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Fragmentation

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Fragmentation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Break down what is being negotiated up into small pieces and negotiate for each one.

When the other person seeks to get something from you, break it down and talk about each item as if it is really important. Go into detail about the benefits that it gives (even if these are the same benefits as other items).

You can also apply the same approach when describing the down-side of what they are offering. Break down the big bad things into lots of bad things.

When you have a hierarchy of things, you can make them seem like even more by talking not only about the bottom-level 'child' items, but also the 'parent' items at each level of the tree.

Make a big thing about each item, negotiating hard for something in exchange for each one.

You can even fragment time, breaking up the things done into small segments of activity that together seem like a longer time.

Example

You have been so naughty. You've broken your tractor, you've scratched your best toy car and you've broken your new toy that you got last week.

This is a great computer. It's got Windows XY, that includes SquidgyOffice Word, SquidgyOffice Spreadsheet, SquidgyOffice Data and SquidgyOffice Presentation, as well as a whole host of utility programs such as...

Now, if I cancel my meetings and come home on time, I want you to ensure everything else is ready. I could bring some wine -- can you make sure dinner is made?

Discussion

When we want to assess size, we often use the size heuristic, whereby we mistake quantity for a more important measure of size. This gives the negotiator a method of making something that is actually quite small seem really quite big.

By breaking down a large item you have more negotiables. In this way, you can turn a small opportunity into a larger advantage.

See also

The Size Heuristic, Nibbling

 

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