Monday, December 04, 2006

Negotiation Chapter 5: Perception,cognition,and communication

Chapter 5: Perception, cognition, and Communication

Perception, cognition, and communication are fundamental processes that govern how individuals construct and interpret the interaction that yakes place in ahegotiation.

Perception and negotiation

The role of Perception
Negotiators approach each negotiation guided by their perceptions of past situations and current attitudes and behaviors. Perception is the process by which individuals connect to their environment. The perception is a “sense – making” process; people interpret their environment so that they can respond appropriately.

Perceptual distortion in Negotiation
In any given negotiation, the perceiver’s own needs, desires, motivations, and personal experiences may create a predisposition about the other party. Such predispositions are most problematic when they lead to biases and errors in perception and subsequent communication. There are four major perceptual errors:
· Stereotyping: is a very common distortion of the perceptual process.It occurs when one individual assigns attributes to another solely on the basis of the other’s membership in a particular social or demographic group.
· Halo effects: occurs when people generalize about variety of attributes based on the knowledge of one attibute of an individual.
· Selective perception: occurs when the perceiver singles out the certain information that supports or reinforces a prior belief, and filters out information that does not confirm that belief.
· Projection: occurs when people ascribe to others the characteristics or feelings that they possess themselves.

A frame is the subjective mechanism through which people evaluate and make sense out of situations, leading them to pursue or avoid subsequent actions. An important aspect of framing is the cognitive heuristics approach, which examines the ways in which negotiators make systematic errors in judgement when they process information.

Cognitive biases in negotiation
Cognitive biases, tend to impede negotiator performance; they include:
1. Irrational escalation of commitment
2. Mythical fixed–pie beliefs
3. Anchoring and adjustment
4. Framing
5. Availability of information
6. The winner’s curse
7. Overconfidence
8. The law of small numbers
9. Self-serving biases
10. Endownment effect
11. Ignoring others’ cognition
12. Reactive devaluation

Managing misperceptions and cognitive biases in negotiation mis perceptions and cognitive arise automatically and out of conscious awareness as negotiators gather and process information. So, the negotiators should be aware of the negative aspects of these effexts, and to discuss them in a structured manner within their team and with their counterparts.

What is communicated during negotiation? There are five categories of communication that take place during negotiations:
1. Offers and counteroffers – Bargainers have definite preferences and exhibit rational behavior by acting in accordance with those preferences. Acommunicative framework for negotiation is based on assumptions that 1)the communication of offers is a dynamic process;2)the offer process is interactive; and 3) various internal and external factors, drive the interaction and “motivate a bargainer to change his or her offer.
2. Information about alternatives – Communication in negotiation is not limited to the exchange of offers an dcounteroffers; another improtant aspect is how sharing information with the other party influences the negotiation process.
3. Information about outcomes – negotiators should be careful not to share their outcomes or even their positive reactions to the outcomes with the other party, especially if they are going to negotiate with that party again in the future.
4. Social Accounts – there are three important types: 1)explanation of mitigating circumstances; 2) explanations of exonerating circumstances; reframing explanations.
5. Communication about process – how it is going, or what procedures might be adopted to improve the situation.

How people communicate in negotiation there are two aspects that related to the “how” of communication:
1. Use of language - The characteristics of language that communicators use
2. Selections of acommunication chanel for sending and receiving messages.

How to improve communication in negotiation
1. The use of questions – In negotiations, asking good questions enables negotiators to secure a great deal of information about the other party’s position, supporting arguments, and needs. Besides, negotiators can use questions to manage difficult or stalled negotiations.
2. Listening – Active listening and reflecting are terms that are commonly used in the helping professions such as counseling and therapy. There are three major forms of listening: Passive listening, Acknowledgment, and Active listening.
3. Role reversal –Continually arguing for one particular position in debate leads to a “blindness of involvement,” or a self-reinforcing cycle of argumentation that prohibits negotiators from recognizing the possible compatibility between their own position and that of the other party.

Mood, emotion, and negotiation
The distinction between mood and emotion is based on three characteristics: specificity, intensity, and duration.
· Negotiations create both positive and negative emotions.
· Positive emotions generally have positive consequences for negotiations sush as, 1) Positive feeling are more likely to lead the parties toward ibtegrative processes.; 2) Positve feelings promote persistence; 3) Positive feelings result from fair procedures during negotiation.
· Emotions can be used strategically as negotiation tactics.
· Negative emotions generally have negative consequences for negotiations such as,
- Negative emotions may lead parties to define the situation as competitive or distributive.
- Negative emotions may lead parties to escalate the conflict.
- Negative emotions may lead parties to use retaliatory behavior and obtain poorer outcomes.
- Negative emotions may result from impasse.

Special communication considerations at the close of negotiations.
As negotiations come to close, negotiaors must attend to two key aspects of communication and negotiation simultaneously:
1. Avoiding fatal mistakes – achieving closure in negotiation generally concerns making decisions to accept offers, to compromise priorities, to trade off across issues with the other party, or some combination of these elements.
2. Achieving closure – negotiators should to know when to shut up, to avoid surrendering important information needlessly, and to refrain from making “dump remarks” that push a wavering counterpart way from the agreement he or she is almost ready to endorse.

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