Business Negotiation May 14, 2015

The Concept of Negotiating Space

The concept of negotiating space rests on the fact that we need more time and room to negotiate than we usually allot to making the best and most prudent deal possible for both sides. A manager I worked for at Hughes Aircraft used to say, “There’s not much to a negotiation, really. You make them an offer. They make you a counteroffer. You settle somewhere in the middle.” Those of us who have negotiated extensively would differ. There’s much more to it than that. To be successful one must create negotiation space to allow talks to move from point to point and to explore alternative possibilities.

Sir Francis Bacon, writing four hundred years ago, said, “All negotiation is to work, to discover and take risk.” He understood this could not be done quickly or by merely splitting differences. Most negotiations are too complex for that, even relatively simple ones. What we need is negotiation space to talk, to test our assumptions, to learn about one another, to exchange ideas, to compromise wisely and to assure that what we promise to do will be done.

Some strategies leave negotiating space; others do not. Leaving some room to bargain, even a little, opens the door to further give and take. Leaving none says, “I don’t have more to say or give-that’s it.” Making small concessions over time builds negotiating space by allowing you time to explain your position better and build bridges between each argument. What’s the hurry anyway when getting the project done right or a reasonable budget allotment are at stake.

Negotiating space can be created by putting a string on your concessions. Asking for something in return when making a concession puts spirited new ideas and energy into quiet talks. It opens the door to varied responses on the part of both sides. Some responses to strings or conditions lead to clues about unspoken motivations. These provide spaces to explore further.

Negotiation space leaves room for the relationship to grow: space for each side to gain respect and trust in the other, to accept each other as partners rather than adversaries, to learn what each has in common and to understand what important differences really exist. Bargaining space allows attitudes and beliefs each side has about the other to change as each group reveals itself through the extended bargaining exchange.

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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