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Negotiation is a decision-making process that seeks to attain agreement between at lest two parties. Like most types of conflict resolution, the parties to a negotiation may represent themselves or they may be represented by agents. In reaching an agreement that satisfies the parties, negotiation software may be employed. This type of software may help come up with a suitable agreement and track the decision-making process. Alternatively, negotiation software can be a training program that teaches the skills involved in negotiation.
The type of negotiation software that helps parties achieve an agreement may offer personal, professional, and enterprise editions. The personal edition is likely to focus on typical personal transactions, such as the purchase or sale of a home or car, salary and job negotiations, and personal legal situations like divorce. The professional version is usually used by salespeople, lawyers, management, and mediators in their professional capacities. The enterprise edition is aimed to meet the needs of entire organizations.
Some types of negotiation software are targeted at a very specific negotiation situation. For example, debt negotiation software is available for debt negotiation agencies. This type of software may not only help manage client files, but it may also track the negotiation process in an organized, complete fashion. On the other hand, negotiation software for real estate transactions may help buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals answer questions about price and the probability of successful sales or purchases.
In addition to negotiation software that helps the actual negotiation process, negotiation training software also exists to train users in negotiation skills. This type of training tool will often share the various approaches to negotiations; cover negotiation strategies in special circumstances; and focus on skills that contribute to negotiation, such as body language and communication. Negotiation training software will often not only cover general or typical negotiation topics, but it will also often focus on a particular topic area that requires additional, special training like sales negotiations or union bargaining.
Perhaps the best way to learn the art of negotiation is to actually do it. In person negotiation courses typically cover some reading material and discussions about the negotiation process, however, a good chunk of the material is best learned by role playing a variety of scenarios. Negotiation training software may also provide for role playing by way of simulations or games. Though it may not be as useful as an in person role play exercise, the experience often gets the potential negotiator closer to possessing those skills vital to a successful negotiation.