[twocol_one]Negotiation is a human conversation. If your adversaries won’t talk, listen and trade, you can’t do business with them afterwards. And if you bully or extract too high a price, you will hurt your ability to deal with them afterwards. There is always an afterwards.

To the right – tips on solving the puzzle. Use the tips in the red box sparingly!

Negotiating Puzzle



  • Listen with empathy. Repeat back what you hear (it makes people understand you get it).
  • Clear away small, knotty things to get to the hard things. Build a record of accomodation.
  • Stay Credible. Don’t lie. Don’t say something is a nonstarter or nonnegotiable if it’s not true.
  • Be reasonable.
  • Preserve your adversary’s dignity. Nothing creates revolt like humiliation.
  • Work for a Fair Outcome. Let them know you want to find a fair outcome. Mean it.
  • Take nothing personally. If you lose it take a break.
  • Be patient (even when you’re climbing the walls.)
  • Write stuff down in a common list. Be clear about what is agreed to and what is up for grabs.
  • Look for an ultimate common goal – hang everything on it.
  • Tell them what you want. Make your case. Show them how it will help them.

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  • Use a third party to apply pressure (or fear).
  • Use the clock. They may be under the gun. They may look forward to closing the deal.
  • Be ready to walk away. That’s your greatest tool in the toolbox.
  • Inflict emotional pain. But not too much. Mop up the damage afterwards.

[box type=”alert”]Caution: You can bully, humiliate and force. You’ll get a deal. But, you’ll lose their hope & cooperation. They won’t root for you or the deal. They’ll run or fight at the first opportunity.[/box][/dropshadowbox][/twocol_one_last]

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