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International business is driven by communication, and a large portion of that communication takes the form of negotiation. Prices may be seen as a conversation or a negotiation between customers and producers - customers may be willing to pay $1000 for a product like the Apple iPad, but those same customers aren't willing to pay $25 for a book about the iPad. The conversation that takes place juxtaposes price against value and the purchase/walk away decision is the negotiation between buyer and seller. A purchase decision indicates to the seller/producer that the value/price ratio is just right. A 'walk away' decision indicates to the seller/producer that the value/price ratio isn't quite right. Over time and over many such decisions, a suitable value/price ratio is discovered. Although no words were exchanged, a negotiation surely took place. The manager-employee relationship is a daily negotiation of demands versus deliverables in time. The manager communicates priorities and timelines and the employee negotiates/navigates deliverables against demands. Although the employee may not always see this as negotiation, negotiation is surely taking place. Of course, the traditional business negotiation also takes place in interactions in which millions or billions of dollars are at stake as in a merger or acquisition. Negotiation also takes place between divisions within the same organization competing for limited resources - whether budget allocations for important projects, or headcount to do the work. Since negotiation is such an important and integral part of business life we all benefit by educating ourselves about how to negotiate, but more importantly, when to negotiate.
Negotiation is much more about listening than it is about talking; it is more about understanding than it is about being understood. For that reason alone, and because 'listening' is not taught in school, the art of negotiation can be difficult to ...
This solution discusses the art of negotiation.