I recently attended a police hostage negotiation workshop that shed light on the extreme circumstances that could require effective negotiation. Two representatives from Hampshire Police gave a talk on their experiences with negotiating in dangerous situations with vulnervable people. The main ‘take-away’ from the workshop was the skill to listen.
A 5 step process was given by the representatives to help understand the key factors that make up effective negotiation.
The first step is ‘Emotional Intelligence’, which means understanding the circumstances of the situation you are trying to negotiate.
The second step is ‘Intitial contact’. It is important to use warm welcoming open lines to introduce yourself.
The third step is to build raport with the person through ‘Empathy’.
Fourthly, ‘Trust’ needs to be gained through continuation of the third step.
And finally, the fifth step is to effectively ‘persuade to solve the problem’. Through all the steps listening should be the number one skill used.
This five step process contrasts Saner’s key factors of negotiation (2000), which takes a more aggressive approach:
Coercion: using force, or the threat of force to wrestle concessions from an opponent.
Opening strong: starting out with a position that is higher than what you realistically estimate you can achieve.
Salami tactics: prolonging a negotiation to a painstakingly slow pace, only giving a very small concession to the other side when it can no longer be avoided in order to placate the other side for a little while longer.
Do you think these steps are useful?
What other factors are important for resolving conflict through negotiation?
Negotiation in practice:
Heineken set up a challenge where guys had to convince their girlfriends to purchase stadium seats using the power of negotiation. The result is humorous and show how difficult negotiation can be at times. Have a look and find out if they managed to or not:
What do you think of the video?