Creating Value in a Negotiation

Negotiation is about the exchange of currency. Currency in a negotiation usually is far more than money. Understanding the totality of currency of a negotiation is essential in negotiating the optimum resolution. Obviously the currency differs depending on the situation and the parties involved. To be able to negotiate well one needs to develop the discipline of identifying and interjecting alternate or ancillary currencies into the discussions.

Understanding the currency of a specific negotiation enables you to focus on satisfying the wants and needs of each other rather than simply trying to win. Expanding the negotiation discussion to include these alternate currencies provides additional incentives for the parties to agree on a myriad of terms rather than disagreeing on one major point. Diluting the importance of the primary term may convert a troubled situation into a mutually beneficial accord.

By incorporating ancillary currencies, you will increase the opportunity to craft an agreement that yields a greater return on your investment than merely bartering dollars. Often it enables you to garner value from the other person for something that you intended to provide anyway. Dollars are only one measure of value. Feelings, recognition, success, inclusion, service, image, ego and future opportunities are less measurable currencies but often they are more important than the dollars.

Ancillary currencies may seem to have little or no value to you but may be vitally important to the other person. It is the disparity of value that makes converting idle currencies into valued commodities in a transaction the creation of value. Bartering is the exchange of like value for like value. Negotiating is the creation of value and is more art than discipline.