Win-Win Negotiations is for Losers

3 Keys to Achieving a Win-Win Outcome
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Timing issues Timing issues are an important part of negotiating. You may feel that the clock is against you. This is because you are painfully aware of your own deadlines, sales targets, and other pressure points. You may not know what pressures your counterpart is under. Understanding a few principles about timing will give you confidence as a negotiator. Most people tend to overestimate their own pressures and weaknesses, while assuming their counterpart has a stronger position than she really does. Do not assume you have it worse than the other party.

Most progress in a negotiation occurs as the deadline approaches. This has two implications:. Continue bargaining and exploring options. Remind yourself that huge divides can be closed in a short time as the clock runs down. If you are in a rut, consider imposing a deadline to add a healthy dose of pressure.

If you have a tight deadline, I suggest you keep it to yourself. However, do let the other party know you have a tight deadline if it may pressure them into reaching an agreement. Aside from time deadlines, there are time scheduling issues to consider. You might be more focused in the morning than in the afternoon. You might not feel in the right mood for negotiating on a Monday morning, or you may be distracted by your weekend prospects on Friday afternoon. Holidays could also be a factor. Be aware of the impact these time factors could have on your negotiation.

Venue and seating When it comes to venue there are few rules, only guidelines. In your office or theirs? You may like the feeling of confidence and control that comes with the. You also have your colleagues to back you up, as well as the administrative support of your staff. This gives you the opportunity to observe them on their own turf and draw inferences about them. For example, does their organisation run smoothly or do they seem to be in disarray?

What does the environment say about their financial condition and their ability to spend? Meeting on neutral ground would help mitigate the effects of a home field advantage, and can also take you away from the distractions of your office. Would a formal or casual setting work better for you? However, most corporate conference rooms have long tables, with a head and a foot. The head, obviously, is the power seat. It is reserved for the captain of the home team, and adds to his authority. Perhaps you are sitting at a smaller table. Sitting opposite your counterpart at a table suggests an adversarial dynamic.

After all, we play chess, table tennis, and other competitive games from opposite sides of a table. Sitting side by side, or kitty-corner, suggests both parties are attacking a problem together, from a common perspective. This sends a more favourable message. It is even better if the table is round.

Better still is to consider sitting informally on a sofa or chairs around a coffee table, as this less intimidating informal setting will facilitate sharing, which might be more congenial to a frank discussion. Setting the agenda Develop an agenda before you sit down with your counterpart. The agenda should reflect the items to be discussed and their relative importance. Start with smaller or easier items to establish a pattern of success. Use this momentum to help carry you through the more difficult points.

Ideally, you should create the agenda yourself. Your counterpart may appreciate your taking on this extra work. It also gives you some control over the negotiation. If your counterpart prepares an agenda, review it carefully to make sure it works for you. Keep in mind that it may have been crafted to afford him certain advantages. If you see anything you would like to modify, suggest a change and offer a reason for it.

Even the agenda is negotiable!

What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

Watch out if the other party tries to amend or deviate from the agenda during the negotiation. It is easy to lose track of items that are taken out of order. Make notes on your copy of the agenda to aid your memory later. Even with the best of intentions, it is easy to forget a detail or the context of a discussion. Use your annotated agenda as the basis for a memorandum that you will draft shortly after the session.

Should you bring a team? Solo negotiators generally achieve substantially less favourable outcomes than those who negotiate as part of a team. Most people tend to perform better when others are backing them up, giving them confidence, and depending on them. Also, when you have others around, you have the benefit of multiple sources of experience, talent, and perspective.

Two or more heads are always better than one. It also gives you a psychological edge. However, do not bring your whole team. You will not be able to limit your authority if all the decision makers are present. That could be intimidating. Remind yourself that negotiation is a voluntary process, and you need not agree to anything that is not in your interests. Be confident in knowing that you are prepared, and remember that they need you as much as you need them. And take heart in the knowledge that solo negotiators can often get even better results when they are outnumbered than when they negotiate one-on-one.

We have touched on some of the more important concepts of setting the stage for a win-win negotiation. In the next chapter we will build on this foundation and explore the mindset of the win-win negotiator. Star Tips for setting the stage for negotiating 1. Remember that we live in a web of relationships and interdependencies, and we negotiate with others to help us get what we need or want. Treat negotiation as a process rather than as mere bargaining. Consider the negotiation to begin the moment you perceive a want or need and set out to satisfy it.

Achieve more win-win outcomes in your negotiations by preparing thoroughly. Begin gathering information as early as possible. This is the most important part of preparing to negotiate. Use timing to your advantage. Understand that most progress in a negotiation occurs as the deadline approaches. Ensure the right negotiating environment. Venue and seating arrangements may seem incidental, but they can be important in negotiating a win-win agreement. Achieve greater success in your negotiations with a team approach. You will be more successful in a team than on your own.

Learn to achieve win-win results consistently. Learn to play the game of negotiation more skilfully. Negotiation is a game of skill and chance. With more skill, you can reduce the effects of chance. Win-win negotiators are found in the same places as win-lose and loselose negotiators. They are not any more experienced, and they look about the same as well. The big difference between win-win negotiators and all the others is their mindset.

They choose to exhibit certain positive behaviours and avoid negative ones. They are optimistic, open minded, and collaborate with their negotiating partner to solve their problem together. Five styles of negotiating There are two dimensions that determine negotiating style: assertiveness and people orientation. Assertiveness is the ability to communicate your interests clearly and directly.

Assertive people are able to ask for what they want, say no when they need to, and state how they feel in any situation. They also accept standards of fairness and recognise the rights and interests of others. People orientation denotes a sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others. It encompasses empathy, emotional awareness, and ease in social situations. Those with a high people orientation are generally sociable and likeable. They are people driven rather than task driven. Your negotiating style is a function of how assertive you are and how people oriented you are, as illustrated in this diagram:.

Avoiding A person with an avoiding style of negotiating avoids the issues, the other party, and negotiation situations as much as possible. Accommodating The accommodating negotiator is primarily concerned with preserving his relationship with the other party, even at the expense of his own substantive interests. Compromising The compromising style places a premium on fairness and balance, with each party making some sacrifice to get part of what it wants.

They tend to be soft and are not comfortable being firm. They need to be more assertive. Preparing thoroughly may inspire confidence. Having an assertive colleague present during negotiating sessions would be a good idea. But a course on assertiveness training and practice developing assertiveness skills would be recommended. Competitive negotiators look for a win-lose result.

It would be wise for them to help their counterpart win as well. After all, they still win, and they also gain goodwill by allowing their counterpart to enjoy a victory. However, competitive people often prefer to see their counterpart lose; for them, it reinforces the idea that they have won. It is not pleasant dealing with a competitive negotiator, even if you are assertive.

However, you will need to negotiate with such a person on occasion. The best you can do is to understand him, brace yourself, and try to find a win-win. He may not begrudge you a win if he wins as well, but he is only concerned with his own interests. Compromising negotiators, at first glance, appear reasonable. They are willing to give up something in exchange for something else, provided their counterparts do the same. Some people even define negotiation as the art of compromise. However, I feel this approach does the art of negotiating a disservice.

As we will see shortly, it is the easy way out. It is far better to use the ways of the win-win negotiator than to settle for half a loaf. Collaborating negotiators, as you have probably concluded, are winwin negotiators. They work with their counterparts to solve their problem together by building trust, communicating openly, identifying interests, and designing options that allow them to create value for all involved.

When to use each style The collaborating style of negotiating is clearly the win-win approach. If we are advocating the win-win approach and learning win-win techniques, why bother with the other four styles? There are a few reasons. You will find yourself dealing with competitive types. You need to recognise that style and know how to protect yourself. Sometimes you will be expected to be competitive, or to compromise.

Remember, negotiation is a game. You need to understand and play by the rules. You will need to be flexible enough to adopt other styles. Most people have a dominant or preferred style, but it may vary with the situation and the people involved. While collaboration is generally the best outcome, and avoidance and accommodation are not usually effective, there are times when each style has its advantages.

Consider choosing an approach based on these factors:. Avoiding When the issue is trivial, it may not be worth your time. When emotions are running high, it is wise to avoid negotiating for the time being. However, this is a temporary measure. Avoidance is a poor long-term strategy. Accommodating When the issue in question is not important to you but is important to the other party, you may choose to let them have the point. This is an easy concession to make in exchange for something else later. Ideally, you should ask for something on the spot in exchange for your concession.

Competing In a one-off negotiation where you have no ongoing relationship with your counterpart, you may not care whether he wins or loses, you just want a win. Or in a negotiation where the only issue is price, a gain for one party means a loss for the other.

The most likely result when negotiating solely on price is a partial win for both parties. However, few negotiations are only about price. Finally, you may find yourself negotiating in a crisis situation that requires quick, decisive action on your part. Or where both parties are equal in power and neither will concede much.

Or where the parties accept a compromise as a temporary measure to a complex problem, and intend to pursue a more lasting settlement later. You might also compromise when neither party can propose a win-win solution and both prefer a partial win to no deal, although in such cases it would be best to put in more effort and try to come up with more imaginative options. Collaborating When both parties want a win-win and have the time and mindset to pursue it, the chance of a win-win is good.

Or the issue may be too important to compromise, and failure is not an option. When a win-win is imperative, there is usually a way to get it. A collaborating style is the only one needed in winwin negotiations. This is not true. While collaboration is the ideal, even win-win negotiators need to use other approaches on occasion. No matter how fair it may seem, however, it is not good negotiating.

The Old Testament tells a story about two women, each claiming to be the mother of an infant. Both women approached King Solomon to resolve their dispute. He suggested that they cut the baby in half, knowing that the real mother would prefer to see her child alive with someone else than dead in her own arms. Sure enough, he was right — King Solomon was known for his wisdom, after all! Imagine if the two women did agree to split the baby. That would definitely have been a lose-lose outcome.

But a compromise often is.

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Win-Win Negotiations is for Losers - Kindle edition by Michael Jackson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features. Win-Win Negotiations is for Losers book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. Prepare to eat someone's would.

When we compromise, both parties make a sacrifice. While each gets something, neither gets what he wants. Compromising usually leads to a partial win at best, never a win-win. A better way is to consider more options and try to find a win-win. Sure, it takes more effort. But we often compromise far too quickly, without really trying to find a win-win solution.

There may be times when a compromise really is the best you can do. But more often than not, you can find a way to achieve a win-win outcome. It may take time, perseverance, creativity, and a good flow of communication, but the results will be worth it. While compromise is often used to resolve difficult negotiations, it is a cop-out. Exhaust all efforts to collaborate on a win-win before taking the easy way out. Attitude is the key The most important tool a win-win negotiator has is his attitude.

A winwin negotiator is positive, optimistic, collaborative, and objective. He understands that a win-win outcome is rarely an accident, but the result of systematic application of certain principles. Think win-win instead of win-lose. Look for ways to enlarge the pie so everyone gets a bigger piece. Learn the rules and practice the skills. Have fun and try to improve over time. Play the game. Be aware of the roles of emotion and biases.

Take calculated risks. Aim high. Set an aggressive anchor and justify it. Continue generating options and looking for ways to create value. A good attitude is just a bunch of New Age hype. While skill is important, your attitude has a strong impact on your negotiating results. Five characteristics of win-win negotiators This diagram shows the five characteristics that all win-win negotiators share: 1.

Ask questions Win-win negotiators ask a lot of questions. While asking questions is a good way to get the information that is critical for a win-win, this is not the only purpose served by asking questions. Asking questions helps you build rapport, gain thinking time, control the discussion, clarify understanding, and persuade the other party.

Of course, it is also a good way to gather information. They usually ask mundane questions or make simple statements that invite response. These questions are not designed to elicit useful information. No one cares about the weather except farmers, and I can poke my head out the window and see if it looks like rain myself.

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We ask these trite questions just to acknowledge that another human being is present, to interact with him at a basic level, to put him and ourselves at ease. A win-win negotiator will ask questions and make small talk to be friendly and to get his counterpart to warm up to him. He wants to be likeable. He knows that other people are more likely to agree with him if they like him.

Cold and aloof negotiators do not fare as well as warm and friendly ones. Asking questions is a good way to buy time. While the other party is responding, you can ponder a difficult point. Use questions to slow down the pace of the negotiation and gather your wits. If you have ever observed a trial lawyer conducting a cross examination, or an interrogator grilling a suspect, you know how questions can be used to control a conversation. You can ask the questions you want to steer the conversation in the direction you want, to follow your agenda.

Win-win negotiators ask questions to test their assumptions and confirm their understanding. Ask a direct question if you are not sure about something, even if you think you are pretty sure about it. Better safe than sorry. We negotiate to persuade another person to do what we want him to do.

People often react defensively when confronted with a direct statement. Instead, use leading and rhetorical questions gently to suggest the answer you want. Open questions encourage free-flowing conversation. There are many possible and unpredictable answers. While open questions may elicit the information you were seeking, they often yield additional, unanticipated, and potentially valuable information as well. They open up the field of inquiry, providing a wide variety of information for you to explore.

For this reason, open questions are especially useful in the early stages of a negotiation. Thus, they are most useful at the later stages of a negotiation. Follow-up questions may be either open or closed. They allow you to gather additional information and detail. When asking questions, be careful with the tone of your voice, the way you phrase your questions, and your body language.

A sigh, or the sound of impatience or exasperation in your voice, can put the other person on the defensive and cause them to yield less information. Use a warm, friendly tone when probing, for that will help you to get the answers you want. Listen actively Effective listening is perhaps the area of communication that is most taken for granted. Most of us believe that because we have a good sense of hearing we are therefore good listeners.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Hearing is a passive, physiological process that occurs when your brain registers the impact of sound waves on your eardrum. Listening, on the other hand, is the more active process of interpreting the sounds we perceive and giving them meaning. Listening requires thought.

Western cultures value speaking over listening. We think more highly of men of words and action than those who sit quietly. Our companies reward those who express their opinions, not those who weigh the opinions of others. No wonder most of us prefer to speak than listen. This is not necessarily a good thing in a negotiation. You already know what you want from a negotiation or at least you should. If so, you need to listen and learn. And in particular you need to listen actively. Effective listening is often interpreted to mean active listening. And while empathetic listening is an even higher level of listening, active listening is a great start.

Restate or paraphrase what the speaker has just said to test assumptions, clarify confusion, and confirm understanding. Seek to completely understand the substance of the message. Your objective is to get as much information as possible, and to understand your counterpart clearly. Red flag words are ambiguous words or phrases that cry out for elaboration. People choose their words for a reason. If you are not sure what they mean, ask them.

Your counterpart may use certain words to avoid giving information. Learn to recognise these red flags and dig for the information your counterpart is reluctant to share. If you ask specifically, he will often tell you. However, I feel we could manage with our current configuration for the time being.

Is it not doing everything you expect? What is working well, and what would you like to see improve? What other factors are affecting your time frame? Empathise The only problem with active listening is that it can be mechanical. Knowing what others are feeling and showing them that you care is the essence of empathy. Take your active listening to an even higher level. Strive to become an empathetic listener.

Here are some keys:. What are you going to do? It also makes you more likeable. You can understand how your counterpart feels without agreeing with her position. She will appreciate your concern whether you agree with her or not. Consider and explain Most negotiators reject an offer or proposal without giving it much thought. Perhaps they respond immediately with their own counter offer. They fear that any hesitation on their part will be considered a sign of weakness by the other party. Win-win negotiators know better. An immediate rejection is insulting.

It shows a lack of respect. That offer is a product of — and an extension of — the other party. You do yourself no service by behaving rudely towards your counterpart. By pausing to consider an offer, you show you are taking both the offer, and the other person, seriously. You may find some common ground that you would otherwise miss with an out of hand rejection.

Finding even a shred of value in his offer and working with it will place you in higher regard with your counterpart than if you had rejected his offer completely. Remember, win-win solutions depend on collaboration and joint problem solving, not on prevailing in a contest of ideas. People like to know why.

The Win-Win Approach to Negotiation

It makes your rejection easier to accept. It also helps your counterpart understand your needs and interests, improving the likelihood of a win-win solution. Think creatively Average negotiators come up with obvious solutions. Win-win negotiators think creatively. The win-win is often hidden, lurking behind positions masquerading as interests, and is not easily spotted by average negotiators.

It requires creativity to uncover a win-win solution. What we think we want may not be what we really need. Sometimes we have to think out of the box to see the difference. Currencies are sometimes hard to identify. Because we do not value a certain asset that we possess, we may not realise that our counterpart finds value in it. We may not even know that it exists. Creative thinking helps us remove our blinders. There may be many countless potential solutions to a negotiation.

We may only think of one. Or we may think of a few, decide one is the best, and not realise that there may be even better ones out there. The more options we can generate, the more likely we will find one that presents a win-win solution. Creative thinking helps us generate more options. Precedents, accepted practices, norms, and other patterns are easy to see. They provide us with shortcuts. We follow the pattern and it makes our life easier.

At least it does most of the time. However, if you do the things other people do, you will get the results other people get. If you want something better — such as a win-win — you need to do things better. Creative thinking helps you decide when to follow patterns and when to break them.

Practise solving brain teasers and other puzzles. This will help you to become a more creative thinker. A win-win negotiator is distinguished by his mindset. He understands the five negotiating styles, he recognises his own strengths and weaknesses, and he takes steps to compensate for those weaknesses. He is flexible and knows when to adapt his style. He asks questions, listens actively and empathetically, and considers proposals carefully, explaining what he likes and dislikes about them.

He is also creative in generating options. As we will see in the next chapter, the win-win negotiator also understands a wide range of negotiating tactics and is able to respond with the appropriate counter-tactic. Star Tips for developing a win-win negotiating mindset 1. Learn to recognise and adapt to the five styles of negotiating. Remember that collaborating is the key to a win-win, but other styles have their time and place. Resist the urge to compromise. Maintain a win-win attitude.

Be positive, optimistic, collaborative, and objective. Ask questions not only to gather information, but also to build rapport, gain thinking time, control the discussion, clarify understanding, and persuade the other party. Listen actively to confirm understanding and encourage the speaker. Listen for red flag words and uncover the valuable information lurking behind them.

Think creatively to identify interests, currencies and options. Tactics are a part of nearly every negotiation. If negotiation is a game, tactics are the plays, the parries and thrusts. For every tactic offensive manoeuver there is a counter-tactic, or defence. If you want to be a great negotiator, you will need to be familiar with a wide range of tactics, and you must also know how to defend against them with an appropriate counter-tactic. Negotiation is a game, and as in most games there are many different tactics and counter-tactics.

You need to be able to juggle them around and choose the best ones for any given situation. Why do we need tactics? Some of the hallmarks of this style of negotiating are joint problem solving,. The relationships issue is key here because we are, in essence, negotiating with partners rather than adversaries. This highball and lowball opening gambit is one of the most frequently used negotiating tactics. As this simple tactic is so common, we almost expect to encounter it whenever we bargain. Consequently, when we hear the opening price stated, we naturally begin to bargain. No doubt our counterpart would respond in the same way.

Some tactics are expected, even between such intimate negotiating partners as husbands and wives. We are expected to use certain tactics as part of the game. There is another reason why you need tactics and counter-tactics. You are learning how to become a win-win negotiator.

The Win-Lose Approach to Negotiation

However, your counterpart may be an old-school, adversarial negotiator. Negotiation tactics are not always black and white, fair or unfair, ethical or unethical. There is a lot of grey. You need to be prepared for whatever may come your way. Win-win negotiators are above using tactics. Everyone uses tactics. Not all tactics are dirty tricks, and some tactics are expected — they are part of the game.

If you want to dance, you need to learn the steps. No one expects a first offer to be a best offer. This is one reason why you should never accept an opening offer. You know your counterpart is highballing or lowballing. You know you can negotiate for a better offer, and it would be foolish not to. But there is another reason you should not accept a first offer. It would make the other person feel he had been taken advantage of. The seller would have been willing to accept less after a little give and take. When you quickly agreed to his first highball offer, he was surprised. Even though you accepted his price, he feels like he was on the losing end of a win-lose transaction.

He expected to play the game, his expectations were not met, and he is dissatisfied. Your neighbour would probably resent you, and the bad feeling could impact any future relationship. You would have gotten a better deal, and the seller would feel that he got a fair price.

Win-Win Negotiations is for Losers by Michael Jackson

His expectations of haggling and meeting in the middle would have been satisfied, and he would be happy. Never accept the first offer. Even if you are delighted with their first offer, express some reluctance. Your counterpart will feel better. Who goes first? The opening offer and counter offer dynamic is simple to understand.

More complicated is the question of who should make the opening offer. Some people feel it is better to open the negotiation themselves. Others advocate never making the first move. Which is correct? There is evidence in support of both positions.

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It might be better than anything you would have dared to ask for. If so, good for you. Haggle a bit so your counterpart feels like a winner. People are more satisfied when they work for it. You learn something when your counterpart makes the first offer. It gives you a bit more information about him before you begin bargaining.

If the initial offer is not favourable, you can start bargaining. You have nothing to lose by listening, as long as you heed the next paragraph. If the initial offer is way out of line, dismiss it firmly but politely. Do not respond to an unrealistic offer. Flinch see page 51 and explain that you really cannot respond to such an offer, then wait for something more reasonable.

Once you make a counter offer, you have in effect legitimised his initial offer, which becomes an anchor point for the entire negotiation. That first offer, combined with your counter offer, establishes a negotiating range. Chances are that any agreement will be somewhere near the middle of that range, and how favourable that middle figure turns out to be will depend on the first figure from your counterpart that you respond to. As you can see, there is ample support for letting the other party make the initial offer.

Approach 2: Make the initial offer yourself The initial offer is a powerful anchor. It establishes one end of the negotiating range, and thus influences the settlement price. It is to your advantage to set the initial anchor point yourself, rather than allow your counterpart to do so. Try to set a high anchor, but a realistic one. If you set it too high you could lose credibility, and your counterpart will resent you.

Make sure your initial offer is attractive to you and something your counterpart could conceivably accept. Exact figures look as if they were calculated according to a precise mathematical formula and have an aura of permanence about them. It is harder to dispute an odd number than a nice round figure that looks as if it was made up without any thought. Probably not. Support your offer with reasons, but invite and be open to their counterproposal. Once you have presented your initial offer — an odd figure from the high end of your aspiration range — explain why that figure which probably seems high to your counterpart is fair.

Ask him what he thinks, and listen attentively. Wait for his counter offer and carry on from there. Just remember that if his initial counter offer is unrealistic, do not allow it to take hold as an anchor point. There are certain situations where it is especially advantageous for you to make the first offer. If it is a complicated negotiation with many elements other than price, your proposal becomes the benchmark. Your counterpart may use your proposal as the basis for future discussion, a reference for comparison with his own ideas.

Your offer sets the tone for the negotiations that follow. If the other party senses you want it badly, she will make you pay dearly for it. Remember, there are plenty of fish in the sea. A counter offer is a rejection of the previous offer. People take rejection personally. When the rejection is immediate and without apparent thought, it can be taken as a sign of disrespect. Take some time to think about every offer, especially when it is a complicated proposal rather than a simple price.

People like their ideas to be taken seriously. Tell the other party what you like about their offer and what you would like to change, and why. You never know what the other party might say or do. Whatever the response, maintain your composure. Wear your poker face. Putting it in writing makes your offer seem more official and persuasive. People take written words and figures more seriously than spoken ones. Writing also protects against memory lapses, genuine or otherwise.

Anchor points The first offer in a negotiation and the ensuing counter offer serve as anchor points. These are reference points that we use because we like to make comparisons. We use them as starting points when considering whether to accept an offer or what counter offer to make. Other references also serve as anchor points. The list price of an item at retail is perhaps the best known. Taken on its own, a sale price may not be attractive by any objective standard, but when compared with a higher figure it looks appealing.

A list price, a bid price, the price of a similar item, or a previous price for a similar or identical item can also be seen as anchors. An anchor draws us to an arbitrary figure and makes the eventual settlement price appear more attractive by comparison. We use references and comparisons as short cuts. By relying on an anchor point, we suspend our objectivity. And we do rely on anchor points all the time, even if they have no basis in reality.

See a Problem?

A number thrown out at random, completely unrelated to the subject of the negotiation, can affect the settlement price in the negotiation. And while you may make some correction when evaluating anchor points, it is commonly not enough. The important thing is to understand how anchor points work, and be vigilant against their effects. This example may help. Imagine you are on holiday on some exotic tropical island. A local approaches you in the market with a string of beads made by the natives. Would you like to buy this beautiful necklace? The price you agree on is a function of the anchor points.

The flinch The flinch is another classic manoeuvre that we all expect.

Other Negotiation Training

Joseph Jaffe. House of Lies. Focus upon interests and issues and avoid dangerous positions. Win-Win is a much bigger topic than this or any other article of its length can do justice to. Laurence McCahill. In the computer example above, most negotiators would assume that the number-one goal of each counterpart would be to get the best respective price. Learn how your comment data is processed.

When done well, it works — even when we know the tactic is being used! The flinch, or wince, is when you express shock or surprise at an offer. The intent is to send a message that the offer is oppressive, in the hope that the offerer will retract his extreme offer and replace it with a more reasonable one. In this way you get an immediate concession without making one yourself. How do you counter a flinch? When your counterpart flinches, do not respond with a better offer right away.

Instead, explain why you feel your offer is fair. Now you are discussing the offer, which legitimises it and helps it take hold as an anchor. If you choose to moderate your offer, your counterpart will have worked for it, and perhaps made a concession. You will not have reduced your offer unilaterally. Reluctance I suggested earlier that you should never appear too eager for a deal.

As in love, feigned disinterest often makes the suitor work harder to win you over. If not, you can continue the negotiation from there. If you are the squeezer, anticipate the use of this counter-tactic and have a specific figure in mind. If it is not accepted, continue negotiating as before. He focuses on the stylistic differences between the good and bad guys, overlooking the fact that they are both on the same team and have the same objective. This happens in business negotiations as well. The roles can be played by a team of negotiators, a businessman and his attorney, or even a husband and wife making a major purchase.

It is an effective way of pressuring the other side into making bigger concessions. The counter-tactic to this ploy is to expose the culprit. Just say it in a good natured way. Timing as a tactic: deadlines and delays Timing is an important element of any negotiation. Either party can manipulate the clock to his advantage. One party might impose a deadline to rush the other party to action. Tomorrow this bedroom set will go back to its usual price. You just know when it would serve you to speed things up or slow things down.

On the other hand, it is not always easy to see when your counterpart is manipulating the clock, nor is it obvious how to handle it. They are set just to get you to act. You can always negotiate a change in a deadline. Even court and tax filing deadlines can be extended! If you feel pressure from a looming deadline, ask for more time. If your counterpart cites policy, ask to speak with a higher-up. Explain that the negotiation is important, and both parties deserve adequate time to consider the merits.

The bedroom set will still be there in the morning. If you feel the negotiation is dragging on, impose a deadline yourself. Remind your counterpart that you have other alternatives, and need to decide by such and such a time. Let him know that he has competition and will have to win your business.

Remember, never appear too eager for a deal. Your counterpart also has alternatives, in the form of your competitors. Remind yourself that he is negotiating with you for a reason. Having someone to check with is convenient when the other side is pressuring you for a commitment you may not want to make. Perhaps you are not as well prepared as you thought, or would like more time to think it over. Car salesmen use this tactic all the time. Many people let their egos get the better of them during a negotiation. But what if you really are the boss, and the other side knows it?

There is no one higher you can defer to. So what can you do? You can defer to someone lower than you. Some negotiators like to ascertain at the beginning of the negotiation that they are dealing with a person with decision-making authority. This is a good practice.

Tell them you have authority to a point, and will need to check with others beyond that point. Do not name a specific person, or they may want to get his approval on the spot. Your higher authority should be a vague entity, such as a committee, management, or the Board of Directors. Negotiations are unpredictable. Always leave yourself an out. Silence Most people are uncomfortable with silence. During an awkward pause, they say something — anything — to break the tension. This is usually a mistake.

Learn to be comfortable with silence. Let the other party do the talking. She just might say something that is music to your ears. Suppose your counterpart makes a concession. You remain silent. As the silence becomes uncomfortable, she opens her mouth to speak — and offers you a bigger concession. She is now negotiating with herself. Repeat your last comment, ask her what she thinks about it, read through your papers, stare her in the eyes, or excuse yourself to make a phone call or. Do anything to break the dynamic without conceding more. Offered by the Mediation Centre of Southeastern Ontario, the comprehensive program will cover conflict resolution, communication skills, and negotiation skills.

Register Now. The idea of zero-sum games is that every gain is offset by loss: there is a winner and a loser. When something takes, something else has to give. If he wins, I lose. Maybe some games have to have a loser; but win-win negotiations do not. Technically, a win-win negotiation refers not to the specific process, but the destination. When the destination is win—win, the hope is that the solution reached is the best possible outcome, under the circumstances, for both parties.

It does not always mean that each side got exactly what it wanted — but sometimes this is possible. There are, of course, other reasons to strive for the win-win over the win-lose. Contact him today to discuss how Conflict Resolution may benefit your organization.