Negotiating in Life, Planning for Negotiations December 21, 2009

Is this a real issue?

There are two types of issues in any business negotiation: real issues and straw issues. You want to negotiate on the real issues. Straw issues are just like packing paper, just there as stuffing or filler, making it hard get to the real issues. Straw issues are distractions, bluffs, decoys... They are there to add an extra layer to get through.

However, negotiators sometimes use straw issues to achieve the results they want. By putting out straw issues, negotiators are giving themselves room to maneuver; they are creating ways to extract consessions. Negotiators who know how to use straw issues know that once these issues are removed from the table, the real issues seem more manageable, easier to deal with.

In labor negotiations, many demands often lead to more concessions. By having many demands on the table, labor negotiators are satisfying different parts of their membership. And with many demands in hand, these negotiators can give away the “straws,” thus giving themselves more room to exchange issues.

Sometimes it is hard to recognize which is a real issue and which is a straw issue. You don’t want to spin your wheels dealing with a straw issue. To get down to the real issues you will have to discover which issues are truly important. This will take a bit of patience and some investigation. Perhaps you hold some off-record discussions with the other party. You can ignore some issue and concentrate on what you want to concentrate on. If the issue is a straw issue, it will go away.

Straw issues may be annoying to the other party but they give you more space to negotiate. Chester L. Karrass has found that the more space you have to negotiate, the better you do in the negotiation.

How do you use straw issues? How do you identify straw issues when you are confronted with them?

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

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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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