2.Procedural InterestsThese are interests with respect to how the process is to be carried out and how disputes will be resolved. In addition, parties need to deal with how the process of negotiations will be communicated to the principals and how the settlement will be implemented. Very often, procedural interests are not properly considered and as a result, the process breaks down. It is usually appropriate for these issues to be discussed at the front end of the negotiating process. Issues such as communication with principals, communications with the press, and statements as to the issues being dealt with are important because miscommunication on these issues can destroy trust and break down the bargaining. In complex negotiations, a negotiation protocol is often the first thing discussed. It certainly needs to be raised early in the process, especially if the issues are of interest to the press or the public.3.Psychological InterestsNegotiations are conducted by individuals, often with their own peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses. In the negotiating process, ‘psychological’ interests can often be the most important. They involve how the opposite side is treated, the respect that is given to their positions and the way in which you respond to the proposals put forward by them. It is crucial to the process that you attack the problem, not the people. Negotiators often confuse positions with the people advocating them. This is true both for the advocator and for the person to whom they are advocating. Although people are not always constructive in their approach to a problem, they almost always expect the response to be. Throughout the process work hard to treat the individuals on all sides with respect. CHOOSING THE TEAM
– 11 –It is important that you chose people on the team who actually have the ability to make decisions, or to make effective recommendations. It is also important that you choose individuals who have credibility with people on the other side. They need to have the right mental approach to the problem. They need to realize that the endeavour in which we are engaged is nota power struggle, but is instead an attempt to reach mutually acceptable solutions, keeping in mind the interests of both sides to the bargaining table. THE USE OF THIRD PARTIES AND OBJECTIVE CRITERIAMuch of the literature discussing mutual gains bargaining describes the importance of using third parties or objective criteria as a methodology to evaluate options that are created during the negotiating process. Although it is sometimes very difficult to do so, parties should agree upon objective principles with which they will evaluate the proposed solutions to any problem put forward by either side. The concept that both sides need to adopt at some stage in the negotiating process is that they are jointly seeking the right solution as opposed to the solution proposed by either side. The use of third party criteria, ie. standards elsewhere in the community, public opinion, the advise of third
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