Everyone is faced with what is commonly called business communication. Therefore, many are interested in how to draw up an official letter, accept a partner and negotiate with him, resolve a contentious issue and establish mutually beneficial cooperation.
Of particular importance is business communication for people who run their own business. In many respects, the success of their activities depends on how well they master science and the art of communication. In Western countries, training courses covering business communication are taught in almost every university and college. Not so long ago, the rules of negotiation began to be studied in domestic higher education institutions. And, of course, such disciplines instill in students the ability to establish contact with partners.
This article will talk about business ethics and negotiation rules. The main stages of negotiations, types of human behavior and some principles of interaction with them will be described. The rules for negotiating technical means of communication will also be presented.
What is negotiation?
Before you begin to consider the basic rules of negotiation, you should find out what they are and what they can be. So, negotiations are communication between people, which is done in order to achieve a specific goal. In negotiations, each of the parties to communication has the same opportunity to control the situation and make decisions.
Negotiations always assume that the participants partially have a similar opinion, and partially disagree with the convictions of the other side. They meet in order to come to a common denominator. However, if the parties agree with each other’s beliefs or, on the contrary, are very critical, these are completely different types of interaction — cooperation and confrontation, respectively.
Functions and goals of negotiations
It is generally accepted that negotiations exist in order to reach a consensus and agree on something. Despite the fact that such an opinion is very logical, several goals can be distinguished.
Negotiations are needed in order to discuss problems (existing or possible), make a joint decision, etc. In addition, negotiations can perform an information function when people just exchange views on certain things. This type of interaction can be called pre-negotiations. A meeting organized to forge new connections involves a function such as communicative when people meet to get to know each other.
Negotiations may also have such functions as control, coordination and regulation. They differ from the communicative ones in that they are necessary in cases where there are already agreements, and negotiations are ongoing regarding the implementation of previously achieved joint decisions.
In addition to the case listed above in practice, it is such that negotiations can be arranged not to discuss and make decisions. They are needed as a distraction to competitors or partners. Sometimes such tricks go to trading companies who want to get the attention of a particular partner by pretending to establish business contacts with other companies.
Negotiating rules oblige a person to know what stages of this process exist. Due to this, during planning and conducting business communication, you can achieve great results.
So, negotiations consist of preparation, the very process of communication and reaching agreement. It is worth considering in more detail the stages of negotiations and their stages in the table below.
Stage of reference
Stage of agreement
Selection of negotiation tools
Selection of agreed solutions
Establishment of contact between interlocutors (invitation or confirmation of participation in negotiations)
Wording of the agenda
Final discussion of the chosen action strategy
Collection and analysis of information needed for negotiations
Identification of contentious issues
Preparation of a negotiation plan
Disclosure of the deep interests of the parties
Building an atmosphere of trust
Developing proposals to achieve consistency
Formally, one can distinguish one more stage - the final, when both parties after negotiations analyze the results and begin to implement the agreements reached.
It is worth remembering one of the most important rules of negotiating - you always need to know the subject of discussion and own certain approaches. Knowing them, you can predict the behavior of the interlocutor. The following approaches to negotiations can be distinguished:
- Enemies The essence of the approach is that the parties appear before each other in the role of soldiers who must defend their interests. In other words, this approach can be described as “tug of war”.
- Friends. Both parties are proponents of friendly negotiation. This approach assumes that the weaker side will adjust to the stronger one. It is worth noting that this approach is extremely rare in practice.
- Partners. The third approach has a very solid foundation - focus on finding a mutually acceptable solution. It is important that the parties with this approach try to find a way out of the situation that would suit both completely and completely. This approach can be described as “clean” negotiations.
Regardless of which approach has been chosen, it should be remembered that interlocutors can go for various kinds of tricks that help to get more benefits in favor of their side.
Negotiating etiquette rules do not approve of the use of various fraudulent moves, but businessmen may deliberately resort to tricks to get profit. It is always worth being alert and able to properly neutralize them. It is worth considering the most common "dirty" tricks:
- Overstatement of the entry level. This trick is based on the fact that initially the partner puts forward too complex conditions of cooperation, beneficial for him, or those that can be safely excluded, and during the conversation simplifies them. Thus, the party against which the technique is used has to make concessions on its part as well. In order to avoid such a trick, it is necessary to study the issue of negotiations and the potential of the partner before the meeting.
- Arrangement of false accents. This trick is similar in principle to the one described above. The only difference is that in this case there is an extreme interest in resolving any issue, although in fact this issue is secondary.
- Making last-minute demands. This trick is similar to the above, but it can be used only at the last stage of negotiations, when it is advisable to use the first two at the beginning. This technique is also called "extortion." Putting demands at the last minute is a very dangerous trick, because when the partners have agreed on everything and reached a consensus, one of the parties puts forward new conditions at a time when the second is already interested in signing the agreement.
- Creating a hopeless situation. This technique is very painful for the side against which it is used. When using it, the partner creates such conditions under which the other party can either agree to situations or harm himself in case of refusal. Often, such tactics of behavior lead to the fact that the confidence of the party on which pressure is exerted can be lost forever.
- Ultimatum. The principle of this trick is that one of the parties takes the position “Either you agree to our terms, or we leave the negotiations!” However, after such a trick, negotiations turn into a unilateral resolution of the issue.
- Salami. The trick principle comes down to the same approach as in the case of a real sausage product. Salami is a product that is consumed in small portions, since it is impossible to eat whole and immediately. One side begins to give out information about assessment, personal interests, etc. in small portions in the hope that the second will do the same and begin to tell all the secrets. Depending on what the partner says against which this trick is applied, the first side begins to behave accordingly. As a result, negotiations can drag out over time, and the interlocutor will fully and completely recognize the opinion, interests and views of the other side.
- Bluff. From the name of the trick, it becomes clear that we are talking about the fact that one of the parties gives his partner knowingly false information. However, in recent years, they have resorted to it less and less, because modern conditions allow you to independently double-check everything that the interlocutor says.
- Double interpretation. This trick is based on the fact that one of the parties issues wording with a double meaning, which can then be interpreted in their own interests. The trick is that if during the contract any documents with such double wording are worked out or signed, one of the parties will then be unable to not fulfill the conditions. Such a trick is very dangerous for the party that uses it, because thanks to this, you can quickly lose a good reputation and acquire a bad one.
The negotiation rules state that if during the course of business communication it was noticed that the partner goes to receptions and tricks, then in no case should one reciprocate. You need to understand why this happens and after that build a line of communication. However, do not abruptly interrupt negotiations, it is better to calmly listen to all the requirements and leave time for reflection.
Rules to be followed in negotiations
There are general, so to speak, universal norms of conduct in negotiations, and it doesn’t matter whether a face-to-face meeting is held or whether negotiations are conducted using technical means of communication. The rules of negotiation that should be remembered are always the following:
- You should always be courteous and avoid phrases and hints that can belittle the identity of the partner. You must always observe secular etiquette.
- You can not ignore the opinion of the partner.
- You should not ask too many questions without explaining why they are important. In other words, unpretentious interrogations should not be allowed.
- It is necessary to adequately respond to clarifications and try to convey information so that all parties understand what is at stake.
- Do not rephrase thoughts.
- If the partner’s thought seems unsaid, you can continue it by specifying whether this was intended.
- Summing up is possible only at the end of negotiations or after lengthy remarks.
- If the negotiations are group, it is necessary to give everyone the opportunity to speak out, even if it takes too much time. But usually only one person on the part of a potential partner holds his word.
How to convince a partner?
From the point of view of business communication and negotiation rules, psychologists have developed a set of tips that will help in those moments when it is necessary not only to convey information to a partner, but also to convince him of something. So, it is worth considering this list:
- If a decision has been made to convince a partner of something, you should start with weak arguments, move on to middle ones, and at the end sound the strongest argument, the so-called “trump card”.
- You can not drive a partner at a disadvantage for him or put pressure on him. Everyone has the right to “save face”.
- If you need to get a positive answer to an important question, you should ask him two simple questions, to which the partner will easily answer.
- It is worth remembering that the more influential the speaker, the stronger his arguments sound.
- Empathy is required.
- When convincing, you need to start with what is understandable and acceptable to the two sides.
Telephone Calls: Telephone Conversation Rules
Negotiations on technical means of communication differ from those that are conducted face-to-face. The most important rule of telephone conversations is brevity. Such business communication should be concise and not prolonged. We need to speak exclusively on the merits.
In general, there are several basic rules for negotiating communications:
- You must be friendly and welcoming.
- Telephone calls should be carried out by a competent person who understands the agenda.
- Before talking, you need to set up your voice and, if possible, speak a few tongue twisters.
- Voice during telephone calls should be calm. If necessary, you can play with your voice when you need to focus on certain things or when convincing a partner.
- You can not interrupt the interlocutor. This is a very important telephone rule. Even if the interlocutor says unpleasant things, criticizes or expresses discontent, it is necessary to listen to him, and only then start talking.
In addition to the above, it is worth remembering that the etiquette rules for conducting telephone conversations coincide with those that people usually adhere to in person. In addition, it is worth noting that if due to technical problems a part of the conversation was missed, which the interlocutor did not notice, it is necessary to apologize and ask to be repeated.
National negotiating features
Knowing the basics of telephone communication with partners and the rules of collective bargaining, you must always take into account the national characteristics of all parties. For example, the Germans are not late and are overly pedantic. The British are people who always seem restrained, so do not take this as coldness. It is worth noting that if such a partner gave his word of honor - he will restrain him.
The Italians are very active and sociable, while they prefer to meet in an informal setting. An important feature of such partners is that they prefer to talk with people of the same rank. Spaniards are people who prefer to work in a team. They are gallant, open, serious, but at the same time they have a wonderful sense of humor. Like Italians, Spaniards prefer to communicate in negotiations with people of the same rank.
Speaking of Chinese partners, it is worth bearing in mind that they are very attentive to words. The information voiced by them is always considered and restrained. Often, the Chinese do not first express their thoughts and suggestions, so you should keep this in mind when negotiating.
Having understood what are the basics of business communication and etiquette rules for conducting telephone conversations, it is much easier to build the right line of behavior. The most important thing in this process is to be honest with yourself and your partner.