Techniques of Negotiation

by O. C. Tirella, CH2M Hill Inc, Corvallis, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Negotiation and Contract Management


Three primary qualities are necessary for effective negotiation: knowledge, attitude, and skill. The author's firm has successfully used a negotiating team approach. This negotiating team is comprised of a principal, a technical representative, and a contracts/financial person. In order to negotiate effectively, the negotiating team must do its homework. There is no substitute for thorough research. Holding a practice session is very helpful. Someone not involved in the negotiating or one of the other members of the team should assume the role of 'Devil's Advocate' and review the proposal. The advocate should develop the buyer's case and try to anticipate all alternatives available to the buyer. There are three principle strategic concepts: the offensive; the defensive; and the defensive-offensive. It is suggested that the seller adopt a defensive-offensive strategy because the burden of any action will then rest on the buyer, who will be forced to take the offensive and convince the seller that his proposal is unacceptable to the buyer. Knowing what certain nonverbal communications mean can be very beneficial to a consultant during negotiations. By reading the client's 'body language', a consultant has the extra advantage of determining what the client really has on his/her mind without a word being spoken.

Subject Headings: Negotiation | Consulting services | Team building | Professional development | Construction engineering | Client relationships | Construction methods | Construction industry

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