negotiation is 'conference and bargaining for mutual agreement'.  Simple though this is, it tells us a lot about Negotiation.  We can deduce that for a Negotiation to take place certain conditions must be satisfied. 
  • Both Parties must have some Level of Commitment to do a Deal. 
  • Both Parties must have the Authority and the Will to vary the Terms of the Agreement.
Bargaining implies trading something you have for something the other party has which is important to you.  So both sides must make concessions on some issues to gain advantage on others.
Negotiation is a complex art.  It involves elements of philosophy, long-term strategic planning, arithmetic agility, commercial creativity and high levels of interactive skill.
So whether you're discussing the washing-up with your spouse or a multi-million contra trade with the third world, you're negotiating as long as our two key conditions exist.
Preparing for a successful negotiation...
The underlying reason for the failure of most negotiations is lack of preparation.  The biggest lesson for most is usually the amount of time which is necessary for thorough preparation and the pay-offs which result from it.
  • Goals: what do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants?
  • Trades: What do you and the other person have that you can trade? What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away?
  • Alternatives: if you don't reach agreement with the other person, what alternatives do you have? Are these good or bad? How much does it matter if you do not reach agreement? Does failure to reach an agreement cut you out of future opportunities? And what alternatives might the other person have?
  • Relationships: what is the history of the relationship? Could or should this history impact the negotiation? Will there be any hidden issues that may influence the negotiation? How will you handle these?
  • Expected outcomes: what outcome will people be expecting from this negotiation? What has the outcome been in the past, and what precedents have been set?
  • The consequences: what are the consequences for you of winning or losing this negotiation? What are the consequences for the other person?
  • Power: who has what power in the relationship? Who controls resources? Who stands to lose the most if agreement isn't reached? What power does the other person have to deliver what you hope for?
  • Possible solutions: based on all of the considerations, what possible compromises might there be?
If you would like some help in building the Negotiation Skills of your people give us a call.
You Can Negotiate Anything
Herb Cohen 
One of my favourite books on negotiation is Herb Cohen's - "You Can Negotiate Anything".
Herb talks about the three crucial elements in a negotiation are Power, Information and Time.  In this amusing excerpt from the book Herb tells of how "time" was used against him in his first overseas negotiation when his boss sent him to Japan.

I was overjoyed. In my exhilaration, I told myself, "This is my moment! Destiny calls! I'll wipe out the Japanese, then move on to the rest of the international community."


One week later I was on a plane en route to Tokyo for the fourteen-day negotiation. I'd taken along all these books on the Japanese mentality, their psychology. I kept telling myself, "I'm really going to do well."


When the plane landed in Tokyo, I was the first passenger to trot down the ramp, raring to go. At the bottom of the ramp two Japanese gentlemen awaited me, bowing politely. I liked that.


The two Japanese helped me through customs, then escorted me to a large limousine. I reclined comfortably on the plush seat at the rear of the limousine, and they sat stiffly on two fold-up stools. I said expansively, "Why don't you people, join me? There's plenty of room back here."


They replied, "Oh, no-you're an important person. You obviously need your rest." I liked that, too.


As the limousine rolled along, one of my hosts asked, "By the way, do you know the language?"


I replied, "You mean Japanese?"


He said, "Right-that's what we speak in Japan"


I said, "Well, no, but I hope to learn a few expressions. I've brought a dictionary with me."

His companion asked, "Are you concerned about getting back to your plane on time?" (Up to that moment I had not been concerned.) "We can schedule this limousine to transport you back to the airport."


I thought to myself, "How considerate." Reaching into my pocket, I handed them my return flight ticket, so the limousine would know when to get me. I didn't realise it then, but they knew my deadline, whereas I didn't know theirs.


Instead of beginning negotiations right away, they first had me experience Japanese hospitality and culture. For more than a week I toured the country from the Imperial Palace to the shrines of Kyoto. They even enrolled me in an English-language course in Zen to study their religion.


Every evening for four and a half hours, they had me sit on a cushion on a hardwood floor for a traditional dinner and .entertainment. Can you imagine what it's like sitting on a hardwood floor for all those hours? If I didn't get haemorrhoids as a result, I'll probably never get them. Whenever I inquired about the start of negotiations, they'd murmur, "Plenty of time! Plenty of time!"


At last, on the twelfth day, we began the negotiations, finishing early so we could play golf. On the thirteenth day, we began again, and ended early because of the farewell dinner. Finally, on the morning of the fourteenth day, we resumed our negotiating in earnest. Just as we were getting to the crux of things, the limousine pulled up to take me to the airport. We all piled in and continued hashing out the terms. Just as the limousine's brakes were applied at the terminal, we consummated the deal.


How well do you think I did in that negotiation? For many years my superiors referred to it as "The first great Japanese victory since Pearl Harbour."


Why did the debacle occur? Because my hosts knew my deadline and I didn't know theirs. They held off making concessions, correctly anticipating that I wouldn't allow myself to go home empty handed. Furthermore, the impatience that I undoubtedly displayed conveyed my belief that this departure deadline was somehow sacred. As if this would be the last plane to leave Tokyo for all time.


Even the most experienced negotiators occasionally fall for a similar ploy.


We can help you improve your organisation through the on-going development of your people. Give us a call.
Sydney Hills Business Chamber Breakfast - February 10
SHBC LogoAs you may be aware Matrix Vision is an active member of the Sydney Hills Business Chamber.
The first Chamber Breakfast for 2010 is on the Chamber's theme for the month of February - Leadership. To explore the topic of Leadership, the Chamber has invited a number of successful local leaders (including the Mayor of The Hills Shire - Clr Peter Dimbrowsky) to participate in a panel discussion.  The panel will share what they have learned from their leadership success. 
Venue: The Pioneer Room, Castle Grand, Library Building Castle Hill
Date:    Wednesday, 10th February 
Time:    7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
Price:   great value at only $30 per person
RSVP:  on the Chamber Website by Friday 5th February 
Barry McMaster has been asked to be the Master of Ceremonies for the morning and to facilitate the panel discussion.  We would love readers of the newsletter who are based in Sydney to come along.  Email or call us for the details - CONTACT US 
15 Important Negotiation Behaviours
Negotiate 2 
These 15 behaviours represent areas you may need to address to become a more effective negotiator. They are of particular importance if you would like to improve your negotiation skills; some of the behaviours may warrant additional attention.
  • Focus on issues, not on personalities. If you focus more on the people involved in a negotiation, or have preconceived ideas about how someone's personality will affect the outcome, you may completely miss the underlying issues involved in a negotiation.
  • Concentrate on relationship-building. A solid relationship with your counterpart that is built on trust is important to good negotiation. This will lead to mutually beneficial agreements and increase the chance that you will be able to work together for a common goal in the future.
  • Anticipate the interests of my counterpart. It is helpful to know your counterpart's possible interests before you negotiate a deal. Armed with this information, you will be able to enter a conversation ready to discuss your common interests and will reach an agreement more quickly and easily.
  • Work to expose underlying motivations. When you uncover the other side's needs, wants, motivations, and interests during negotiation, it helps build a strong relationship, as well as signals that you want to work toward a win-win solution.
  • Seek a win-win solution as much as possible. Although a solution that is truly a win for  both sides may not always be possible, this is usually the goal of many negotiations. This approach can lead to conversations that are less adversarial and more productive.
  • Take the necessary time to plan and prepare. Good preparation before any negotiation conversation is essential to focus on key issues and the underlying interests of both parties to reach agreement. Without necessary background information, it can be difficult to address everyone's needs.
  • Listen without judgment or criticism. To be an effective negotiator, it is important to consider your counterpart's views without judgment or criticism. Otherwise, the focus may shift to personalities and away from issues, which could harm your relationship and interfere with your negotiation.
  • Don't interrupt my counterpart to get my point across. Sometimes we are so concerned with our own comments, opinions, or responses that we interrupt others. Make a conscious effort not to interrupt when someone else speaks; it will greatly enhance your ability to listen, as well as help your counterpart communicate his or her thoughts more effectively.
  • Don't interject issues unrelated to the topic. Don't mention or think about other issues unrelated to the topic at hand during negotiation conversations. This behaviour can inhibit your ability to listen and prevent you from being taken seriously, which can make you misunderstand or miss vital information. It can also send a signal that you are not sensitive to your counterpart's interests.
  • Use nonverbal communication that is inconsistent with my words. Facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, and posture that contradict your statements may make it more difficult for others to read your emotions effectively and respond accordingly. This could alienate your counterpart and possibly breed distrust.
  • Know my bottom line and when to walk out. In some negotiations you may be unable to reach a deal, which could be the best solution in certain situations. It is therefore most effective to know the conditions that would cause you to walk away and whether there are any nonnegotiable items for your organisation.
  • Adapt my tactics to my counterpart's style. This is important to help ensure that you consider the other side's approach to a negotiation; such efforts help build relationships but do not compromise your interests and needs.
  • Don't react emotionally when I disagree. A counterpart may find this behaviour offensive and may be unwilling to share information or explore common interests with a negotiator in the future. This would affect the relationship between both parties and interfere with understanding the other side's message or view.
  • Gain a clear written commitment from my counterpart with actions and dates.  A clear, solid action plan with specific deadlines and deliverables ensures that a mutually beneficial agreement will move forward with an agreed-upon outcome. It also helps both sides accept responsibility for results.
  • Create a nonthreatening environment. A relaxing environment encourages others to share information; it also helps negotiators focus on their counterparts and be more open to what is said by the other party. This establishes a positive relationship and leads to greater problem-solving and investigating interests.
20/20 Insight Gold
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Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings - from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation.

We can work with you to incorporate feedback into your training to ensure you get a greater return on your investment.
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.
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To talk with us about how you can use feedback to help improve your training investment, please  contact us 
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In February the theme of the newsletter will be "Leadership".
All the Best,
Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited