Negotiation Tips


Reciprocation   — January 2012

One of our cultural norms is the rule of reciprocation. In short, it means that you should try to repay, in kind, what someone has done for you. This is a powerful negotiation tactic. Reciprocation means that when you give something you can reasonably expect that the recipient will repay. Thus, what you give up is not really lost. From birth we are trained that this is a fair expectation.

How do you use this to your advantage? How do you improve the likelihood of getting the other side to comply with your request?

You give something first before asking for a favor in return. On face this seems straight forward but you can use this to your advantage because of the power of the perceived fairness of reciprocity. Often to rid ones self of indebtedness, a party will concede more than is necessary to unburden themselves. While you do not want to get trapped in a series of unilateral concessions, an uninvited favor can often result in an unequal concession from the other side.

You can also enhance your success by using a negotiation tactic I call “the kick-in-the-mouth.” Here you tart with an extreme request that you are sure will be rejected. Then, you retreat to a lesser request (the one you wanted all along) in the hope that the other side will see it as less extreme and thus easier to “yes” to. This rejection-then-retreat technique has the added benefit of often increasing the likelihood that the other side will agree to similar requests in the future.

To protect yourself against this tactic be ready to accept concessions in good faith but be ready to redefine them as deceptions should they be proven to be such in the future. Call them out, calmly and fairly if they use this tactic against you.


Bargaining Power   — December 2011

Dump your concepts or power based on your opponent’s relative strength compared with yours. Instead ask yourself: What you are going to do if there is no agreement? What is the other side probably going to do? If you can answer these two questions you will have a much more realistic understanding of how much power each side has in a negotiation.

It would be great of all negotiators shared common interests, but the reality is that in most bargaining situations negotiators interests are in conflict. So you have to bargain. And power at the bargaining table is too often misunderstood.

Bargaining power originates from the your ability to make a single credible threat. That threat is to walk away from the table if they do not give you what you demand. The source of the power to make that threat is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).

Since perception is reality, it is not so much the actual quality of your BATNA, but your counterpart’s belief in the power of your BATNA that matters. Where power is concerned, the beauty of a BATNA is in the eye of the beholder.

In most bargaining situations, at least in the short term, the BATNA is to keep bargaining. If you and your counterpart reach an impasse, the negotiator to whom the impasse is least costly has the strongest BATNA.  Thus, patience translates into bargaining power.

It is not a perfect world and misinformation about the other side’s power and BATNA are frequent. Before employing an impasse in a bargaining situation, weigh the costs of angering the other side, reducing future trust, and the true costs of the conflict against the gains you seek

A negotiator with good judgment knows not only how to identify and exploit sources of power but also when not to do so.


Setting Your Negotiation Goal   — November 2011

When you undertake a negotiation you need to be very clear on what the fundamental objectives of the negotiation are:

1)  You should try to create as much value as possible. Your goal should be mutual gain. You should focus on the interests that can help you and the parties with whom you are collaborating in the negotiation.

2)  Once value has been created, your goal should be to capture as large a share as possible of the created value. Your goal is to advance your agenda. While you want to help others, you should not be too altruistic. Helping others achieve their goal should not be at the expense of your own goals.

3)  You want to build and nourish important relationships. Pareto Optimization is a negotiation terms that means making yourself better off up to the point that you hurt the other party.  Remember that relationships are very hard to build and very easy to destroy. Once a relationship is lost, it is hard to regain.

4)  You want to always enhance your reputation and your credibility. Your goal should not be to be “nice.’ It should be to be creative, tough, and above all, trustworthy. you should view every negotiation into which you enter as an opportunity to reinforce your reputation. Your reputation is a priceless asset. Like relationships, your reputation to also hard to build and easy to destroy.


Contingent Contracts   — October 2011

Since very few of us are psychics, predicting the future with 100% accuracy is a futile exercise and can be very dangerous. Negotiation is about setting agreements that will live in the future. Contingent contracts are a way to protect yourself in a negotiation. Here are a few tangible benefits of contingent contracts:

1)   Contingent contracts allow negotiators to build on their differences. Don’t argue over the future. Bet on it!;

2)   Contingent contracts let negotiators diagnose the honesty of the other side;

3)   Contingent contracts let negotiators reduce their risk through risk sharing;

4)   Contingent contracts create an incentive for the parties to the agreement to perform at or even above the contractually specified levels;

5)   Contingent contracts allow negotiators to manage decision-making biases; and

6)   Contingent contracts solve the problem of trust, especially when one side has information that the other side may lack.

Use contingent contracts to protect yourself. You are not as clairvoyant as you might believe. Leave infallibility to your lawyers (who believe they can protect you from every possible hazard). And while you are at it, negotiate your contract with your lawyers with a contingency to protect you if and when they are wrong.


Angry?   — September 2011

Studies show that responding with anger to another negotiator’s offer can often get you what you want. An angry negotiator more often than not will reject a lowball offer than will a placid negotiator. Anger often extracts lower demands and larger concessions from the other party.

It seems that there is a positive payoff to angrily responding to someone’s low offer, whether your anger is real or feigned.

Negotiators tend to perceive angry negotiators as tough bargainers. Being perceived as angry sometimes improves your negotiation outcomes. There are, however, situations where anger can actually work against you. If you are perceived as an “angry negotiator” you run the risk of people feeling more comfortable taking advantage of you through deceptive tactics. It is harder to take advantage of a “nice guy.” In addition, people seem to fear angry negotiators less—and consequently give them worse offers—because a rejection of their offer would not appear to damage an already poor relationship.

Anger signals that you are tough and that can help you get what you want. However, when your negotiation counterpart feels that your rejection of their offer will not hurt them all that much, your perceived anger may actually work against you.


Stressed Out?   — August 2011

Seems like a good time to talk about stress. It’s tough to be an Alfred E. Neuman character these days and just say, “What, me worry?”

The fact is that many people anticipate important negotiations with the same sense of foreboding that they reserve for root canals.

But be aware that stressed-out negotiators tend to be less effective than their calmer counterparts. The more stress you feel before negotiating, the less value you will claim in the task.

The key to success may be to treat a negotiation more like a challenge and less like a threat.

Easier said than done?

When negotiators lack the skills and resources needed to excel, they tend to view a negotiation as a threat, exacerbating their stress. Negotiators who are confident they are up to the challenge of the task see it as a challenge and are less prone to stressing out. They are less fearful, more optimistic, and more confident.

People who view a negotiation as a threat tend to be passive. That passivity leads them to engage in compromise — dividing up the pie rather than seeking tradeoffs that create value and expand the pie. In other words, the threatened negotiator tends to chose exactly the wrong tactic—making requests and demands when problem solving is really the tactic in which they should engage.

So, if you are intimidated by an upcoming negotiation you can improve your pre-negotiation confidence by: 1) preparing thoroughly; 2)making sure you know your BATNA; and 3) remembering that if you are stressed the odds are that the other side might be also.

Whenever possible when you feel your stress level rising focus on staying actively engaged in the process and collaborate with your counterpart.


Compromise  — July 2011

You cannot pick up a newspaper or check out an on-line news item without seeing the word compromise front and center. Whether the debt ceiling negotiations or the NFL talks or the myriad of other negotiations in the news, the operative word seems to be compromise. And why not? It’s fair isn’t it? Just split the difference and everybody gets some of what they want, right?

Well, maybe you ought to consider the following before you rush to compromise. The mid-point between two positions is determined by the opening anchors placed by the negotiating parties. If one or both anchors are placed in an extreme position, the center will be skewed. Thus, a clever negotiator can stake out an extreme opening position, knowing full well that he/she will never get get that demand but by arguing the “fairness” of compromise, the negotiator can achieve a mid-point that is well in excess of what might be deemed fair had the parties made more reasonable opening demands.

Another risk is that a negotiator might be using what i call a “kick in the mouth” tactic — asking for something so extreme knowing full well it will be rejected, and then moderating that demand and sounding much more conciliatory and reasonable. The risk here is that the more reasonable demand (it is relative to the opening demand) is still, in fact, unreasonable. This is a very common ploy and is akin to a one person “good-cop bad-cop” ploy.

Be careful. Rather than focusing on compromise, focus on collaboration — trading on different preferences — to achieve what you want. Don’t rush to compromise because it means giving up on your key principles. And make sure you are not being manipulated into a a position where you will find the mid-point between two positions is in excess of your reservation point.

More on this in the next post.


Generating Solutions  — June 2011

When seeking a solution you can redefine the problem and search for win-win alternatives or examine the problem at hand and generate a list of possible solutions. Consider the following options:

1)  Expand “the pie.” When faced with scarce resources, your goal should be to find a way to expand or re-align resources so that the negotiating parties can achieve their desired goals.

2)  Logroll. Different interests and differing priorities afford you the chance to trade. The logrolling tactic is a valuable tool you should use when trying to come up with a solution that will work for both parties.

3)  Brainstorm. This tactic is most effective in several small breakout groups rather than in one large group.

4)  Offer nonspecific compensation. You “pay-off” the other side for giving in on an issue by giving in on another area that may not be part of the primary negotiation.

5)  Bridge. Invent new options that meet each other’s needs. To do this both parties need to be very familiar with the needs and interests of the other party.

6)  Survey. Distribute a questionnaire stating the problem and soliciting the respondents for possible solutions.

It is important when seeking a solution that the parties communicate their priorities and preferences. It is equally important to  have an attitude of “firm flexibility.” What do I mean? Be firm about achieving your interests while being flexible about how those interest might be achieved.

I often use the analogy of a river flowing from the mountains to the ocean. The river slams up against a huge rock during its journey. It does not ram through the  rock, it flows over, under, or around the obstacle. When confronted with a seemingly intractable problem, seek a way around the issue rather than hunkering down and slugging it out, wasting time and resources.


Labor Conflicts  — April 2011

A strike can have a devastating impact on your organization. The long term costs to both sides mount up quickly and are hard to recoup. Here are a couple of suggestions for getting your organization back to work.

There are a number of factors that can trigger a walkout:

1)  Overconfidence can cause the parties to believe that their position is stronger than it really is. When one side does not believe the other side’s claims, a strike seems like a tempting option.

2)  Feeling that you are not being treated fairly can cause you to opt to “punish” the other side as payback for perceived slights.

3) Viewing the negotiations as a competition to be “won” makes the bargaining a battle of egos.

4)  Using agents who may not have aligned interests with those they represent can result in obstacles to achieving an agreement.

5)  Sunk costs on both sides grow as a dispute drags on. Incremental costs seem small yet the incremental costs drag on and on and mount up making a decision to cut your losses harder as time goes on.

So how do you avoid a walkout?

1)  Try to avoid extreme positions. Ultimatums and lines drawn in the sand make matters worse and can escalate into a strike.

2)  Don’t engage in broad stereotypes. You cannot negotiate black and white. A successful negotiation is usually focused on  fine nuances — grey.

3)  Bring in a third party perspective. A third party can often add rationality and objectivity.

4)  Focus on small battles. Winning a succession of small battles, a sort of divide and conquer strategy, is often more effective than taking on a Goliath.

5)  Use contingencies to ease the anxiety over being able to accurately predict the future. Remember, a contract is based on a bet as to what will happen down the road. As neither side wants to be wrong, contingencies that could mitigate the damage from a wrong guess cn often break a logjam at the bargaining table.

If both sides are committed to bargaining in good faith, they should be able to come up with creative solutions that can avoid a strike and the collateral damage a walkout can cause.


You listened? Really?  — March 2011

Active listening calms tensions. It helps generate information which leads to the crafting of creative solutions which helps break impasses.

What is active listening? It is the a three step process:

1)  Paraphrase. You have to be able to restate what you heard your counterpart say. It does not mean that you agree, but it must be an accurate and fair recitation of what they said. It is not your interpretation of what they said, it is a factual restatement of what they said.

It helps you follow what they said. It gives them a chance to clarify what they said. It reduces the chance for misunderstandings. It shows them you understand what they said,

2)  Inquire. Ask probing and open ended questions. Don;t ask questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no”. Your goal is the get them to elaborate and unveil the reasoning behind their position and demands. Ask yourself, does what they do when they leave the table square with what they said at the table?

3) Acknowledge. Listen for the feelings that your counterpart expresses. Make them understand that you understand their feelings without necessarily agreeing with their position. You need to acknowledge what they do not say.  This helps you to diffuse anger and build a path for productive deal making.


Ready? Let’s Negotiate! — February 2011

Negotiation is where two or more parties want something from the other parties which they cannot take. Thus, they sit down at the table and bargain. Here are a few rules for successful negotiation:

Rule 1 — Know your goal. Don’t get caught up in emotion

Don’t let your emotions interfere with the negotiation. You do not have to like the other side. Focus on your goals and control your feelings. Get what you want.

Rule 2 — Listen to understand, not to refute

Look forward, not back. You need to figure out a way to get to the present and deal with the current issues.

Rule 3 — Understand what you want and what the other side wants

You need a detailed plan. You need to know what you want and also what you are willing to give up. While you cannot know exactly what the other side wants, you have to be able to estimate it. By trading things back and forth you begin to get a better idea of what the other side values.

Rule 4 — Prepare. Prepare, Prepare.

You need to understand the rationale behind all of your wants and concessions and you have to estimate what the other side wants and might concede. Collect objective benchmarks. You cannot be over-prepared.

Rule 5 — Get real!

What is it really worth? Be realistic. Get comparables.

Rule 6 — Always have a Fall-Back plan

If you do not have a fall-back plan, your eggs are in one basket and you are vulnerable.

Rule 7 — Do they value something other than money?

Don’t rush to discuss the price. Save your cash. People often value something other than money. Often that wanbt something that is not important to you. There are way less painful ways to settle something other than opening your wallet.



Taking Your Negotiation Global (Part Two) — January 2011

In the December blog I talked about some steps you can take to smooth the path to success in your global negotiations. Here are some more tips that will help you as a global negotiator:

  • Relationships, relationships, relationships. Email, teleconferencing, and telephonic negotiations have a notoriously high failure rate. Use them to outline the issues at the beginning of the negotiation process and to summarize the key negotiation agreements at the end. There is simply no substitute for face-to-face negotiations. Cultivate relationships in advance and leverage your connections.

  • Food and drink can be fun or be weapons. In some cultures building the relationship in restaurants and bars or on the golf course is an important first step in the negotiation process. Beware, however, that you can be lulled into a false sense of camaraderie or, worse yet, you can reveal a character flaw that will undermine your credibility. Extending and accepting hospitality is an important component of relationship building. Over indulging, losing control, and behaving badly indicate weakness and lack of confidence.
  • Don’t negotiate in a foreign language. Sure, it is important to know some of the language. It is a courtesy and it is expected. But, language nuances, shading of words, and voice inflection, all can lead to misunderstandings. If you do not understand, ask. Ask as often as necessary until you are completely clear. Remember that many cultures are high-context communicators so the meanings behind the words or actions need to be “read” along with understanding the spoken words. Unless you are 120% fluent have a translator (yours) along. Yes, the translator presents a problem in the relationship process but you cannot afford miscommunication.
  • Learn how to say “no.” The word “no” can seriously damage a relationship. Yet, never saying “no” undermines the impact of your critical “yes.” Delivering a firm yet respectful “no”, acknowledging the other side’s interests, is a skill you need to develop.

What works at home may or may not work overseas. Experience has shown me that many cultures view negotiations as zero-sum, win-lose. If your goal is to craft a collaborative solution that works for all negotiation participants and creates value, these simple suggestions should help you “win” the negotiation.


Taking Your Negotiation Global (Part One) — December 2010

32 years of teaching negotiation and corporate negotiation training have shown me the complexity that global diversity brings to the process. Here are some tips that will help you as a global manager achieve the negotiated outcomes you desire. This is Part One. Part Two will be the January 2011 blog.

  • Know what game you are playing. Understand what kind of a business deal you are seeking. Get in sync. The problem is that different cultures view the goals of a negotiation from varying perspectives. For example, is it a contractual agreement, signed and sealed? Or, is it an on-going relationship open to reinterpretation and adjustment? If you are headed toward a different goal than your negotiation counterpart achieving a value creating solution is impossible.
  • “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” This axiom has increased significance in global negotiations. Do your research on the issues, of course, but also on the make-up of the negotiation team with whom you will interact. Prepare for the process. How do they communicate? How do they build consensus? What is their reaction to risk? Who has the authority and who will lead the negotiation? How will their negotiation team be constituted? Are there procedural differences in how they negotiate?
  • Value experience. Having someone on your negotiation team who has “been there — done that” is a critical component for success in a global negotiation. Unlike America, most of the international business community places a premium on “grey hair.” Having experienced people at the negotiation table is critical and will save you valuable time.
  • Leave the stopwatch at home. Yes, time is money and we all have deadlines we must meet. The fact of the matter is, though, that global negotiations take time. Investing the time up-front will help avoid costly re-negotiation to correct hastily crafted agreements. Artificially imposed deadlines, brinksmanship and stonewalling are all timing tactics that are frequently encountered in many global negotiations.


Sizing Up The Other Side — November 2010

I have talked about the importance of preparation. One aspect of negotiation preparation that is too often overlooked is assessing the overall strength of the other side with whom you will be negotiating. Done properly this will not only give you a better idea of what the other side can be expected to bring to the table but also will assist you in developing your own negotiation strategy. Here are some of the questions you want to be considering:

1.  What is the level of importance that the other side is placing on the outcome of the negotiation?

2.  What does the other side probably stand to lose if the agreement is not reached?

3.  What is the other side’s probably BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) if they walk away from the table?

4.  What is the overall significance of this negotiation?

5.  What kind of reputation for fair and honest negotiation does the other side have?

6.  What, if any, experience do you have in negotiating with the other side? What did you do right and wrong and what should you have done differently?

7.  Is the other side credible and what are the odds that they will carry out their side of the deal if and when it is reached?

Remember, this is good advice whether or not you anticipate a one-time deal or an on-going relationship. Do not assume that because things went smoothly last negotiation that they will again. In short, prepare. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.


The Risk in E-Mail Negotiation — October 2010

It is increasingly likely that you will engage in e-mail negotiations. The use of e-mail can misconstrue what you are trying to say and can adversely affect your understanding of what they are trying to say to you.  Certain information is easily communicated through face-to-face negotiation but can often be difficult to convey in an e-mail. E-mail does not allow for the non-verbal social cues that we rely on. The Japanese have an expression called “reading the air.” To read the air is to understand the context in which the verbal message is expressed.

While it is true that people rely more and more on e-mail to negotiate so as to save them time and reduce their costs such as travel for face-to-face meetings, the negotiator has to be aware of the communication norms of the negotiators involved. High contextual communicators, those that read the air and who combine social contexts with professional discussions, may find it extremely difficult to negotiate through e-mail.

The use of e-mail to exchange information and to confirm understanding negotiated at the table can be invaluable. However, it is much less effective when trying to get a read on the other side and their interests and motivations.

Be aware of how you and your counterpart process information most effectively and use e-mail only when you are sure that you both can achieve value creating gains.


Protect Yourself From Being Overly Influenced — September 2010

Negotiation is about influencing others. Most experienced negotiators know how to use influence to achieve positive outcomes in their negotiations. Inexperienced negotiators need to have the skills to prevent themselves from being overly influenced during a negotiation. Here are some easy defensive moves you can take to counter the other side’s attempts to influence you:

First, be careful that you do not engage in what we call “cascading yeses.” If you find yourself repeatedly saying “yes” time after time, you are behaving like a sheep in response to the sheepherder’s dog! Do not let yourself be herded into a position from which you cannot extract yourself.

Second, you are not a hostage! If you feel overpowered and thus you are giving in, remember that there is a reason they are negotiating with you. If they really had all of the power they would take what they want. They are negotiating with you because you have something they want and they have to deal with you to get it. This should empower you. You do have control over the outcome of every negotiation, right?

Third, you have to be prepared. If you are caught off guard you may prone to agree to something you will later regret. When in this situation you need to step back and cooly and calmly evaluate the actual substance of what they are proposing.

Fourth, avoid drinking the Kool-Aid, or more to the point, don’t negotiate when under the influence of alcohol! The Chinese have a saying that if negotiating a contract over a Mai-Tai infused lunch, it is better to throw up on the contract then sign it.

Fifth, beware of the smooth talker on the other side of the table. there is nothing wrong with liking the person with whom you are negotiating. In fact, having a positive relationship with your counter-part can be very positive. The problem is that you need to be sure that you are not being seduced into a state of submission. Periodically check in with your devil’s advocate for a reality check.


Negotiating The Purchase of a Car — August 2010

This is a question I get asked repeatedly: How do I negotiate the best possible price for a car?

Look, the purchase of a car is one of the most significant purchases you make and one that you will make over and over. Here are a couple of suggestions that might make the process a little less painful:

First, like in every negotiation you need to prepare. Let me ay it again; Prepare! In this day and age you can find a huge volume of information on the internet. Like all distributive negotiations (win-lose) you can probably get a really good idea of their walk-away, or resistance point. On-line you should be able to ascertain their invoice price. By comparing that information with what other buyers report paying for a car with the same options, you should be able to fairly accurately estimate their reservation price.

Second, you need to choose how you will negotiate. On line? Face-to-face? Both have advantages. if you nailed down exactly what car you want, what options you want, and any other variables, the internet is probably the best way for you to haggle with the dealer. This way you can avoid the inevitable theatrics that accompany walking into a dealership and negotiating. On the other hand, if you are not quite certain and are considering several options, a face-to-face negotiation is probably best.

Third, you need to make sure that in any face-to-face negotiation you do not let the sales person know that he/she is the first sale person with whom you have spoken. Most sale people know that if they are first they will lose the deal to another later in the process sales person.

Fourth, you have to be willing to walk away. They have to know that you have other options, and you better! Don’t be afraid to leave your contact information with them. Silence is a very effective tool when negotiating. By indicating you will walk away but are determined to find a car somewhere, you give a powerful motivation to the salesperson to track you down and sweeten the deal. So this leads to another point which is that you should not buy a car with a deadline looming over you. The process take some time. Slow the game down. It will work to your advantage.

Fifth, try using the limited authority tactic on the salesperson. You know how they like to tell you that they need to check with their boss to go any lower in their offer to you? Well, try negotiating the price, nail it down and then indicate that you will need to go home and check it out with your spouse or partner. The salesperson is loathe let you leave (and potentially talk to another dealer) so they will almost always ask you what they need to do to nail it down here and now. Extract a further concession.

Remember, you have alternatives! There are other dealers. You walk out the door and you are a lost sale to the dealer.


Choosing The Right Negotiation Strategies — July 2010

In every negotiation you need to consider the importance of the negotiation outcome weighed against the importance of the relationship. By considering their relative importance, you are then able to adapt your game plan to each negotiation situation. It is an error to use the same approach in every situation. You need more than a hammer in your negotiation tool chest. You need to be able to adjust your style to suit the situation. You need to ask yourself what you will win and lose depending on the outcome achieved. Then you need to ask yourself how the outcome will affect your ongoing relationships with the other players in the negotiation.

The following strategies are based on the level of concern you have about the outcome and the relationship:

  • Avoidance (lose-lose) — The probable outcome is unsatisfactory to you and the odds of damaging the relationship are high. It is shaping up as a no win for you.
  • Accommodation (lose to win) — The ongoing relationship outweighs the importance of the outcome. You lose the battle to win the war. Your goal is to maintain the relationship for future negotiations.
  • Competition (win-lose) — You care more about the outcome than the relationship. You have alternative relationships you can pursue.
  • Collaboration (win-win) — Both the outcome and maintaining the relationship are important. Because of this, your goal is to get a great deal for you and at a minimum, a good deal for the other side.
  • Compromise (split the difference) — You need more time to work on a collaborative solution but you need to avoid turning the negotiation into a competition. You split the difference to allow both sides a partial victory. A good example of this would be the Google-China search engine and internet access settlement announced July 8, 2010.

Now you are ready to begin structure an analytical framework for your upcoming negotiation.


Deadlocked Negotiation — June 2010

You are locked in a negotiation and there is seemingly no end in sight. You know that to set a deadline has inherent traps that you must avoid. You know you should never negotiate to an artificially imposed deadline, yet the negotiation you are in shows now progress towards moving to a conclusion. How can you use a deadline to your strategic advantage?

Remember that a deadline affects you but also the other side. Sometimes letting the other side know that you have a deadline actually helps you to achieve better-negotiated agreements! If the other side seems motivated to do a deal, your deadline, communicated to them in a calm and businesslike manner might actually push them to a settlement. By committing to do a deal by a set time, pressure is put on the parties to stop time-wasting tactics and frivolous gamesmanship.

If you commit to an arbitrary but firm deadline and they see you commit and they are motivated to do the deal, they will commit. Be careful, however, that you do not let outside factors such as your time-costs cause you to impose a deadline that you feel forced to set. In other words, the deadline needs to be a deadline that will affect both of you.

Remember that the key to every successful negotiation is your alternatives. If your alternative to a negotiated agreement is weak and thus the reason you need to get the deal done, don’t reveal it while imposing your deadline.

Comparing American and Chinese Negotiation Styles

Google Tech Talks – August 2006