What is Negotiation?

Published: Nov 13 , 2014
Author: Tyler Hall

Many people have tried to define negotiation, and many of them haven’t gone further than the dictionary definition. There's nothing wrong with dictionary definitions, after all, we learn so much about the meaning of the word through its usage in a sentence, but that's not what this article is about.

Through time, negotiating has become an essential quality in a person, and has integrated itself in everyday life, thus becoming hard to define. By analysing some of the greatest minds, we'll be able to show you what negotiation is all about.


Negotiation is....omnipresent


"So much of life is a negotiation - so even if you're not in business, you have opportunities to practice all around you."

Kevin O' Leary

Spoken by a great man, who suffered a lot for refusing to compromise, these words have a different meaning. You can still come to agreements with those who may not share your view of the world.


Negotiation is...a tool

There is a quote from Richard Holbrooke that is mentioned ever so often:"World War I was not inevitable, as many historians say. It could have been avoided, and it was a diplomatically botched negotiation.”


Whether you agree with this or not, you must admit that negotiation is a powerful tool, when used correctly. The most difficult thing in any negotiation is to strip the emotion and deal with the facts - that is why it takes you time and dedication to master it.


Negotiation is...a means to an end

There are some really interesting quotes that could make you laugh, for example: "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.", Al Capone said. We don’t believe in the violence associated to this quote but we do know that you can drive better outcomes for yourself if you display your power in the form of what incentives you can provide the other party and what sanctions they would wish to avoid.

We don’t agree with Marvin Gaye and his opinion: "Negotiation means getting the best of your opponent.".

We do agree with Krishna Sagar :"In life you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.”


Negotiation is...a skill

Some people say good negotiators are born that way. While we believe this to be true to some extent, the art of negotiation can be learnt. We have written on negotiation tactics many times on our blog, we give classes throughout the world and in our practice we are able to see many newly acquired negotiation skills put to practice. Being able to effectively negotiate is powerful and will drive better outcomes for yourself and others.


"If you can't go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it." Ashleigh Brilliant said. What do you think?


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About the author:

Tyler Hall
Tyler's negotiating experience was gained in the entertainment industry through a range of leadership roles, which included marketing, sales, relationship management, strategic planning and brand development.

Read more about Tyler Hall

More posts by Tyler Hall

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You Often Have More Power Than You Think

As a negotiation specialist, I’m often asked what the best course of action is when the other party has all of the power. Maybe you are dealing with an incumbent or selling to a duopoly… so it may even feel like it is true that they have ‘all of the power’. While we could talk about what you do when it is true, my experience is that people typically have a lot more power than they might realise.

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