Avoiding and Accommodating in Negotiation

Negotiation Skills Avoiding and Accommodating

We are going to contrast the avoiding and accommodating approaches to negotiating.

Also, we'll explain how to appropriately use these approaches.

Avoiding Approach

The avoiding approach to negotiating is characterised by losing, leaving, and withdrawing.

No commitments are made, and behaviour is impersonal.

Use this approach when you would get hurt by staying or when you want to change the ground rules.

It is useful when issues are trivial and is helpful when the other side has much greater power.

Disadvantages of the Avoiding Approach

Its disadvantage is that the problem is left unresolved, and this can result in nothing getting done if too many problems are swept under the rug.

In the avoiding approach, at least one of the parties displays a subtle reluctance or unwillingness to resolve the issues.

This approach is of little use for those working with organisations as it strains relationships and prevents the building of trust between the parties involved.

Using this approach can also increase the other parties resistance to negotiation.

Accommodation Approach

Under the accommodation approach, the parties are yielding, and they try to avert conflict.

The accommodating negotiator undervalues his own worth and accomplishments and places top priority on maintaining peaceful relations with others.

It is a don't rock the boat philosophy used when there is a need to concede on small points in order to gain on major points later.

It is helpful when the other side is right and you should give in, or when preservation of the relationship is more important than negotiation.

Disadvantages of the Accommodation Approach

Among its problems are that it creates potential IOU's for future negotiations.

Furthermore, it may hand you a major loss on important issues and can lead to a habit of concession on many issues, hence decreasing your power and reputation.

This approach gives away too much by overly emphasising the relationship between the parties.

Accommodating may satisfy the other party while your interests suffer. Use this approach when appropriate, but do not make a habit of it.

This article was contributed by CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA

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