Negotiation and conflict resolution skills in business analysis

Business analysts sporadically intervene in negotiations between stakeholders in order to reach a common understanding or an agreement.

During this process, business analysts may help with conflict resolution with the aim of maintaining and strengthening working relationships among the stakeholders and team members.

Negotiation and conflict resolution involves mediating discussions between participants in order to help them recognize that there might be different views on the topic, resolve any differences, and reach conclusions that would be agreed by all participants.

Successful negotiation and conflict resolution includes identifying the underlying interests of the parties, distinguishing those interests from their stated positions, and helping these parties identify solutions that satisfy those underlying interests.

The business analyst accomplishes this while ensuring that the outcome of the resolution aligns with the overall solution and the business needs.

Measures of effective negotiation and conflict resolution include:

  1. Planned approach to ensure that the negotiation takes into account the tone of voice, the conveyed attitude, the methods used, and the concern for the other side’s feelings and needs.
  2. The ability to recognize that the needs of the parties are not always in opposition and that it is often possible to satisfy both parties without either side losing.
  3. An objective approach to ensure that the problem is separated from the person so that the real issues are debated without damaging working relationships.
  4. The ability to recognize that effective negotiation and conflict resolution are not always achieved in a single autonomous meeting, and that sometimes several meetings are required in order to achieve the stated goals.