Business Negotiation April 07, 2014

Win-Win Ways to Break a Deadlock

Another widely used technique for bringing parties toward settlement is what I call the “United Nations Coalition. ” This approach brings into play the interests of diverse outside groups in reaching a solution...

Another widely used technique for bringing parties toward settlement is what I call the “United Nations Coalition.” This approach brings into play the interests of diverse outside groups in reaching a solution. Sometimes a coalition that includes the government, local politicians, unions and bankers can push the buyer and seller into agreement, even when the gap between them is wide. In Japan, you can hardly close a complex transaction without considering the needs of institutional forces far from the table.  Balancing the interests of everyone involved in a multifaceted transaction is essentially a political decision. 


It is best resolved and settle by a high level coalition. With win-win strategies, we can see how satisfaction for both parties can be increased with little or no cost to either party.  When people deal with each other on a win-win basis they succeed. Together they make 2+2 become not 4 but 5 or more.  They create value, and bargaining becomes easier since there is more for both parties to share. I have personally used the win-win approach many times and can assure you that it works remarkably well. 


The magic of the “both-win” is that is captures the attention of the other party instantaneously.  Who among us is so stubborn as to refuse to listen to an opportunity for gain?  Both-win strategies broaden the scope of negotiation by enlarging the sphere of mutual interests.  Suddenly the buyer and seller see the potential for further profit; the pie gets bigger and better for both. The next time you are in a negotiation that appears to be going nowhere, try saying, “Let’s find a better way to benefit both of us.”  You’ll be amazed at how quickly the discussion moves to a cooperative track. 


The threat of deadlock withers away. Win-win is, beyond a doubt, the most powerful payoff strategy in negotiation. Deadlock is a normal risk of bargaining.  People from other cultures handle it better than Americans.  For them, walking away from a deal is a matter of habit.  They’ve done it in their daily lives since childhood.  Walking away is just another way to tell the other side that the offer is not yet good enough. 


For Americans deadlock is usually more of a trauma-a psychological battle involving two parties whose egos are at stake. Deadlock is a legitimate test of the balance of power and resolve of opposing parties.  It need not be feared or shunned as a tactic.  It may or may not mean “dead.” In most cases, if properly handled, it is merely one more stage of the bargaining process.  If the parties are convinced they have something to gain by continuing to talk, they will talk.

Upcoming seminars
Effective Negotiating
Effective Negotiating
Effective Negotiating
Effective Negotiating
Search for seminars near you
June 04, 2020

Success in negotiation starts with understanding what kind of negotiation you are dealing with. Fundamentally, every negotiation is fundamentally about finding and distributing value...

Read More Group 7
April 06, 2020

Use this article as a guide to help you think in new ways to renegotiate for better contracts and stronger partnerships, whether in business or in life. Never be afraid of sitting down at the table to set new terms...

Read More Group 7
January 12, 2020

Happy Holidays to you and yours! Chances are very good that you had to negotiate with at least a few people to figure out what your holiday plans would be this holiday season, and chances are good that it didn’t all go perfectly smoothly. If you are all still on speaking terms, that’s probably because you utilized some of your best conflict resolution tools...

Read More Group 7