Condo Media - June 2011 - (Page 12)

MAINE N e w s by Jack Carr, P.E., RS, LEED-AP R e g i o n a l Negotiating Maine Skills and Tools for Successful Resolution rom talking a teenager into emptying the garbage to reaching an understanding on a contractor’s completion schedule, negotiation is everywhere. For such an important life skill, one would think it would be a high priority in our education system. But, unless we were on the debate team in school, it is for the most part self-taught. So, as part of our continuing education, let’s consider what tools we need to smoothly turn the gears of our world. C A I F Negotiations vs. Communication We have all known born negotiators. We witness aggressive and argumentative people, but how often have we crossed paths with good negotiators. Experts in the field say the formula for successful negotiating requires: a focus on people instead of the problem; interests instead of positions; options instead of decisions; and criteria instead of results. Negotiations involve people. People are bundled up with emotions, agendas and backgrounds about which we often know little. Yet, when we start negotiations, we often forget this important element of the equation and jump right into trying to force the solution. It is better to communicate before negotiating. Find out the other party’s perception, because that is their truth. Even when both parties have the same facts, they often won’t come up with the same conclusions. By communicating to the other party your understanding of their position, the differences often become evident and self resolving. But knowing the other party’s position is the easiest to learn — it is in the demand letter, the angry phone call or the agenda item at the board meeting. Of more importance is learning the other party’s interests, that is, what is motivating the position in the first place, and if there are common interests between the parties. Always ask “why” or “why not.” The key to good negotiations is not taking a strong position, but rather making a strong presentation of your interests and demonstrating a willingness to learn the other party’s interests. Here again, the common thread is communications; a misunderstanding of the parties’ interests is more detrimental to a satisfactory settlement than a mistake over positions. Options and Decision Making One of the corners that inexperienced negotiators find themselves painted into is the assumption there is only one solution to every problem. This kind of thinking is neither creative nor flexible, which are attributes all successful negotiators possess. Developing acceptable options is a powerful tool, as it demonstrates a willingness to accommodate without giving anything up; it shows a willingness to understand the other side of the table, and to make the discussions an easy and mutually satisfying process. This type of thinking outside of the box generates some counter intuitive ideas. One such idea is that many agreements are based on disagreements. If both parties want exactly the same thing then both parties cannot obtain what they want. A successful negotiation reveals each party’s interests and how to satisfy that need. If the interests are met, the positions are irrelevant. When entering into negotiations, the best tool to bring to the table — next to being well prepared — is standards for decision making. Like a boxing match, the best fighters do not take all of the blows head on, but divert them and use their opponents’ strength against them. Instead of insisting on being right about a certain point, step aside and let a set of standards or criteria speak for your argument. For example, there was a difference of opinion on the reason a newly installed window was leaking. Rather than arguing with the contractor over his construction methods, simply ask what a nationally recognized authority would recommend. In this case, it might be the American Architectural Manufacturing Association standard practice guidebook that could be the criteria to be recognized. Thus, the issue is not a head-to-head two-party dispute, but now a neutral third party steps in as the arbitrator to a fair resolution. In effect, this method develops a joint venture with the two parties searching for a mutual settlement based on objective criteria or appropriate standards. If the dispute is over construction cost estimates, allow a publication like RS Means or Marshall & Swift to provide guidance. If the argument is a condo governance issue, drag out the state statutes or bylaws to act as the mediator. A good negotiation is not only satisfying to both parties, but preserves a relationship for the future. CM Jack Carr, P.E., RS, LEED-AP is senior vice president with CriteriumEngineers in Portland, Maine. He is a member of the Condo Media board and a frequent author and speaker. 12 CONDO MEDIA • JUNE 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - June 2011

Condo Media - June 2011
Contents
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Environmental
Energy
Fuel Economy
Vendor Spotlight
Legislative Update
Landscaping
Construction
Maintenance
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory

Condo Media - June 2011

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200908
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com