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Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

ADR Services, Inc.

She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

The Five Most Effective Ways to Break Negotiation Impasse

I begin a series today on what I believe are the five most effective ways to break impasse.  This morning's impasse-breaker will aid business people negotiating the settlement of a commercial dispute the most because it requires the generation of hitherto unseen business advantages to sweeten the pot.

Transform the dispute into an opportunity to make a business deal

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt famously said that “litigation is just a business negotiation being conducted in the Courts.” If you look at litigated disputes in that light, the settlement option landscape immediately broadens. There are only certain remedies available in court or arbitration and those remedies may not be exactly what the parties are looking for.

If we remember that money is simply the means to obtain something else the parties desire – better distribution networks; insurance against future calamity; the security of knowing one’s intellectual property has not fallen in a competitor’s hands; health care; a college fund; even the acknowledgement that we have heard and understand our opponent’s point of view – we can add value to our negotiations before attempting to distribute it in a way that seems fair and just under the circumstances.

Often more important than finding commonalities between bargaining partners is locating those items that the parties value differently. A dollar may just be a dollar, but one company’s inventory, trade secrets or present pool of talent will seldom be worth the same in our competitor’s hands as it is in ours. In some cases our assets may be more valuable to another than they are to us, in which case we can choose the higher value as the central rationale for our proposal, remembering that where value is uncertain, the first party to put a price tag on it will “anchor” the bargaining range in his favor throughout the course of the negotiation.

Therefore, a savvy negotiator searches for both common and divergent interests in an attempt to put as many different options on the bargaining table as possible. Generating such options can melt impasse over hard “bottom line” dollar and legal position conflicts and transform a distributive negotiation session ("what I lose, you win and what you lose I win") into a business opportunity that will leave both parties better off than they could have imagined.

For similar advice to those who believe themselves to be bargaining from a position of weakness, click here.

Comments (3)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Gavin Craig - August 19, 2009 11:36 AM

Great article. I'm in the middle of a very difficult business mediation now and it is tough. These are very good thoughts. Gavin Craig

Steve Goldberg - August 19, 2009 3:35 PM

Very thoughtful comments.

nike air max 2010 mens - May 21, 2013 1:41 AM

Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up
losing a few months of hard work due to no back up.
Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

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