ABP: Guiding a negotiation without Bias

Aderonke Aderinoye Written by Aderonke Aderinoye · 1 min read >

Analysis of business problem s happened this week again from a different angle – NEGOTIATION. It was primarily role playing and playing Devils advocate to the submissions of other team members. The high point I was also able to test out if I had a career in Nollywood. There is no one way to the market, maybe its Nollywood I would have my huge break.

To give context:

BCPC internet strategy team leader Chris Berkiwitz was preparing for a meeting of representatives from all of Big City Phone Company’s major functional units. Together, they were to develop a recommendation to the CEO for how BCPC, a successful “Baby Bell” should take advantage of the new high speed internet-access product opportunities. Should they move quickly into the HIP market? If so, how?

A pilot of HIP technology had been successfully completed, and now BCPC faced two choices. They could (1) staff and launch HIP as a high-speed Internet access service across its entire service region or (2) concentrate on providing HIP as a wholesaler and learn from the mistakes of retail providers of the services. I acted as Berkowitz and was to lead the team to brainstorm and arrive as an effective decision.

It was a very interesting session as the conversations got heated at some points as everyone was trying to ensure their views were considered in the decision-making process. At the end of the exercise when Dr Yetunde shared what the agenda and motivation each party brought to the table, it was clear that the reason for strong positions during the negotiation was the agenda everyone brought to the table.

The session taught me that in most meetings everyone had an agenda and a bias, in entering such meetings you need to know who you are going to be in the room with and what their possible agenda is regarding the subject matter.

A high point was I was able to confirm my acting career has potential, the feedback I got that I acted the roles so well drilling team members with questions to provide facts to back their claims. We eventually were able to make a decision to launch the service and agree on how to launch.

Negotiation requires skill, for the negotiators a high level of emotional intelligence is required, be able to separate substance over form, as well as emotions from facts. It also required being adequately prepared for possible objections to your proposition and done some study of all those that would be part of the meeting. You need to come prepared on all fronts.

We are constantly negotiating everyday, the objective should always be to shed some of our biases a little, be open to hearing counter arguments, be able to make compromises and topmost of all have the attitude that everyone can leave with a win.

Have a fabulous week with fruitful negotiations


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