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Accepting Positions

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Mistakes > Accepting Positions

Description | Avoiding it | Taking advantage | See also

 

Description

Accepting positions taken by others as final and unmoveable is to miss the chance to move the whole negotiation to a new plane.

When the other person states their position assertively or forcefully, it is easy to assume that they are correct (thus mistaking apparent conviction for evidence) or feel intimidated by the way they make their point (which is perhaps what they want).

Avoiding it

When the other person says that they want something, when they say that there is no alternative and that something is not negotiable, do not accept this position as fixed and unchangeable. And of course do not acquiesce to demands simply to let them get what they want without you getting something fair in return.

Find the interest behind their position by asking them about their real purpose, what they want the thing in question for and what is particularly important to them. This alone is good for building rapport with them, but should also give you the information with which to move them somewhere else.

When you know their underlying interests, then you can ways of satisfying these other than by the original position and by a route that meets your interests also.

Of course, the same thing applies to you: if you are stuck on a position, chunk up to find your own real interests and then look for ways to satisfy them.

Taking advantage

When other take positions, this shows a lack of understanding about negotiation that you can use to your advantage. When you seek their interests, you are now steering the negotiation and can carefully turn the wheel in your direction.

Another approach is to play the competing-interests game for a while so they become embedded in their approach and then change direction completely. This will confuse them, giving you another advantage.

See also

Positions and Interests, Finding Variables

 

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