Negotiation: theory and practice for project managers

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Posted by APM on 5th Jul 2010

Peter Fenndelivered a presentation in Sheffield to the Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Branch entitled Negotiation: theory and practice for project managers. The seminar reviewed the theory of conflict and the practice of dispute resolution.

It is common for theorists to talk of two negotiation theories or strategic approaches to negotiation: these are
Positional Negotiation [Win Lose]
Principled Negotiation [Win Win]

To explain these approachesPeter used the question 'how do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

Later on Peter used an additional question 'how do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? The wrong answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator. The preferred answer is: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your
actions.

The presentation concentrates on the two theories and also looked at negotiation and how it can be influenced by personality and culture. Throughout the presentation Peter uses quirkyexamples tosimplify the theories andget the message across.

Slides from Peter's presentation are available to download below.

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