Negotiating and Shared Decision Making

With Paul Levy’s guidance, we spoke a lot today about the concept and art of negotiating, and even got to practice our skills at negotiating our best deals. I enjoyed the discussion about the types of negotiating and thinking about whether our goal is to “claim value” or “create value.” During the discussion, someone in the group briefly brought up how to reconcile the concepts of negotiation from today with the idea of Shared Decision Making that was more heavily discussed yesterday. I can see the similarities and benefits of including the ideas of negotiating, most especially “creating value,” to those of Shared Decision Making.

In Paul’s talk, he said that when creating value, we should ask our counterpart not only “What’s your position?” but “What’s behind your position?” We should learn about the other person’s interests, actively listen, and “build workable packages.” We should not think of the options as incompatible but work to figure out a way to fulfill each individual’s “high value” goals at the lowest cost. These concepts definitely apply to the conversations that must be had in the discussions of Shared Decision Making. They are concepts that I will think about, practice, and apply in my discussions with patients during our times of Shared Decision Making, whether that be when suggesting a new medication, encouraging a recommended screening test or procedure, or discussion treatment options.