Negotiation Tactics, Business Negotiation, Negotiating in Life July 25, 2011

How to Break an Impasse in Negotiations

As this is being written, the United States debt ceiling negotiations are still at an impasse.

However, there are many ways to break an impasse.

Dr. Chester Karrass devotes a chapter in his book In Business As In Life—You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate to “The Art of Breaking a Dealock”.

The “trick” to breaking an impasse is knowing how to reopen talks gracefully, without loss of face or bargaining power.

Effective negotiation techniques appeal to the self-interest of both parties, and allow them to find a way to continue a discussion involving new ideas and solutions.

5 Tips to Breaking a Negotiation Impasse

The Gradual Approach One way to break an impasse when the differences are very large is to do it bit by bit. Generally, parties find it easier to agree on one thing rather than a large number of issues.

The Bookkeeping Technique In the bookkeeping technique, a “bookkeeper” writes down a complete “score” of both settled and unsettled issues, starting with what issues have been agreed to, followed by what issues are still open, and lastly what issues are in disagreement. This allows the parties to focus their attention on what already has been accomplished, which ultimately reduces the tension.

Move from the Sticky Issue Shifting talks to other issues is a good way to keep the momentum of a negotiation going. The more points the parties agree on, the greater the chances of a settlement.

Use a Mediator Bringing a third party to the negotiation table is a good way for both sides to discover a face-saving way to resolve differences.

Change the Negotiator Sometimes breakdowns in negotiations occur due to personality clashes—the negotiators just don’t like each other. By changing the negotiator and/or the team, a new perspective can be brought to the table and the talk can thus change direction. What is your best technique for breaking an impasse?

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
Contact US
[email protected][email protected]+1 323 866-3800
SEMINARS
About Us
AboutDR. CHESTER KARRASSGARY KARRASSFAQGLOSSARYPRIVACY POLICYBLOG
QUICK LINKS