Negotiators always ask about the other party’s perceptions and thoughts.
negotiators always ask about the other party’s perceptions and thoughts.
This article presents four factors that can have a tremendous impact on negotiation outcomes and provides guidance on what negotiators should be doing before either side starts worrying about offers, counteroffers, and bargaining tactics.
Here’s how he explained it to me: “Until they have flown into my city and then driven to our manufacturing plants—which are located 20 kilometers from the airport but take almost three hours to reach—until they have experienced that, they simply don’t understand how things work around here. And if they don’t understand, we run into serious problems. Because the first time there is a delay or disruption, or if we need to renegotiate something, they will immediately assume we are either incompetent or stealing from them. Once they’ve seen how things actually work, we can have a more productive relationship.”
What makes this simulation interesting, however, lies not in the details of the case but in the top-secret instructions given to one side of each pairing before the exercise begins: “Please start the negotiation with a display of anger. You must display anger for a minimum of 10 minutes at the beginning.” The instructions go on to give specific tips for showing anger: Interrupt the other party. Call her “unfair” or “unreasonable.” Blame her personally for the disagreement. Raise your voice.
This view stems from a tendency to view negotiations in competitive terms rather than collaborative ones. Researchers call this the fixed-pie bias: People, particularly those with limited experience making deals, assume that a negotiation is a zero-sum game in which their own interests conflict directly with a counterpart’s. (More-experienced negotiators, in contrast, look for ways to expand the pie through collaboration, rather than nakedly trying to snatch a bigger slice.) Anger, the thinking goes, makes one seem stronger, more powerful, and better able to succeed in this grab for value.
 Rothman, J., 1997. Resolving Identity-Based Conflict in Nations, Organizations, and Communities, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
“Speaker Paul D. Ryan sought to excuse President Trump’s overtures to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, about pulling the plug on an investigation as a stumble by a political novice unfamiliar with the strict conventions of the capital.
He opened with an extremely generous offer – a wage that was almost certainly higher than the union would have reasonably expected even after another week of bargaining. But instead of seeming delighted, the union’s chief negotiator responded: “We’d like to caucus to consider your offer.”
The manufacturer was shocked by his opponent’s caution. But should he have been?
Published on Apr 5, 2015
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Although you have researched alternatives and know what someone else might be offering you, discuss the current deal on its merits. Do not compare it openly with other offers you have. Other offers you may have are your backup—your BATNA—if you can’t reach a satisfactory agreement in the current negotiations.
Attorney Craver agrees. “Never be so tough in negotiations that you begin with a negative relationship,” he says. “Don’t do something in the short run that will come back to hurt you in the long run—that’s not a smart negotiation.” He urges what he calls “competitive problem solving,” noting that studies have shown that most adversarial negotiators are ineffective. “Competitive problem solvers want a good deal for themselves, but they also want to maximize the joint return of both parties.” Aim for a “win-win” agreement that will make both sides feel positive about the outcome.
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The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.
It seems that “schmoozing” and other forms of rapport building not only build trust but can also have a significant economic payoff.
See Also: Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases – After a failed negotiation, it’s tempting to construct a story about how the other side’s irrationality led to an impasse. Unfortunately, such stories will not resurrect the deal. In the past, we have encouraged you to ‘debias’ your own behavior by identifying the assumptions that may be clouding your judgment. We have introduced you to a number of judgment biases – common, systematic errors in thinking that are likely to affect your decisions and harm your outcomes in negotiation. These include the mythical fixed-pie, egocentrism, overconfidence, escalation of commitment, the winner’s curse, the influence of vivid data, and so on.
Knowing the other side’s authority to commit will help you to:
The other side is negotiating with you to try to satisfy their interests. If they cannot satisfy their interests in a deal with you, they will do something else (on their own or with someone else) to satisfy those interests. That “something else” – the one thing that the other party would do if they were to permanently walk away from negotiating with you – is what we refer to as their walk-away alternative. Put another way, their walk-away alternative is their best way of satisfying their interests without involving you.