A negotiation strategy is a planned approach to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement between two or more parties involved in a negotiation. It involves identifying and analyzing the issues being negotiated, setting priorities, determining the desired outcomes, and preparing a plan of action to achieve those outcomes.

Effective negotiation strategies require careful planning, good communication skills, and an understanding of the interests and motivations of all parties involved.

Some common negotiation strategies include distributive negotiation, integrative negotiation, cooperative negotiation, competitive negotiation, and compromise. It’s important to note that each negotiation situation is unique, and the best strategy will depend on the specific circumstances and goals of the negotiation.

Ultimately, the success of a negotiation strategy depends on the ability of all parties involved to communicate effectively, build trust, and work collaboratively to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Types or Techniques of Negotiation Strategies

Distributive negotiation: 

Distributive negotiation is a strategy where two parties negotiate to divide a fixed amount of resources, usually money or goods. This strategy is also known as “win-lose” negotiation, where each party tries to maximize its share of the resources at the other party’s expense.

For example, when negotiating a salary, the employee may ask for a higher salary, while the employer may offer a lower salary. The goal is to find a compromise that is acceptable to both parties. The following are some key characteristics of the distributive negotiation strategy:

  1. Fixed pie: In a distributive negotiation, the resources to be divided are perceived as a fixed pie, and any gain by one party must come at the expense of the other party.
  2. Zero-sum game: Distributive negotiation is a zero-sum game where the gains and losses of the other party mirror the gains and losses of one party.
  3. Competitive approach: Each party is focused on achieving its goals and maximizing its share of the resources rather than trying to find a mutually beneficial solution.
  4. Limited information sharing: In a distributive negotiation, each party may try to keep information about their priorities and preferences confidential to gain an advantage.
  5. Short-term perspective: The parties are focused on the immediate outcome of the negotiation rather than considering the long-term relationship between them.

The distributive negotiation strategy can be effective when the parties have conflicting interests and limited options for creating value. However, it can also lead to a breakdown in communication and a lack of trust between the parties if they perceive the negotiation as unfair or coercive.

Integrative or Collaborative negotiation: 

Integrative or collaborative negotiation is a strategy for both parties to create a mutually beneficial agreement. The goal of integrative negotiation is to maximize the value of the negotiation by finding ways for both parties to achieve their goals. This is also known as a “win-win” negotiation.

For example, when negotiating a contract, both parties may agree on the terms and conditions that benefit both parties. The goal is to create a win-win situation. The following are some key elements of an integrative negotiation strategy:

  1. Focus on interests: Instead of focusing on positions or demands, focus on both parties’ underlying interests and needs. Understanding each other’s interests allows you to find creative solutions that benefit both parties.
  2. Generate options: Brainstorm possible solutions that meet the needs of both parties. Be open to new and creative ideas, and avoid being too attached to any particular solution.
  3. Share information: Be transparent and share as much information as possible. This helps build trust and can lead to more creative solutions.
  4. Build relationships: Develop a positive relationship with the other party. This can help create a collaborative atmosphere and make it easier to find common ground.
  5. Use objective criteria: Use objective criteria to evaluate possible solutions. This helps avoid a situation where one party feels like losing or being taken advantage of.
  6. Be willing to compromise: In integrative negotiation, both parties must compromise. Be ready to give up something to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

Overall, an integrative or collaborative negotiation strategy involves a mindset of collaboration and focusing on finding solutions that benefit both parties. It can be more effective than a competitive or adversarial negotiation strategy, especially when the parties have ongoing relationships they want to preserve.

Competitive negotiation: 

A competitive negotiation strategy involves a win-lose mentality where one party seeks to gain the upper hand over the other party. This negotiation approach is typically used when the parties have conflicting interests, or one party has more power or leverage than the other.

For example, when negotiating a sale, the buyer may try to negotiate a lower price by threatening to buy from a competitor. Here are some key strategies to consider when engaging in a competitive negotiation:

  1. Set aggressive goals: Establish ambitious goals that push the other party to make concessions and move towards your preferred outcome.
  2. Use anchoring: Start with an extreme opening offer or anchor to establish a favorable negotiation starting point.
  3. Make small concessions: Make small concessions early on to gain momentum and build trust. This can help establish a positive tone for the negotiation and encourage the other party to reciprocate.
  4. Use power effectively: Leverage any power you have, whether expertise, resources, or relationships, to gain an advantage in negotiations.
  5. Focus on outcomes, not relationships: Prioritize achieving your desired outcome over maintaining a positive relationship with the other party.
  6. Use deadlines to your advantage: Establish deadlines that create a sense of urgency and compel the other party to make concessions.
  7. Be willing to walk away: Know your bottom line and be prepared to walk away if you cannot reach an acceptable agreement.

It’s worth noting that a competitive negotiation approach can lead to strained relationships and can sometimes result in a suboptimal outcome for both parties. It’s important to weigh a competitive strategy’s potential risks and benefits before deciding whether it’s the right approach for your negotiation.

Compromising negotiation: 

A compromising negotiation strategy involves both parties in a negotiation giving up something in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. It is also known as a “middle-ground” approach, where each party makes concessions to reach a resolution.

For example, when negotiating a contract, both parties may compromise on certain terms and conditions to reach an agreement. The goal is to find an acceptable middle ground for both parties. Here are some tips on how to use a compromising negotiation strategy effectively:

  1. Identify common ground: Find areas where both parties can agree and build the negotiation.
  2. Prioritize objectives: Determine which are most important and which can be compromised.
  3. Offer and request concessions: Propose a compromise that both parties can accept. Offer to concede if the other party is also willing to make a concession.
  4. Be flexible: Be willing to modify your position if it leads to a mutually acceptable agreement.
  5. Maintain a positive attitude: Keep a constructive tone and focus on finding solutions rather than engaging in a win-lose mentality.
  6. Know your limits: Understand what concessions you can make and what would be a deal-breaker.

By using a compromising negotiation strategy, both parties can walk away from the negotiation feeling like they have achieved some of their objectives and have reached a fair agreement that works for both sides.

Power-based Negotiations

Power-based negotiation strategy is a type of negotiation where one party uses their power, status, or influence to gain an advantage over the other party. This type of negotiation can be effective when the two parties have unequal power, or one party has a clear advantage over the other.

For example, when negotiating a contract, one party may use their power and influence to force the other party to agree to their terms. The goal is to use power to gain an advantage in the negotiation. Some common power-based negotiation strategies include:

  1. Threats: A party can threaten to take certain actions if the other party does not agree to its terms. This can include threats of legal action, termination of a contract, or other consequences.
  2. Ultimatums: An ultimatum demands that the other party comply with or face negative consequences. This is often used when one party has a clear advantage over another.
  3. Use of Authority: A party can use authority to push for its desired outcome. This can include using their position or title to influence the other party.
  4. Control of Resources: A party can use its control over resources, such as money or information, to gain an advantage in the negotiation.

While power-based negotiation can be effective in some situations, it can also harm the long-term relationship between the parties. It is vital to approach negotiations with a balance of power and to seek mutually beneficial solutions whenever possible.