Interpersonal Negotiations
and Fair Play

Mistugu Iwashita

Negotiation is one of the toughest jobs of any manager. A great deal of time and energy is spent on interpersonal negotiations for the purposes of coordinating departmental differences, building consensus and involving people in plan activation and implementation.

Negotiations are particularly difficult when the key person the negotiator is dealing with to resolve an issue, belongs to another department. In such cases, a manager skilled in interpersonal negotiations is vital in maintaining the concept of fair play in negotiations. Just what is the concept of fair play in interpersonal negotiations?

Start with the best plan

Present the best plan at the beginning of the negotiations and justify it with sufficient evidence. The plan should, ideally, be implementable. After you have presented your best plan, listen carefully to how the other party responds to the plan.

No hidden agenda

Disclose all vital information in the early stages of negotiation. Provide your negotiation counterparts with all information they need for the decision-making process. It is unfair to bring new opinions to justify your case in the later stages of the negotiation. Basic arguments and reasons should be presented early in the process.

Active listening

In the opening stage, the negotiating party should present his agenda and all necessary information for the decision-making process, One you have presented your agenda, give your counterpart time to think. Listen closely for his reactions to your expectations.

One subject at a time

Discuss one subject at a time. Never introduce two or three different topics at the same time. When cause-effect issues are under discussion, stick to discovering the causes of the problem. Stay away from all discussion of solutions at this stage. Move on to the discussion of solutions in a separate phase of the negotiations. Never go back to a subject once an agreement has been reached.

No personal attacks

Never criticize the personality of your counterpart even when you believe that he is wrong. Try to use logic to disprove his ideas, and politely present your own ideas without damaging your interpersonal relationship.

The fair play concept is an unchallengeable, undeniable and absolute rule for any interaction!

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