ART OF NEGOTIATION: Negotiation V/S Bargaining


One of the biggest confusing words, along with Negotiation, is Bargaining. Some authors have defined bargaining as being synonymous with negotiation. However, I always tell my GFMB class at SP Jain how bargaining is very different from negotiation.

Bargaining is an agreement between two or more parties, as to what each party will do for the other, or a thing bought or offered for sale more cheaply than is usual or expected.

Negotiation, on the other hand, is a discussion that involves consideration and deliberation over multiple issues of a deal. Bargaining, as it indicates from the definition, is more likely to be over one issue, and that’s the price.

For example, when the negotiating parties keep haggling over the price of the product and don’t consider the other aspects of a deal, it becomes bargaining. This does happen when the product in the deal is a commodity , or when both the parties don’t understand the concept of “value” in negotiation. In the later part of the series, I have mentioned the meaning of “value” and its application in negotiation.

A good negotiator needs to shift the “haggling of one issue” to a “negotiation discussion”. In other words, have a holistic view of any deal, or rather, single-focused attention.

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