Communication Skills in Negotiation

free essayNegotiation involves reaching an agreement between two or more parties that have dissimilar goals and needs that require compromise. Ideally, the agreement should stand to benefit each of those parties. In negotiations, groups or parties resolve matters by holding formal discussions and reaching a mutually agreeable position. Negotiations assist stakeholders in settling their differences. Such differences may entail purchase, sale, mergers, contracts or legal disputes. Building communication skills is important for negotiators as it enables them to express their position and cooperate effectively through cooperative strategies. The art of negotiation arises when interests are at conflict. In negotiations, reaching common ground and reaching a reasonable consensus on disparate positions is vital. Principally, negotiation is a vehicle of stakeholder management and communication. Negotiation theories can be descriptive, normative or prescriptive in nature. Additionally, practitioners and theorists from varied disciplines have utilized and developed strategies that understand the need to build communication skills in negotiation. Negotiated ‘rule-making’ is integral in professional organizations, especially in evaluation, formulation, policy analysis, agenda setting and implementation processes. Negotiation weighs more prominently whenever the needs for consultations arise.

Building Communication Skills and the Various Kinds of Negotiations

There are various kinds of negotiations. In distributive negotiation, parties compete for the allocation of a fixed amount of a resource such as money. It is a zero-sum negotiation process. It is impractical to have trade-offs premised upon differing preferences. In this type of negotiation, reputation and relationship are irrelevant. On the other hand, integrative negotiation involves the cooperating parties seeking to attain optimal benefits by bringing their interests together in an agreement, which results in a win-win situation. In businesses, integrative negotiation occurs when a deal involves non-financial and financial terms, during the structuring of long-term deals, complex partnerships and other collaborations. Integrative negotiation can also occur between superiors, professional colleagues like lawyers or direct staff with long-term interests. Each party in this kind of negotiation makes trade-offs (Spangle & Isenhart 2003) until the preferences and interests of both parties have to be satisfied. Most negotiations are neither purely integrative nor purely distributive. Rather, entwinement of cooperative and competitive elements occurs during most negotiations. However, in multiphase negotiations, implementation is done in phases. In these phases, each party upholds their respective promises on ensuing future deals. Negotiation is done by continuing and follow-through communication. In this kind of negotiation, it is important to understand the other party’s negotiation and communication style. On the other hand, multiparty negotiations involve the formation of alliances or coalitions amongst parties with the intent of influencing the outcome and process.

Negotiation Models

There are two distinct negotiation models. The adversarial negotiation model is the most common form, especially in legal negotiations. It is also an individualistic, distributive or zero-sum bargaining negotiation model. In adversarial negotiation, each party tries to win as many concessions as they can. The more one party receives, the less the other party gets. Adversarial negotiators often engage in largely manipulative and competitive processes. Adversarial negotiation entails some major stages. To begin with, every party prepares for the negotiation process by establishing resistance and target points. The target point is the most realistic point a party can obtain while the resistance point is that point below which a party would be unwilling to make further concessions. When it involves litigation, party would rather go to a full trial than make further concessions. Every party presents their initial offer (Kiser 2011). The second common model, the problem solving negotiation model, focuses on identifying the underlying needs or interests of the parties and does its best to produce a win-win outcome. It is also involves integrative, cooperative, collaborative or accommodative bargaining. The model aims at reaching the best solution that satisfies most parties with mutual needs. Its egalitarian nature ensures that the chosen problem solving approach maximizes joint gains.

The adversarial model postulates that the competing parties desire similar goals, values or items. The model assumes that the negotiating parties are bargaining over similar scarce values, items or goals. It also assumes that the matters being bargained over are limited to those that a court or arbitrator could award. The best outcome is reached after a compromise on the items, values and goals at issue. Critics point out that the model and its fundamental assumptions limit the quality of the solution in terms of the parties’ negotiation issue. The solution is considered without bearing in mind any extra-judicial alternatives, which may be better. On the other hand, the problem-solving model assumes that the objective of negotiations is to satisfy basic interests. It also postulates that the identification of the underlying needs and interests of the parties involved ensures that they arrive at many alternative solutions. Lastly, it assumes that out of these solutions comes the best solution. It is important to build communication skills to ensure that the negotiation process stands to benefit the parties involved regardless of the negotiation model. Arriving at the best outcome requires a good grasp of negotiation skills. The problem-solving model assumes collaboration and information sharing between parties.

Most negotiations are neither purely problem solving nor adversarial. Therefore, negotiators use elements of all of them in one negotiation. The negotiating parties can begin with a problem solving approach and then resort to an adversarial approach and vice versa if necessary. The negotiation models are binding to the parties. In determining the best negotiation, it is important to understand the nature of the prevailing issue. Oftentimes, the adversarial model favors parties bargaining singularly on a finite and fixed matter like money. In such a case, the problem-solving model may be less desirable since it is not a zero-sum game. It is also important to take cognizance of the approach used by the other party during negotiation. In building communication, most insurance adjusters and lawyers apply adversarial bargaining. The bargaining advantage differences also come in handy during negotiations with its extent depending upon the alternatives available for each party. Negotiators with a greater advantage than their opponents can choose the adversarial approach. This way, they can extract more concessions from the other party. Conversely, those with less of an advantage will opt for the problem-solving model. It is also important to factor in any future deals between the negotiators or parties. In addition, the pressure exerted upon the parties to reach an agreement may affect the choice of the negotiation approach. For instance, the need to lower legal fees or other expenses, heavy caseloads, court deadlines and the need to avert psychological stress arising from protracted controversies pressurize negotiators to speed up some agreement (Kiser 2011).

Stages of Negotiation

During the preparatory stage, negotiators assess the relative strengths of the parties. It also involves setting negotiating goals and objectives in terms of the important issues that need to be addressed. Proper preparation saves a negotiating party from any surprises or unexpected issues (Fowler 1990). However, it is important to register any concerns during the next stage: bidding. Communication barriers can create differences between the negotiating parties during the biding stage (Silverthorne 2005). During bidding, it is imperative to pay attention to non-verbal clues in order to avert the possibly of a looming impasse during this negotiation stage. Effective communication helps negotiators with essential symbolic closure through imminent settlement. During the discussion stage, it is vital to listen to the other party’s views without interrupting. Communication skills come in handy when toning down emotive issues. During the settling and evaluation stage, appreciating the suggestions and cooperation is important. After settling for a compromise, it is imperative to put everything down in writing and obtain signatures of the negotiating parties. Next follows the ratification stage when the agreement is sealed. Lastly, the dissemination stage follows where the negotiating parties execute the agreement.

Negotiation Styles and Communication Strategies

Negotiation strategy involves the conceptual approach or model chosen in the negotiation process. Communication skills come in handy in choosing negotiation styles and strategies. On the other hand, negotiation style refers to the interpersonal behavior of a negotiator in a negotiation setting. A negotiation styles is often affected by the negotiation strategy. There are three kinds of negotiation styles: competitive, cooperative and the combination of cooperative and competitive. First, the competitive negotiation style is characterized by a confrontational and aggressive approach. In this negotiation style, winning is the only option. Personal feelings and interpersonal relationships are irrelevant. At times, Machiavellian tactics, intimidation and threats are employed. The competing party is pressurized to make concessions especially when they are inexperienced or easily intimidated. Hard-nosed positions and extreme demands lead to relatively larger settlements. Additionally, competitive negotiators develop a repute of toughness and strength attractive to most clients. However, this approach often alienates the other party, creates misunderstanding, mistrust and frequent deadlocks. It often causes overreaction and polarizes positions. Moreover, the destruction or impairment of personal relationships may occur. This adversely affects future negotiations. During negotiations, it is important to utilize good communication skills that focus singularly on the existing subject matter without attacking the other party’s personalities. After an agreement is reached, it is important to make concerted efforts to repair possible damage.

Conversely, cooperative negotiation style is competitive style’s antithesis. A cooperative negotiator places a premium on interpersonal relations, shared interests and understanding, and strives to find common ground. Typically, such a negotiator is more accommodating and sincere. This low-key negotiation style is often misconstrued for weakness. This style reduces the possibility of a deadlock. A cooperative negotiation style yields long-lasting and faster agreements. Additionally, the parties involved agree without adversely affecting their egos. The disposition to continue working together is a positive outcome of this method (Fowler 1990). However, a cooperative negotiator may be coerced to avert confrontation and end up offering too many concessions. Agreements that could have been more favorable are forsaken for merely reaching a sound and mutually beneficial agreement. The effectiveness and efficiency of a cooperative negotiation style is dependent upon the willingness of the parties to exchange information forthrightly. It is important for cooperative negotiators to comprehend competitive tactics too.

Lastly, a competitive-cooperative negotiation style represents the middle ground existing between competitive and cooperative negotiation styles. Combining the merits of cooperative and competitive style breeds a firm, professionally amicable and open-minded negotiation style. Under this approach, some realistic concessions assist in satisfying the aims of all the parties. Resolving conflicting objectives is done through compromise. This style preserves personal relationships and helps in the sustenance of long-term agreements. However, lest the negotiating parties work together in resolution of possible differences, the competitive-cooperative negotiation style cannot work efficiently. This approach requires patience and time. If the other party becomes unrelentingly competitive, a competitive-cooperative approach cannot work (Spangle & Isenhart 2003). Choosing a negotiating strategy and style depends on effective communication skills and personality. Possessing proficient communication skills renders a negotiator a little more flexible in choosing a negotiation strategy or style. During negotiations, it is important that parties avert ad hominem attacks that permeate such processes.

Fundamentals of Successful Negotiation

Proper preparation is very important in negotiation. Indeed, it is the singular most significant element in successful negotiation. Preparation in a negotiation process entails the identification of intended goals. It also involves setting limits on which goals and objectives are achieved. Secondly, without building proficient communication skills, effective negotiation is a tall order. Communication is integral in any form of interaction. Most importantly, communication is an important element in successful negotiations. Such communication skills encompass but are not limited to the mere ability of listening keenly to the other party, but also understanding the sender’s intended message. Moreover, communication skills enable negotiators to interpret messages and non-verbal cues accurately. Additionally, emotional control plays a very pivotal function in any successful negotiation. When stakes are high in the negotiation process, emotions play a critical role in its outcome. Emotional well-being requires techniques for enhancement. It is also imperative to possess confidence during negotiation. Additionally, setting and defining limits is necessary to achieve the stated goals. However, realizing that trade-offs are part of negotiations is important since the competing party will be more inclined to make concessions. Lastly, a successful negotiation requires setting defined goals and objectives.

Negotiation consists of two or more parties. Since the stakeholders have predetermined goals, negotiation skills come in handy in reaching the most desired outcome after making concessions and seeking resolutions. When making concessions, the parties demonstrate their willingness to modify position. Parties with an understanding of the objective of negotiation reach the outcome faster. However, working effectively with the opposition requires sound communication skills. In order to reach a mutually beneficial outcome, the negotiating parties make compromises. In distributive negotiation, a seller aims to sell at the highest price while a buyer aims to purchase at the lowest price. For this reason, distributive negotiation is a winner-take-all system (Silverthorne 2005). Principally, negotiation is more or less a counter-intuitive process. In spite of knowing the merits of a negotiation strategy, negotiating parties fail to implement it effectively. Each negotiating party intends to compel the other party cede certain demands and modify their initial position. Power is a fundamental element in negotiation. Those who wield it oftentimes have an upper hand in negotiation processes. Paying attention to body language is important in negotiation since non-verbal cues are a form of communication too. Negotiating parties have to be flexible, firm and open. They must also exercise great maturity, patience and coolness. Displaying emotions also hinders communication during negotiation processes. Towards this end, negotiators have to bargain from a position of strength. Skillful negotiators create momentum during negotiations. They use communication skills to determine when and where to exit talks successfully. Confidence and trust are indispensable in the negotiation processes. Negotiators should be knowledgeable about face-reading and human psychology. Astute negotiators use their communication skills to radiate enthusiasm and energy in the negotiation process. They can also empathize with their opponents, are patient listeners, and understand when to anticipate compromise.

Building Communication Skills in Negotiation

In negotiation, the capacity to listen bereft of interference during message delivery is imperative. Again, discussing issues openly in a receptive manner allows both parties in a negotiation process to properly hear and understand the message in order to respond to it appropriately in a productive manner. A clear presentation of the discussion points guarantee accurate understanding of the message. Communication is not restricted to what is heard. It also involves body language; responses or messages conveyed through eyes, body and facial expressions. To interpret body language correctly is taxing, but necessary. Building communication skills in negotiations can be achieved by using a clear minds during active listening. Oftentimes, people are bombarded by both external and internal interruptions that limit their ability to understand and hear a message clearly. Internal distractions may include prejudice and pre-conceived ideas while external distractions may include abrupt telephone calls. Building communication skills in negotiation require completely tuning out all distractions. Turning external distracters off is simple. This can involve switching off communication devices or discouraging unexpected visitors. However, turning internal distracters off is not as easy. Clearing the mind of unnecessary thoughts and maintaining eye contact helps in attaining full attention during negotiation. Listening skills are important for the best negotiators. Oftentimes, the best negotiators are quiet listeners because they do not interrupt and they possess both collaborative and competitive negotiation skills (Spangle & Isenhart 2003).

Effective communication skills require eliminating barriers to active listening since they impede the capacity to understand messages clearly. Oftentimes, people enter into conversations with pre-conceived ideas about a topic in question. Active listening is impossible when a negotiator is fatigued. Rescheduling meetings or insisting on breaks ensures that listening remains active. Additionally, it is vital to cultivate a sense of respect and trust in communication since this is fundamental in negotiation. The capacity to understand messages is partially dependent on active listening without distractions (Silverthorne 2005). In negotiations and even in other daily interactions, it is important to ensure that our statements do not advertently hurt other parties. Towards this end, the clarity and accuracy of information becomes important during communication to enhance understanding. During negotiation process, emotional control also plays an important role. Emotional control starts by recognizing personal weaknesses and strengths. After a proper self-assessment, building on the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses become important. It is critical to understand what issues concern the negotiator in order to effectively address them. In communication, self-control is an important skill especially during negotiation. It is also important to demonstrate enthusiasm appropriately.

Negotiations require sound communication skills due to their nature as a process. When two parties are involved in negotiation, the process is characterized by fundamental duality. Resolving differences that arise from negotiation requires an understanding of communication skills, style and language. In an attempt to reach agreement, communication skills become essential in exchanging offers. Therefore, negotiation is a blend of cooperation and competitiveness. Throughout the negotiation process, negotiators are confronted with choices in an attempt to manage the balance between competitiveness and cooperation. Just like any other social interaction, reciprocity in negotiation is imperative. Through communication, it is possible to build trust. Furthermore, understanding the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior is important. Due to the unpredictability of human emotions, building sound communication skills in negotiation processes is indispensable. Negotiations involve give-and-take decisions.

Even with good communication skills, communication barriers still arise in the negotiation processes. Negative emotions cloud a negotiator’s communication ability. Additionally, in the presence of a mediator, supervisor or a constituency influences the communication style and efficiency of the negotiation process. Most integrative theorists contend that framing is central to effective communication. Frames are communication tools that assist the other negotiating partner in relating and understanding the existing concerns. Framing the topic properly enhances the shared definition relating to the problem and the requisite process that is important in resolving a dispute. Skillful negotiators present negotiations as mutual problems that need solutions. Building communication skills enables a negotiator to create a sense of openness, ease and camaraderie. Therefore, framing in integrative negotiation approaches is both a tool that enhances communication channels and a sound communication skill. It is important to allow the other negotiating party to express their emotions. This bolsters communication since it clears away any unwanted emotions. It is also important to avert polemic and long speeches as well as personal verbal attacks. Building communication skills in negotiation requires that the opposing party acknowledge the seriousness of the concern and its legitimacy, making the negotiations pro-active.

Negotiation Tactics and Building Communication Skills

During the negotiation process, it is important to utilize a decoy in order to gage the response of the other party by feigning non-verbal bewilderment and surprise. At this point, a negotiator can easily strike a favorable deal. Again, negotiation nibble and cherry picking are vital negotiation tactics. During the process, using a negotiation flinch involves showing outright physical reaction such as laughter, surprise, bewilderment and gasping. A negotiator can also bring the issue of negotiation deadline to pressurize the other party into an agreement and consequently make concessions. Communication skills assist a negotiator during moral appeal where a party will argue that the deal will favor the society and workers, for instance. Name-dropping and recessing are also very significant negotiation tactics (Spangle & Isenhart 2003). Additionally, full disclosure enables a negotiator to gain trust from the other negotiating party and it also builds confidence. However, it is important to use communication skills to disclose vital information piecemeal. A negotiator can turn to common friends, close sources, or media sources to influence the other party. Proficient communication skills enable the negotiator to apply ‘lubrication’ in the bargaining process through flattery and smooth talk. People also meet in dinner meetings and golf clubs to strike deals. Such an environment may be conducive for negotiation. Communication is a negotiation medium. Therefore, building communication skills in negotiation is an imperative. The breakdown of any negotiation process could be attributed to poor communication skills.

During negotiation, it is important to agree to take breaks. This is important as it helps in clearing the mind, regain objectivity and refocus. After the break, raising the issue in a non-accusatory manner becomes important. Active listening skills enable a negotiator to listen to the other party as they present their offer. It is also good to switch spokespeople from time to time. Communication plays a role in documenting any progress made. The documenting process should be a joint process, particularly in multiphase negotiations. Oftentimes, die-hard bargainers obstruct agreement. In such cases, it is important to be aware their game and not allow them to use it as a way to intimidate. Sound communication skills ensure that the information disclosed by a negotiator is highly guarded. Discipline throughout the communication process ensures that the negotiations are free of bluffing and lies. Integrity is also a fundamental negotiation skill. All through the negotiation process, it is vital to request documentation to ensures terms are adhered to during the process. Ensuring that escrow arrangements, penalties and security deposits are part of the deal ensures that either there is compliance or it provides positive incentives to early performance.

To bolster the effectiveness of a negotiator, aligning organizational goals with negotiating goals is important. Thorough preparation for negotiation, a party can anticipate the reservation price for the other party. Identifying both parties’ interests assists in developing opportunities that create value. During negotiations, communication skills enable a negotiator to separate the negotiating issues from personal issues and recognize any potential barriers that may occur in an agreement. Recognizing relationship value facilitates negotiation processes too. Good negotiators prepare for every meeting with the other party by collecting information regarding prospective deliberation issues. Astute and sharp negotiators operate with focus and an objective detachment in producing the most feasible outcome. Skillful negotiators neutralize negotiation barriers through their proficiency in communication. There are innumerable communication problems that bedevil negotiations. In negotiation processes, there are many dynamics that contribute to energy, insight and inspiration. Therefore, it is important for negotiators to ensure that they are communicating effectively with the other party.

Negotiation is impossible without communication. Good communication helps in changing attitudes. It also facilitates the aversion of misunderstandings and deadlock, and bolsters relationships. Additionally, proficient communication skills assist in relaying messages cogently and understanding thoroughly the message of the other party. Additionally, integrative approaches to negotiation emphasize the significance of information sharing in uncovering interests of other parties. Furthermore, communication helps in assisting negotiation parties to explore common threats and problems. Still, common communication inefficiencies and errors hamper negotiations. For instance, if a negotiating party were to forget to actively listen to what the other party is saying and only concentrate on their personal responses, then reaching a compromising outcome is unlikely. Listening enables a negotiating party understand pertinent information relating to the other party.

Sound communication skills enable a negotiator to attentively listening to the other party’s point of view. Eventually, this will create a sense of respect. Active listening is important in building communication skills in negotiation. The common problem with most people is that they listen with the intent of phrasing a response and not understanding the message. Paraphrasing without essentially agreeing, acknowledging what is said, and asking questions demonstrate active listening. To ensure good communication, it is imperative to listen to both non-verbal and verbal cues. Inquiry as opposed to persuasion equally builds communication skills in negotiation (Fowler 1990). Misunderstandings that arise from differences in cultures and languages can hamper negotiations. Negotiation is a civic skill. Additionally, negotiation is important for tackling social problems. Building partnerships, community problem solving, conflict management, stakeholder organizing and participatory planning require negotiation skills too. All these activities involve informal bargaining. For effective negotiations, it is important to negotiate interests and not positions since joint problem solving requires will.

Seeking Win-Win Agent-Human Negotiations by Building Communication Skills

Negotiation is a mutual decision-making process involving either two or more parties. These parties have conflicting interests but they negotiate to get as much out of it as they can. Negotiations involve many settings and facets. Before the process starts, the parties must have common information regarding the negotiations. Additionally, negotiating parties possess private information concerning their own bottom-line conditions and preferences. On the other hand, a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) represents the bottom-line conditions. A BATNA is the fallback agreement given to an arbitrator if the existing negotiations fail. The negotiation process takes place in rounds. Unaccepted offers expire when the next round starts. Furthermore, these rules encompass the termination mechanism that indicates the final offer. Single-issue negotiations like price bargaining are win-lose, distributive and zero-sum games since the negotiating parties have conflicting and opposing interests. Win-lose negotiations are not as attractive as win-win negotiations if the goal is mutual agreement. In human negotiations, all the parties have their own interests. However, striking a compromise to reach a win-win solution requires a great deal of proficiency and making many concessions.

Using the dual-concern model, there are four kinds of negotiation strategies: collaboration, competition, avoidance and accommodation. The avoidance strategy entails the inexistence of concerns for either party while the accommodation strategy blends high-priority concerns for the other party with the low-priority concerns of the negotiator’s party. On the other hand, competitive strategies combine high-priority concerns with low-priority concerns to the counterpart within the negotiation process while the collaboration strategies reflects and requires strong concern from both parties. The dual-concern model postulates that a negotiator ought to adopt a problem-solving or collaboration strategy in establishing agreements that are mutually beneficial for both parties. This is in tandem with win-win negotiations. Achieving better socio-psychological and economic outcomes for both negotiating parties is a tall order. Both parties should reciprocally seek win-win outcomes. When these parties build good communication skills as they negotiate, it becomes easier to reach an agreement within a reasonable time. The negotiating parties should easily communicate and make compromises if at all an agreement is to be reached quickly. The outcomes should be dyadic for joint utility. To realize Pareto-efficient solutions during negotiations, no party should gain more even with further concessions. Proficient communication skills shorten the negotiation rounds or time to arrive at an agreement.

In agent-human negotiation settings, there are innumerable socio-psychological and economic perspectives that guide the evaluation of negotiation strategies. Building communication skills enable a negotiator to respond to any counteroffers and make offers of their own (Spangle & Isenhart 2003). Correspondingly, such skills enable both parties make concessions. Most importantly, building proficient communication skills help negotiators arrive at the effective acceptance and offer strategies. This creates a very effective anchor during the negotiation process. In negotiations, there exists pure conflict where parties have competing interests. Combining these conflicting positions by building consensus requires effective communication. Proficient communication skills enable a negotiator to shape negotiated outcomes regardless of the power wielded by the other party (Kiser 2011). Positional bargaining yields win-lose negotiation outcomes. In an attempt to realize win-win solutions, negotiators experience the need to build effective communication skills. It is through proper communication that sound agreements become reachable.

Negotiation and Problem-solving by Building Communication Skills

Negotiation occurs in various contexts. In our daily lives, we face problems. In order to solve these problems, negotiation is an imperative. In negotiation, communication is important. People want to be engaged in making decisions that affect them. This is because conflict is normal in social interactions. At this point, negotiation is instrumental in handling these differences. As a back-and-forth communication process, negotiation requires that both parties listen to each other. Negotiation is used as a means to various ends, but it is not an end in itself. Oftentimes, negotiation becomes a wrong means to an end when the major aim of negotiation remains reaching an agreement. Agreement is the product of a negotiation process. Most importantly, negotiation is a communication process that is punctuated by breakthroughs and breakdowns that characterize human communication. Clever persuasion over-simplifies serious issues and important facts. During the communication process, people use varying words and body language with the intent of conveying their expectations. Negotiation involves interest that negotiating parties hold. Clearly, negotiation is not the sole joint problem-solving element; it is merely involves discovering a common ground or commonalities

At times, a negotiating party can apply psychological tricks in order to outsmart the other party. Such elements will not lead to mutually beneficial agreements (Silverthorne 2005). The least effective negotiators use such tactics. However, negotiation is important not only in building relationships but also in the problem-solving processes. Negotiation involves persuasion and a reasonable degree of toughness and assertiveness. It also calls for active listening and substantive creativity in order to invent sound options to realize mutual gains. Therefore, to realize tangible outcomes, effective communication is necessary. However, it is important to note that negotiation is not an issue of cooperation. Most of the time, communication processes have subtexts, undertones and ambiguous rules. During the process of building communication skills, it is imperative to address special issues underlying a negotiation process. It is necessary that the negotiating party on the very fundamental elements from the onset minimize misunderstanding during initial offers. Communication skills come in handy during the framing of questions. Persuasion is important in helping skillful negotiators realize tangible outcomes. Principally, negotiation processes do not involve cooperation alone. Competition is also an important element of negotiations. During such competition, it is important to communicate the party’s interests in persuading the other negotiating party to make concessions. Thus, creative cooperation may be hard to come by since parties value dissimilar things. At such a point, communication skills enable a negotiator to make all-important win-win trade. Persuading the other negotiating party requires proficiency in communication skills.

Communication skills facilitate negotiation by helping overcome conflicts and costly stand-offs. Disputes and deals have varying specifics, tempo and tone. In order to overcome any foreseeable impasse during communication, negotiators set their terms from the onset. Negotiators with strong communication skills persuade their opponents to shift their particular positions by making timely but necessary concessions. Since negotiations can be formal, formal communication is important in such a case. After an agreement is reached, it is recorded down and then given some legally binding status in some form of a pact or a contract. However, negotiations can also be informal in civic life. In civic life, people are oftentimes involved in give-and-take processes. This drives change and promising ideas.

In the event that the arbitrators between two parties lack sound communication skills, negotiations may become counterproductive, distracting and redundant (Spangle & Isenhart, 2003). Bridging gaps in information and data, addressing the complex and technical issues of a negotiation process and streamlining dissimilar worldviews require sound communication. Communication helps in agenda setting, organizing stakeholders and building movement. It also assists in addressing substantive challenges arising during negotiations. Good judgment, intuition and risk-taking are indispensable in negotiation processes. Poor communication hinders good judgment. Obviously, proficient communication skills enhance effective participation in negotiation processes. Dialogue is therefore essential in deliberations that characterize negotiation processes.

The manner through which the negotiating parties define actions, decisions and civic actions depend on the soundness of the negotiators’ communication skills. Shared decision-making requires a give-and-take approach to negotiation, whether informal or formal. Overcoming communication breakdowns and other similar process barriers require cooperation. Negotiating parties think and communicate their thoughts in handling communication breakdowns and process barriers. Building communication skills enables negotiating parties to seize potential agreements. Participatory planning and building partnerships requires sound communication skills. Unavoidably, competition elements hinder cooperation during negotiation processes. Poor communication skills lead to the failure to solve disputes arising in negotiations. This has the potential of souring relationships amongst negotiating parties and has huge costs upon other parties in the negotiation process. Since competing and cooperation simultaneously is challenging, emotional control becomes important to all the negotiating parties. Building communication skills in negotiation facilitates creation of value. Communication skills come in handy when dispute resolution and deal making are inevitable in negotiation processes. Instinctively, people negotiate upon positions. Therefore, they seek to explore possible options in advancement of their personal interests.

While communication may be seen as authentic, these personal interests have valued and underling things. Multi-party and two-party negotiations also require sound communication skills. Negotiation as a back-and-forth communication process enables the negotiating parties to accomplish their objectives. Building communication skills enable negotiating parties to better understand perceptions (Kiser 2011). Effective communication enables negotiating parties to generate various possibilities by helping it avoid narrowing down to positions and narrow-vested interests. Building communication skills in negotiation requires principled arguments. For the parties to get beyond their personal tangible benefits, it is inevitable to make the requisite concessions. Skillful negotiators positively influence the other negotiating party by building communication skills in negotiation. As a back-and-forth communicative and persuasive process, negotiation is considerably an art. Filling in communication gaps in negotiation is essential (Spangle & Isenhart 2003). Additionally, it is important to utilize interpersonal communication skills. Such skills lead to effective negotiation as they define a negotiating party’s personal repertoire. Most importantly, good communication skills enable a negotiator express their feelings appropriately. Furthermore, building communication skills enhances effective listening and inquiry and thus promotes active listening.

Building communication skills in negotiation is important in the negotiation process. As a back-and-forth persuasion process, negotiation requires that the parties involved frame the issues accordingly. Principally, negotiating parties perceive their vales and interests differently. Overly hard-bargainers know the essence of persuasion in communication. They invoke the shared interest and common good in persuasive arguments. They also know how to emphasize collective benefits and downplay personal costs. Building communication skills enables the negotiators to broaden or narrow the focus strategically as well as neutralize any toxic issues in the negotiation process by making upfront commitments that enable the parties to move towards issues that generate momentum. Astute negotiators refute counter-arguments beforehand. Effective negotiation relationships are forward-looking, fair, resilient, realistic, forgiving and truth-based. This research paper has shown that building communication skills in negotiation requires a multimodal approach. Both integrative and distributive require effective communication skills. Therefore, building communication skills in negotiation is imperative.