Contracts, What Else? Essay

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Contract Negotiation Workshop March, 2015 Getting to Yes – Negotiating an agreement without giving in 3. Focus on INTERESTS, Not Positions The difference between interests and positions is crucial. The problem among people, in a negotiation, tend to be a conflict of positions, and since their goal is to agree on a position, they naturally tend to think and talk about positions. This way of doing things is wrong seeing that the basic problem in a negotiation lies not in conflicting positions, but in the conflict between each side's interests, such as needs, desires, concerns and fears. Interests motivate people and they are the cause of your decisions. Harmonizing interests rather than positions works for two reasons: first of all, for every interest there usually exists several possible positions that could satisfy it. Secondly, behind opposed positions lie many more interests than conflicting ones. We tend to assume that because the other side's positions are opposed to ours, their interests must also be opposed. However, in many negotiations, if we decide to probe the underlying interests of both sides, we will expose many more interests that are common than ones that are opposed. Of course there's situations where agreement is often made possible precisely because interests differ. When I'm buying a surfboard, it's clear to me that both myself and the seller like surfboards, but in that particular moment, his main interest is the money that I'm going to pay for it and mine is still the surfboard. So, as we can see, differing but complementary interests can contribute for a wise agreement. How can we identify different interests? The first thing to do is to put ourselves in their situation and ask why are they taking those positions. Then we need to think in the decision that the other party see us asking them to make, because if we

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