Negotiation is a must-have skill when there is no collaborative solution in sight and people need to agree to disagree. Resistance comes when people feel their needs are not met and they are not heard. This can occur for multiple reasons, such as a perception that solutions are one-sided or there are no clear ground rules.

To overcome resistance, each issue needs to be examined separately because there could be multiple reasons for the resistance. Sometimes more discussion is needed and appropriate questions asked to find a resolution. Two opposing sides can work together in negotiation when they try to satisfy everyone’s interests to the fullest extent possible. They move toward each other in a mutual effort and listen with respect. Only when people listen to their opponents are they able to understand their interests.

Before the negotiation process begins, there must be ground rules, common goals, a shared vision, and a discussion of past negotiation experiences. During the process, the two sides should meet in a comfortable, informal surrounding, agree on a single version of the facts, and negotiate with a goal of problem solving. Afterwards, they must honor their agreements and continue with negotiation as needed.


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