Negotiating the right decision
Project managers need to become artful negotiators, able to make reasonable trade-offs to obtain resolution of a problem or project without giving in or compromising. This article describes a negotiation method developed by the Harvard Negotiation Project and detailed by Fisher and Ury in Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991). The best way to enable robust solutions is to allow and encourage competing alternatives to be fully heard and seriously considered. Project managers need to understand the bargaining process and the role that human motivation plays in it. They should cultivate their listening skills and seek to problem-solve collaboratively, sharing their needs and working to reach fair solutions which are equitable to all involved.