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Principled Negotiation: The Value of Trust Essay

Fukuyuma (1995) defined trust as a form of “Social Capital. ” The continuous presence of trust in a society or even in particular locations within it makes this social capital possible. It can be exemplified in the most basic and smallest social group like the family and up to the largest ones like the nations (Herzog, 2001). This concept of trust is not only observed in terms of people’s deep relationship with each other but it also plays a vital role in the profit-oriented world of business.

Contrary to the usual belief that it is a cut-throat industry, the principle of trust is highly important in order to bring success in a particular business that involves the partnership of two or multiple parties. The value of trust is greatly realized in three principles namely: separating the people from the problem, focusing on interests not positions, and generating options for mutual gains. The first principle of separating the people from the problem is in need of the idea of trust in order for it to become possible.

In the process of negotiation two important parts exist, the substance of the negotiation and the relationship of the people involved. When a problem arises it is very important that the parties involved should not confuse their relationship dilemma with the substance of the negotiation. The best thing to do is to talked about the problem by expressing what they feel and asking the others intention in doing such action. In doing so, it involves a lot of trust because the parties have to share sensitive and strategic information.

Information that if divulge to someone you don’t have faith with could be used for their personal gain and eventually disadvantageous for the state of the company. However, an open communication of parties could bring immediate solution to their relationship issues that will aid them to focus on the real substance of the negotiation (Stahl, 2000). The second principle is the idea of focusing on the interests and not on positions. The interest is the intention in entering a negotiation while position is the choice one makes among alternatives.

Often times, in the process of negotiation a party tend to focus more on the position or their desired outcome that they forgot to maximize their options in order to fully address their interests. Having a pre-established position limits their options because they are too occupied in getting this desired outcome that they failed to realize that there are several options within their interests (Stahl, 2000). One way of fully realizing the benefits that could be gained from negotiations is by building a standard negotiation process. This means could only take place if each party underlying interests would be shared and analyzed by each other.

It is only through the existence of trust among them could this be possible. Knowing these interests could help them brainstorm for new ideas in the deal that they are entering as well as formed an objective where they could study the fairness of their contract (Kliman, 2000). The knowledge of each others interests could give waste less results because they could focus on several options that these interests has and could be able to choose the best option that would give mutual gains (Stahl, 2000). The last principle is the concept of generating options for mutual gain.

High level of trust is vital in order for a collaborative venture or partnership to flourish. Mutual gains are achieved through partnership and it is believed that collaborations is strengthen by trust and not by contracts. Parties who have trust in each other could focus on options that are beneficial for both of them. The true essence of partnership would be achieved if parties are open with each other’s interests and thus would help them to decide on a mutually beneficial strategy. This is supported by Fukuyuma when he explained that having a high level of trust would enabled the society to strive for the common good (Herzog, 2001).

Principled negotiation showcases a new approach give emphasis on “why” a party entered a negotiation or its real intention as compared to “what” the party wants to happen or its position. This contemporary way of dealing with negotiations is highly dependent on the value of trust and in doing so; it gives numerous benefits in different aspects of the business industry. First, it helps in building a lasting relationship among negotiating parties. Trust enabled them to share sensitive information with each other that is useful in preventing and addressing issues regarding their relationship (Stahl, 2000).

Second, it is through trust that they could maximize their options that could bring advantageous results . It is by knowing each other’s interests that they could make sound decisions for their businesses (Kliman, 2000). Third, strong partnership is also based on trust. Attaining a goal that cannot be manage individually would be possible by having a trusted partner that could aid in achieving mutual gains. Lastly, costly relationship problems within a deal could be prevented. Instead of undergoing stressful, time consuming, and expensive court battles such kind of incident could be prevented by having trust within each other.

Trust could facilitate a new approach in settling dispute that is characterized by open communication among parties instead of adversarial tendencies (Pinnell, 1999). The value of trust has a special place in the process of principled negotiations. Practicing trust in the process of negotiation aid the business industry in devising ways that could helped in preventing and addressing problems. Moreover, its advantageous effects does not stop there because it also bring benefits in the relationship, quality of operation, and efficacy of a business venture.


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