A high level of concern for both sides achieving their own objectives propels a collaborative, problem-solving approach. Negotiators frequently fail at integrative negotiation because they fail to perceive the integrative potential of the negotiating situation. Successful integrative negotiation requires several processes. First, they must create a free flow of information and an open exchange of ideas. Second, the parties must understand each other’s true needs and objectives. Third, they must focus on their similarities, emphasizing their commonalities rather than their differences. Finally, they must engage in a search for solutions that meet the goals of both sides. This is a very different set of processes from those in distributive bargaining.

The four key steps in the integrative negotiation process are identifying and defining the problem, identifying interests and needs, generating alternative solutions, and evaluating and selecting alternatives.

Various factors facilitate successful integrative negotiation. First, the process will be greatly facilitated by some form of common goal or objective. The goal may be one that the parties both want to achieve, one they want to share, or one they could not possibly attain unless they worked together. Second, they must have faith in their problem-solving ability. Third, the parties must be willing to believe that the other’s needs are valid. Fourth, they must share a motivation and commitment to work together to make their relationship a productive one. Fifth, they must also be able to trust each other and to work hard to establish and maintain that trust. Sixth, there must be clear and accurate communication about what each one wants and an effort to understand the other’s needs. Finally, there must be an understanding of the dynamics of integrative negotiations.

Discussion Questions (Original post should be 200 words):

What information do we need about the other party to prepare effectively?
Why may bargainers want to consider giving away “something for nothing?”
What is a drawback of accommodation strategies?
What is the danger about making assumptions to predict the other party’s negotiating behavior?

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