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Fair Criteria

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Fair Criteria

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When decisions are being made, be deliberate about finding and selecting criteria that the other person can accept as being fair.

You can deliberately engage the other person in a search for fair criteria, asking them 'what is fair'. You can also bring along something that is, by definition, fair.

A good way of ensuring criteria are fair is by seeking the advice of an expert and clearly impartial third party.

You can also reject criteria that the other person is using on the grounds that it is not fair.

In a worst case, you can also use third parties such as mediators or arbitrators to resolve negotiation breakdown.

Example

Now, how can we be sure that we each get a fair share?

I've brought along Parker's Price guide -- it gives industry-standard prices.

Let's ask the minister what he thinks...

Discussion

We have a basic need for fairness, and feel a loss of control when others may be unfair without our knowing. In negotiations in particular, we fear that others will try to deceive us by using comparisons and criteria which are not fair.

Fairness can be asserted, but it is best if it is agreed by both people. This also implies that any one person has right of veto.

Engaging the other person in the search for fairness is itself an act of fairness and will help to engender trust.

External standards are difficult to argue against and can include price guides, industrial standards, company policy and even social norms.

See also

Decision Criteria, Fairness, Fair exchange, Finding fair criteria, Changing standards, The Third Side

 

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