Re-framing and Negotiations
Posted on April 26, 2012 by Gail Danneman
Negotiations are not always easy especially in the workplace. Depending on the situation, an employee may not feel comfortable initiating a negotiation with their manager. How can reframing be used in negotiation situations?
There four techniques for re-framing negotiations include: asking diagnostic questions, sharing information about your interests, unbundling issues, and brainstorming.
Asking diagnostic questions. This technique involves asking the question, “What problems does my create for you?” This means that during a negotiation, you ask yourself for my request to be met, what problems does this create for the other party. In an actual negotiation, I would use this technique to assure the other party that I cared about how the negotiation would impact them directly. For example, if me taking a week of vacation would require the rest of my team working overtime, I could find out this information by posing diagnostic questions to my manager. This technique would be beneficial, but not in every situation with every person. I can see how asking diagnostic questions to the other party would allow them the upper hand and the opportunity to exaggerate possible problems.
Share information about your interests. Is there a way that I can have my needs met and your needs are met? Knowing about the other party’s interests allows one to negotiate effectively. It is also important to know the importance of those interests. I would apply this technique in a negotiation by doing my homework ahead of time. For example, if I want Fridays off because I want to spend time with my children, I will need to know about my manager’s interests. Maybe my manager is interested in making sure that every employee completes their required work each week. Therefore, I can talk to my manager and assure him that because he values work being complete on time, perhaps I could stay an hour extra Monday-Thursday to allow me to get my work accomplished and have Fridays off. I think this technique is extremely effective and would minimize conflicts because this technique acknowledges the interests of both sides.
Unbundle issues. This technique asks, “Is there a way for you/us to satisfy customers’ needs without my working on the weekends?” I would apply this technique in situations where I was feeling overloaded at work. If I was working long hours, I may approach my manager to see if there is a solution. I don’t believe this is the most effective technique. It appears to resemble the “fixed pie” and appears to be a more give and take method.
Brainstorm. This technique asks, “How can we achieve a solution that satisfies both our needs?” The intended outcome of using this technique is to satisfy both needs. I would apply this situation in a salary negotiation situation. I think this technique is an effective option because it focuses on mutual gains rather than the fixed pie and allows both parties to bounce ideas off of one another.
Do you think these are good techniques to use during negotiations?