The Benefits of Principled Negotiation for Physicians
Everyone is a negotiator. It begins in childhood; ever notice how effective 5-year-olds are in getting the results they want? If you felt angry about the “settlement” as a parent, chances are this was not a WISE agreement that mutually satisfied both you and your child. You did not employ Principled Negotiation.
Outside the arena of dealing with children, physician executives will find themselves negotiating employment contracts, consulting proposals, merger and acquisition agreements, performance goals for subordinates, business alliances—to name a few. In every situation, Principled Negotiation is your goal. A wise agreement is the result of focusing on basic interests, mutually satisfying options and fair standards. In addition to achieving a wise decision, Principled Negotiation permits you to efficiently reach gradual consensus on a joint decision. Furthermore, by dealing empathetically and directly with the other negotiator as another human being, you reach an amicable agreement.
Roger Fisher and William Ury describe the Principled Negotiation method in their classic book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. The authors’ method has four steps:
- Separate the People from the problem
- Focus on Interests, not positions
- Invent Options for mutual gain
- Insist on using objective Criteria
This book is a must read!