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Breaking it Off

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Breaking it Off

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Threaten to break off the negotiation, citing some arbitrary reason such as a lack of progress or the unreasonableness of the other person.

You can also threaten to break off relationships. This can be particularly effective when you have a relationship with the other person that is important to them.

Do this in a dramatic way. You can even rant and rave and storm out (hopefully, they will call out to stop you or run after you).

Example

Right! That's it. I'm off.

I'm sorry. If you will not move then I can't continue.

I'm sick up to here with your intransigence and bloody-mindedness! If you can be like that, then so can I! Goodbye.

Discussion

When people do not have a walk-away alternative, which many do not, then threatening to leave makes them face up to the possibility of getting nothing. The contrast between a solution that includes them making concessions and a solution that contains nothing can result in the thought of making concessions around something that is more acceptable.

If you have a walkaway alternative, then you can use this approach more effectively. The danger if you do not is that the other person may call your bluff.

When relationships are involved, the issue then becomes a lot more social. Ostracizing is a punishment that is feared by many and the threat of becoming a social pariah is enough to make many people cave in.

See also

The Walk-away Alternative, Belonging

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