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The Yes Book:

The Art of Better Negotiation

by Clive Rich

For a negotiation to take place the following elements must be present.

- There must be two or more parties.

- They must be prepared to reach agreement.

- They must have some interests in common and some conflicting interests to resolve.

- Those involved must have the freedom to meet each other's needs.

- Those involved must be willing to be explicit to some degree about their wants and needs.

- They must be prepared to compromise to some degree.

It is worth dwelling on this because a lot of people spend time in what they think is a negotiation when it is not, because one or more of these elements is missing.

Equally, those involved must have the freedom to negotiate. If they have no freedom because, for example, they are acting on the strict orders of someone else, then the negotiation cannot get started. You may have a very constructive and enjoyable conversation with the other person, but you may ultimately find that it was not a negotiation.

If there are no conflicting interests, then it might still be that you are trying to influence someone but you are not negotiating.

For there to be a negotiation it is also essential that the parties must be prepared to compromise.

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