8. How do you “Assess the Situational Aspects” when strategically planning a negotiation?
Situational aspects of a negotiation represent any characteristic of the negotiation situation that are not personal to the negotiators or characteristic of the social climate between them. The situational aspects are innumerable. Common examples of situational aspects might include:
• What are the interests at stake (and are they related)?
• What is the timing of the negotiation?
• What is the geography or location of the negotiators?
• What communication methods are employed?
• Is this a single or repetitive negotiation?
• Is there a power dynamic present?
• What resources are available to support the negotiation?
⁃ Note: “Scarce Resource Competition” exists when people perceive one another as desiring the same limited resources.
• Are beliefs or ideologies an influence on the negotiation?
⁃ Note: Consensus Conflict” occurs when one person’s opinions, ideas, or beliefs are incompatible with those of another.
• Is the negotiation a transaction or a dispute situation?
• Are the negotiations public or private?
Again, these are examples of contextual attributes that may be relevant to the negotiation. Every negotiation is unique situational aspects that should be explored prior to and during the negotiation process.
• Discussion: Can you think of examples of other situational aspects relevant to a negotiation? Which of these situational aspects do you believe is generally most important in a negotiation?