Tag archive: negotiation-tactics
Patience -- A Negotiation Virture
Earlier this week, we discussed keeping your cool. Getting emotional can derail a negotiation, and so can being impatient. In fact, Dr. Chester Karrass advocates using patience as a negotiation tactic. Dr. Karrass believes patience is one of the MOST powerful negotiation tactics. Patience, in conjunction with persistence and determination, can help you win at a negotiation table. During a negotiation, patience means being willing and able to bear the situation, and not being rushed into a decision because the other party is looking for a resolution. Patience is a long-term tactic because the expectation is that you will gain more by waiting than by seeking a quick end to the negotiation. The reason patience is so powerful is that it gives you the gift of time. What can additional time do for you? • Help you to really understand the issues • Allow you to explore the other side’s expectations • Discover the risks • Test your opponent’s determination • Find new alternatives Time also allows more information to be shared, and with this knowledge, you are in a better position to negotiate an outcome that may be more beneficial to both sides. Patience is also a powerful tactic because it functions as a testament to your resolve. When the other party thinks you are resolute, you may obtain more concessions. Perhaps Saint Augustine put it best when he said “patience is the companion of wisdom.” Have you had a negotiation succeed because of your willingness to be patient? Please share your stories with us in the comments.Read more »
Are you a bully?
We are all familiar with bullies. We were probably harassed by a bully at least once during our school years. Some kids grow out of bullying when they leave school. Others go on to be adult bullies. In fact, many people deal with bullies at work. So much so there is even a group called the Workplace Bullying Institute. Webster’s defines bullying simply: to treat abusively. Bullies use abuse to intimidate others and to try to get their way. According to the article “Dealing with Difficult People: The Workplace Bully” by Susan David, in the workplace, bullies engage in tactics such as falsely accusing others of errors, being intimidating, and being harshly and unfairly critical. Some negotiators who are bullies feel that abusing their opposition will make them prevail in the negotiation. In negotiations, bullies are dismissive, they criticize constantly and they may engage in non-verbal intimidation like staring down. Bullies try to create unpleasant conditions in order to lower the opposition’s resistance. But here’s the thing: no one likes to be abused. And it’s a universal business truth that people like to do business with people they like. Being likeable is a huge factor in getting ahead in any aspect of life. Logically, the obverse is also true. Being unlikable will set you back and no one is more unlikable than a bully. In the end, a bully will not get his or her way in a negotiation because the opposing party will not want to continue talking. A bully can never be a good negotiator because a successful negotiation usually results in a Both-Win situation for all involved. A bully is always looking out for his or her own success, often at the expense of others.Read more »
Strategic or Tactical Negotiation?
When you enter a business negotiation, chances are you have thought about what you want to achieve. Perhaps you have even planned for the negotiation. But are you being strategic or tactical? Many people trip up on the difference between strategy and tactic, and the easiest way to explain it is that tactics are what allow you to achieve your strategy. Dr. Chester Karrass talks about three types of planning:Read more »
- Administrative planning: Focused on providing information to teams/individuals to ensure the outcome of both strategies and tactics.
- Strategic planning: Focused on achieving your long-range goals
- Tactical planning: Focused on getting the best results from a specific negotiation
Time Outs in Negotiations
In the USA we enjoy our football games. If time-outs are so critical to a football coach, they ought to be even more important during a negotiation. The stakes are far higher! When and how a time-out, or caucus, is called can affect the final outcome. Diplomatic negotiations are usually 10 percent conference and 90 percent time-out. Most business deals reverse this time relationship. I am in favor of lots of time-outs. They make more sense than long talks and short breaks. I have found time-outs useful for a wide variety of purposes: * To review what was heard or learned – new information may impact your strategy, targets, or tactics. * To think of questions * To develop new arguments and defenses * To explore possible alternatives before you present them * To develop better proof statements * To discuss possible concessions and what will be asked for in return * To determine the best way to react to new demands * To determine if you should make additional demands * To consult with experts * To check on rules or regulations * To analyze changes in price, specifications, costs, time or terms * To just buy you some time A time-out gives you time to think, to make a point more effectively, to check your facts, or to show your resolve. It provides you an opportunity to get others to help you work on an issue. Research indicates when negotiating pressures increase, tension can be reduced before a crisis develops by having short sessions and long time-outs. Remember, never negotiate an issue unless you are prepared for it. Something unforeseen always seems to come up in most negotiations. When it does—a time-out is called for. It might just be a caucus with yourself (i.e. Please excuse me I need to use the restroom), or a meeting among your own people to discuss the new issue. Don’t “shoot-from-the-hip” and plunge into negotiating an issue you are not prepared to negotiate.Read more »
Yelling and Screaming
Some people get their way by deliberately yelling and screaming. It's a negotiating tactic. These screamers know from experience that other people find this tactic uncomfortable. Most people find it difficult to cope with a screamer. This is especially true if others are around to witness the scene. Most cringe at the thought of having to deal with an obnoxious character - so they simply give in. A loudmouth is accustomed to winning these negotiations and uses this tactic time and again to get their own way, or to gain a better position than other, more reasonable people. Their plan is to intimidate the other party into submission. People who yell and scream do so because they have learned, like children, that it is easier to scream than to take the time to persuade by rational means. In fact, the weaker their position, the more they resort to loudmouth tactics. As parents, we have a responsibility not to let our children get their own way by yelling and screaming. When children rant and rave, we have to call their bluff by calmly demonstrating that their approach will not work. This takes a good deal of parental courage, patience, and self-confidence. How do we handle an adult negotiator who uses such tactics? This question is important because many of us, sooner or later, will have to deal with someone who yells and screams. Don't let this negotiating tactic trap you into responding with like actions. If you both end up yelling at each other a satisfactory outcome is a remote possibility. The key defense is not to be intimidated. If you remain rational, refuse to take abuse, deal in terms of fact - not emotion, and act with quiet dignity and firmness, the loudmouth will soon stop. If not, then it is wise to bring them to someone at a higher level who can handle the screamer with calm authority. The experienced loudmouth has won a lot of easy victories since childhood. Don't let them win another one at your expense.Read more »
The Difference Between Relationship-Based Compromise and Self-Centered Competitive Compromise
People negotiate for good reason. They don’t do so because they are lonely or have nothing else to do. A difference between them exists which one or both believe it best to resolve. At the very least they wish to protect their interests. At most, they wish to strike a deal that will best achieve what they want and need. Both realize that competition exists between their respective goals and both are defensive of their interest and positions. External and internal workplace negotiations are similar in those respects. Yet, internal and external negotiations must be conducted in importantly different ways. Internal dealings are far more we-centered as a rule than external ones. Both sides are clearly members of the same organization and share similar organizational goals. Both must work together in a measure of harmony from task to task and day to day. Self-centered strategies and tactics are frowned upon within the organization and recognized as counterproductive in the long run. Relationship-based approaches are paramount to building positive relations. Even when one’s goals seek to promote one’s interest through bargaining, the negotiator is best served when his or her inputs are recognized as being honest, respectful and worthy of trust. When those who oppose view the other person’s or words as bluffing, threatening, manipulative, untruthful or secretive, their relationship diminishes. The goal of relationship-based negotiators is to leave the table with a fair and reasonable agreement that commits both sides to work together cooperatively in the future; and, to forge an agreement that stands the test of time and can be resolved fairly when and if problems arise later. Such a settlement makes future negotiations easier and defuses problems and differences before they explode in anger. Relationship-based negotiators recognize the strategies and approaches they cannot use. Borderline tactics are shunned in workplace dealings. Tactics such as fait accompli, figure-finagling deception, word play, devil in the details and deliberate escalation are never used. These negotiation tactics are clearly counterproductive in workplace bargaining and dangerous to use in any negotiation because they incite anger and revenge in those who feel victimized by their use. External negotiations are not so closely limited in what is said and done. Often the goal externally is to do as well as one can do, but not leave the other party so dissatisfied that they fail to perform as agreed. Self-interest is a motivator in most conventional transactions as it is in internal dealings. Good relationships are generally valued in both types of negotiation. But there is one major difference between workplace bargaining and that between buyer-seller or union-management representative. In most external negotiations, competitive self-interest, not relationships, dominates the exchange. Even there certain limits to action prevail. Strategies that are illegal, coercive or abusive are taboo there as they are in the workplace. Relationship-based give and take rests on the premise that what one does and says at the negotiating table directly affects the relationship of the parties as much as the outcome itself. External negotiators, like commercial buyers and sellers, face one another at the table then go their mostly separate ways. Workplace negotiators have to face each other and work together every day. So when it comes to workplace negotiations good relations, rapport and open-honest dealing, matter a great deal. When these elements are missing, work will not get done effectively and creative collaboration becomes unlikely.Read more »
You Have More Power Than You Think-Part Two
We at Karrass have tested the “You have more power than you think” hypothesis many times at practice negotiations conducted at programs worldwide. We do it by providing each attendee with a private information fact sheet prior to negotiation. This sheet includes their strengths and weaknesses as well as facts related to the other’s power position. Then, during the practice negotiation, the parties bargain to reach agreement. Outcomes are posted for all to see. A critique and discussion follows that almost always reveals that most participants dwell on their own weaknesses and pay less attention to their strengths. They focus on what the other can do to them if they fail to agree rather than the reverse. As a result of this negative thinking, participants tend to take an opening position by asking for less than they might otherwise. After the critique discussions end, participants are always surprised that they dwelled so much on their weaknesses rather than focusing on their strengths. From now on, when you prepare for any negotiation make a list of your strengths and what you believe to be the other person’s limitations. Before your next negotiation, review the six principles of power that follow to open your mind to aspects of power that might easily be overlooked. First, the exercise of power always involves cost and risk. Those with power who are unable or unwilling to incur cost or risk abdicate their strength. Second, power may be real or only apparent or assumed. Organization charts rarely determine where the real power lies. Those with power unwilling to exercise their strength do not have power unless you assume they will use it. For example, someone in a higher position has the power to punish a subordinate. If the superior has no intention of punishing the subordinate, then that power is for all practical purposes nullified. On the other hand if the subordinate believes he will be punished, that source of power remains intact. Third, power changes over time. The balance of power moves as the balance of contributions and benefits between the parties changes. Good negotiators compensate for such changes in the balance of power by incorporating such changes into their agreements to keep them from failing over time. If one party to a negotiation has little power at the start of a project they may have considerably more as the project moves along and their work or expertise becomes essential. Fourth, the ends of power cannot be separated from means. Good and lasting relationships cannot be built from manipulative tactics. Fifth, power is always limited. Its range depends upon the specific situation, the general economy, the government or such structural matters as policies, company regulations, ethical standards and present or future consequences, whether known or assumed. Sixth, power is always relative. Rarely, if ever, does one side enjoy complete power over the other. Understanding the sources of power and making the most of them will add credibility to our position and confidence in your assertions.Read more »
The Relationship Mode
Two or more team members enter into a negotiation. They are trying to reach a consensus on how to resolve a problem facing them. Their viewpoints differ. Each specializes in something different. Each is motivated in part by personal interests. Both would like to resolve the matter dividing them and complete the project successfully. Why should we care so much about their relationship to one another? In the book, A Behavioral Theory of Labor Relations, it says: “Two parties negotiate. The negotiating process shapes the division of the product of their joint efforts. The negotiation process also facilitates the resolution of joint problems and the integration of their interests. A third result of the negotiation process is a maintenance or restructuring of the relationship of the participants toward each other.” Whatever the issue, the parties come to the negotiation with attitudes toward one another. The bargaining process is affected by their relationship, be it good or bad. Whether they like, trust and respect each other mediates their every offer and counteroffer, their responses and positions, and of course their strategies and approaches. How they treat each other as the negotiating session proceeds then affects their initial relationship for better or worse. Negotiators wary of each other as talks start may change is the other person is candid and open during the process. Respect can grow or diminish as each party exchanges viewpoints. A negotiation within a negotiation is taking place as they talk. The parties, while discussing and exchanging ideas on the issues, are re-establishing their relationship. At the end of the process they may think well of the other or wish never to work with them again. Three basic rules govern the relationship mode and deserve a place in a negotiator’s planning and preparation kit.Read more »
- The relationship that exists between the parties affects how they will act at the table and the behaviors, strategies and tactics they will employ.
- What one or the other does or says during the talks has an effect on the attitude and behavior of the other as talks progress.
- The relationship between parties not only affects the outcome of their bargaining but also, in a reciprocal way, the outcome and how it was reached affect their willingness to abide by the agreement and their future negotiations.