Too often it is your own mental errors that result in you getting a bad deal or do deal at all. Mental miscues, a negotiator’s baggage, weigh a negotiation down. They cause you to miss the opportunity to make a good deal that works for you and hopefully for the other side.
Irrational escalation is the most common mental error negotiators commit. They want a deal so badly that they continue down a path beyond the point at which is makes no sense. They wake up in the morning wondering what got in to them. The desire to win, to come away with something often overrides your own good judgment. You have to know your reservation point and not go beyond that point. As they say, “The best deal you negotiate is the one you care about the least.”
Another irrationality is endowment — expecting too much, being overly aggressive versus intelligently assertive. You stake out a position that is hopeless and that kills any realistic hope of establishing a zone of possible agreement (ZOPA).
Built-in biases cause you to shape reality in your own favor. You impose your point of view on the facts involved in the negotiation and perceive truth to be that which confirms to your preconception.
Overconfidence causes you to be lazy. Why prepare? This will be a piece of cake. Negotiators tend to underestimate the other side. they tend to overestimate the strength of they position. They surround themselves with sycophants who validate their options. They do not seek out countervailing views. Always include in your negotiation planning someone who can challenge your thought process.
Emotionality, excess emotion, cause you to fly off the handle. You lose your cool. William Ury’s GETTING PAST NO talks about “going to the balcony.” Taking time to cool off. Think. Reflect. See out an objective party to help you go through your emotions and get the negotiation back on track.
Leave the bag at home. It weighs you down and can often keep you from ever reaching your goal.