CPG Series Post: Appreciation as a Pillar of Negotiation

Today’s Warfighter needs to not only be skilled in the art of conflict resolution, but also conflict avoidance and negotiation tactics. These skills prove necessary in interaction with local populations and within the small unit. The book Beyond Reason by Fisher and Shapiro (2005) provides a framework for conflict resolution, negotiation, and persuasion that we will discuss on the CogBlog in the following months.

While hundreds of persuasion techniques exist, this framework focuses mostly on face-to-face interaction between people rather than passive persuasion; the kind of interaction Warfighter’s face on a daily basis while in theater. The framework discussed by Fisher and Shapiro is based on 5 pillars represented as Appreciation, Affiliation, Autonomy, Status, and Role. We are going to begin by taking a look at the first of these 5 pillars: Appreciation.

Appreciation primarily revolves around not only being accepting of the person, but their ideas. One way to look at it could be the time-honored idiom “stop and smell the roses”. Other parties need to be shown that their ideas have merit, not only in bargaining but also brainstorming.  Feeling unaccepted or that ideas lack importance can make the other party feel unappreciated. Imagine a scenario where negotiation with a tribal leader or village elder is happening. Purely accepting the other party’s views is not necessarily enough; there needs to be genuine appreciation for others’hard work or points of view. Not accepting that the other party’s views have merits can be a key friction point in negotiation breakdowns, and avoiding those breakdowns is crucial for our Warfighters.

Imagine a time when you felt unappreciated or when you may not have been as appreciative of someone else’s efforts as you should have been. How different might the situation have been if there had been appreciation between the parties involved?

Fisher, R., & Shapiro, D. (2005). Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate. New York: The Penguin Group.

Photo License Julian Correa ©2012 Flickr Creative Commons




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Cognitive Performance Group, LLC is a woman-owned small business with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio. It was founded by Dr. Karol G. Ross, Jennifer K. Phillips, and William A. Ross. The three CPG Principals developed the concept for a company to support cognitive performance improvement in industry and government. (more...)

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