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Biased Choice

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Biased Choice

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Offer the other person a set of choices, but bias the set of choices towards those things that you want and away from the things that you do not want.

Ways of doing this:

  • Offer them a set of options such that any choice they make will be acceptable to you.
  • Remove and do not mention the things that you particularly do not want.
  • Paint your choice in glowing words (and others in dull shades).
  • Create a forced choice that utilizes their natural biases.

Example

We could go to that really nice new restaurant or maybe back to Tony's (though I hear their chef just left).

Well, going to Winchester, Salisbury or Bath all sound like safe choices.

You could study accountancy, law or medicine. The choice is yours.

Discussion

We all have natural biases and preferences but often do not realize that we have them. These biases appear in our choices, including when we are shortlisting options for other people to choose.

In a negotiation, we can deliberately add bias towards those things we want. When you reduce choice in negotiations, you can eliminate those things that you do not want and focus on the things you do want.

Bias is often not noticed by other people unless they are looking for it. Noticing is more likely in a 'professional' negotiation but may well go unnoticed in less formal situations.

When playing to their biases, it can help if you first understand their preferences, so you can customize what you offer them.

See also

Alternative Close, Reducing Choice, Forced Choice, Preferences

 

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