Negotiating Tips, Negotiation Strategies, Planning for Negotiations March 6, 2024

7 BIGGEST NEGOTIATION MYTHS & 7 INTERESTING NEGOTIATION FACTS

Sharing the 7 Biggest Negotiation Myths vs the 7 Most Interesting Negotiation Facts

Negotiation is an integral part of both personal and professional life. Whether you are navigating a business deal or settling a dispute with a friend, the art of negotiation is a crucial skill. However, like any skill, misconceptions, and myths often surround the practice of negotiation. People who don’t negotiate often may be afraid of negotiating because they fall for such misconceptions and allow them to become ingrained in their approach to the negotiation process.

To help you overcome these fears, we have debunked the # biggest negotiation myths and unveiled the # most interesting negotiation facts that can reshape your approach to this essential skill.

The 7 Biggest Negotiation Myths

Debunking common negotiation myths that hinder effective communication and problem-solving is essential to improve how you negotiate. Let's explore and dismantle some prevalent misconceptions that often cloud successful negotiation experiences.

#1 You either win or lose in a business negotiation

This misperception is one of our top negotiation myths. As anybody who has studied the KARRASS Program knows, negotiations are Both-Win. A successful negotiation always works out the best agreement for all the parties involved and is often characterized by a collaborative approach that emphasizes finding common ground.

When viewing negotiations as a win-lose scenario, you are limiting the best possible outcome and potentially hurting future opportunities in a variety of ways, including:

  • Creates animosity and resentment between parties
  • Makes future collaboration challenging
  • Hinders exploration of innovative solutions
  • Fails to tap into the potential for creative problem-solving
  • May lead to concessions that are regrettable in the future
  • Makes it harder to find shared interests and common ground

Negotiations are an opportunity for both parties to achieve their objectives. Skilled negotiators understand the value of compromise and work towards a mutually beneficial agreement. The ability to recognize and prioritize common goals allows you to navigate toward solutions that meet the needs of all involved parties, fostering positive, long-term relationships.

#2 Good negotiators are born not made

Absolutely not! Negotiation is a learned skill. While some individuals may have a natural inclination for negotiation, it is essential to recognize that these skills are teachable and can be improved with dedication and effort. You can certainly improve your negotiation skills by attending a KARRASS Effective Negotiation seminar.

Continuous learning and adapting strategies based on feedback and experiences also contribute significantly to becoming a skilled negotiator. Through deliberate practice, education, and guidance, you can transform from a novice to a proficient negotiator.

#3 To be a good negotiator, you must be very argumentative and opinionated

Again, the idea that negotiations are fights, where one party will prevail over the other, is just plain wrong. Negotiation is not synonymous with dominating conversations or imposing one's opinions on others. Effective negotiators are good communicators because they understand this process is about persuasion not arguing.

Don't fall for negotiation myths that encourage animosity. Successful negotiators prioritize active listening and understanding the perspectives of all parties involved. Creating an atmosphere of open communication and collaboration allows negotiators to explore various options and reach agreements that consider everyone's needs. Some ways you can foster this environment can involve:

  • Encourage an open exchange of ideas and information.
  • Establish clear channels for communication to ensure transparency.
  • Frame challenges as shared problems to be solved collaboratively.
  • Encourage brainstorming sessions to generate creative solutions that address everyone's needs.

Remember, negotiation is more about finding common ground than imposing one's ideas forcefully.

#4 Negotiating involves telling lies to get your way

Although there are unethical negotiators out there, lying is certainly not the way to an effective negotiation. You don’t have to reveal everything, but you certainly do not have to resort to lying or other dirty tricks.

Integrity is a cornerstone of successful negotiations. Trust is crucial in establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and dishonesty can undermine the foundation of any negotiation. Skilled negotiators prioritize honest and transparent communication, recognizing that credibility and ethical behavior contribute to more sustainable and fruitful agreements. The repercussions of dishonesty in negotiations can cause far-reaching damage, including:

  • Erodes trust
  • Damages credibility
  • Jeopardizes relationships
  • Risk of retaliation
  • Reputational harm

The importance of trust and credibility in fostering enduring relationships highlights that honesty is not only about ethical choices but strategic ones that lead to more successful and enduring negotiations.

#5 Nice people end up last

Negotiation myths come in many forms, and believing success requires toughness and competitiveness is one of them. Yes, kindness and assertiveness can coexist at the negotiating table. People like to do business with people they like. If you are not nice (you play dirty or are backhanded, for instance), the other party will not want to negotiate with you.

Building rapport and maintaining a respectful demeanor contribute to positive outcomes without compromising one's character. Kindness and assertiveness can generate strategic advantages in negotiations, so go ahead and be the nice person. If you have strong negotiation objectives, a clearly defined strategy, and know your negotiating tactics, you will be able to negotiate effectively.

#6 The first offer is always the most important

How often have you heard that first offers set the tone for the entire negotiation and significantly influence the final agreement? This is anything but true. The first offer is just a part of the overall negotiating process, and how much it matters depends on things like who has more information, how fair it seems, and how skilled the negotiators are at guiding the conversation.

Consider the following perspectives when it comes to that initial offer:

  • Treat the first offer as a catalyst for initiating meaningful discussions.
  • Encourage the other party to provide insights, giving you valuable information for subsequent counters.
  • View it as an opportunity to strategically position yourself in the negotiation.
  • Highlight unique strengths, assets, or concessions that contribute positively to the overall agreement.
  • Emphasize common ground and shared interests, setting the tone for cooperative problem-solving.

Whether you are making the initial offer or are receiving it, recognizing that it does not limit your options but acts as a springboard to a mutual resolution can create a successful outcome.

#7 Emotions have no place in negotiations

Reality: Emotions have a place in negotiations because they are an integral part of human communication. Skilled negotiators recognize the impact emotions can have on the negotiation process and actively leverage them to create positive outcomes.

Emotions can influence how parties perceive a situation, the level of trust established, and the overall atmosphere during discussions. Using emotional intelligence allows you to recognize and delve deeper into the root causes of issues and find solutions that align with the parties' genuine needs and interests. By separating this myth from negotiation facts, you can navigate potential conflicts, maintain a constructive atmosphere, and ultimately foster a sense of mutual respect and understanding.

The 7 Interesting Negotiation Facts

Understanding negotiation goes beyond dispelling myths; it involves embracing proven facts that can reshape your approach to this essential skill. Let's explore some intriguing negotiation facts that can enhance your understanding and effectiveness in the negotiation process.

#1 Negotiation is a journey

Negotiation is not just about the final agreement; it is a process. Effective negotiators recognize that the journey toward resolution is as critical as the final agreement itself. This understanding emphasizes the importance of relationship-building throughout the negotiation process.

#2 There is no one-size-fits-all negotiation method

Negotiation methods can vary. Different individuals and cultures may have distinct negotiation styles, ranging from competitive to cooperative. Recognizing and adapting to these variations can enhance negotiation effectiveness.

#3 Your negotiation game plan is critical

Preparation is the most important ingredient to success. Thorough preparation increases the likelihood of finding common ground and crafting agreements that address everyone's concerns.

#4 Saying nothing says a lot

Silence can be a powerful negotiating tool. Comfort with silence allows negotiators to think strategically, encouraging the other party to share more information. This intentional pause often leads to more favorable outcomes.

#5 Negotiations are learning opportunities

Negotiation is about continuous learning. Each negotiation provides an opportunity to refine skills, adapt strategies, and gain valuable insights for future encounters. Successful negotiators embrace this learning process, constantly evolving to meet new challenges.

#6 Negotiation communication goes beyond words

Negotiation often involves non-verbal communication cues. Skilled negotiators pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal signals, gaining insights that verbal communication alone may not convey.

#7 Your BATNA is your best negotiation tool

Identifying and understanding your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) provides a valuable benchmark, helping you to assess the desirability of potential agreements and make informed decisions.



THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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