Negotiation Case Studies, Negotiating Tips, Negotiation Strategies, Business Negotiation September 2, 2010

Negotiation: Is it a fait accompli? (translation: Is it a done deal?)

A fait accompli (accomplished fact in French) is a negotiating tactic, generally used by diplomats, but also used in business. The principle is that one party will take a surprise action to create a favorable negotiating position. This accomplished fact impacts the outcome of the negotiation.

The fait accompli tactic works because it creates action. Once something is done, it is hard to get it undone and therefore, the balance of power between the parties is altered.

What does a fait accompli look like in a typical business negotiation? Here are a few examples:

  • Violate a patent, and then work on the settlement
  • Start a lawsuit, then talk
  • Have a machine installed, then reject it and ask for a credit
  • Declare bankruptcy before entering a settlement negotiation

To some, pulling a fait accompli is an unethical tactic. If the other party tries this on you, there are ways you can counteract:

  • Anticipate the tactic and protect yourself by contract
  • Take your own aggressive action
  • Never pay in advance without a security
  • Start your own lawsuit.
  • Make the costs high if the other party does something aggressive

Don’t let your negotiation deteriorate into a done deal even before you have started talking! Be wary of the fait accompli.

Have you ever had to deal with a fait accompli move? What have you done to counter it?

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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