The parties should inform the Commission of the intention to sign the agreement in principle and provide the Commission with a copy of the signed agreement. Once the agreement in principle is approved and signed by each party, the Commission will recognise this by declaring that the table has entered the 5th phase of the process. Sometimes parties will use unethical or unpleasant tricks to gain an advantage in negotiations, such as good bad routines, uncomfortable seats and leaks to the media. The best way to respond to such sensitive tactics is to explicitly address the issue in the negotiations and begin negotiations in principle to define the basic procedural rules for negotiations. In this pioneering text, Ury and Fisher present four principles for effective negotiations, including the separation of people from the problem, the emphasis on interests rather than positions, the creation of a multitude of options before agreeing on an agreement, and the insistence that the agreement is based on objective criteria. Three common obstacles to the negotiations and ways to overcome them are also discussed. Fisher and Ury state that a good agreement is smart and effective and improves relations between the parties. Smart agreements serve the interests of the parties and are fair and sustainable. The aim of the authors is to develop a method to obtain good agreements. Negotiations often take place in the form of position negotiations. In position negotiations, each party begins with its position on a subject. The parties then negotiate from their separate opening positions to agree on a position.
Bargaining at a price is a typical example of position negotiations. Fisher and Ury argue that position negotiations do not tend to make good deals. This is an ineffective way to reach agreements and agreements tend to neglect the interests of the parties. It promotes stubbornness and thus harms relations between the parties. Substantive negotiations offer a better way to reach good agreements. Fisher and Ury develop four negotiating principles. Their procedural negotiation process can be used effectively in almost all types of litigation. Their four principles are 1) separate people from the problem; 2) focus on interests, not positions; 3) generate a variety of options before filing an agreement; and 4) insist that the agreement is based on objective criteria. [p. 11] 3.
Invent options for mutual benefit. Negotiators are often content with the first agreement they reach, relieved to have achieved a result with which both sides can live. In policy negotiations, negotiators spend a lot of time brainstorming a variety of possible options before choosing the best one. In negotiations, options refer to all available options that parties could consider to satisfy their interests, including conditions, contingencies and trades. Imagine, for example, a job bargaining where the candidate estimates a higher salary, while the recruitment organization worries about being fully occupied. If so, the jobseeker may be willing to make a concession on days off in exchange for the promise of a higher salary. These principles should be respected at every stage of the negotiation process. The process begins with an analysis of the situation or problem, the interests and perceptions of other parties and existing options. The next step is to plan how to respond to the situation and other parties. Finally, the parties discuss the problem and try to find a solution on which to agree. Instead, the weaker party should focus on evaluating its best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA).
The authors note that “the reason you negotiate is to produce something better than the results you can achieve without negotiation.” [p.