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Volume II, Number 6 - March 2009 ●   Contact Us  •  Past Issue Archive   ●   

An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Edited by Linda B. Bulmash

This Month's Topic: Control Expectations to Control the Outcome
During negotiations everyone’s strategy is guided by intuitive, reflexive expectations of what they think the other side will do. Consequently, people often do not think of other possibilities.

Learn to recognize when the following phenomena are at work. Then consciously design a strategy that uses these phenomena to lead the other side to the outcome you desire.

Coordination of Expectations. Parties unconsciously coordinate expectations when they mutually recognize that they predict an outcome based on some signal or strong preference: for splitting the difference, for mathematical simplicity and round numbers, and for equal or proportionate shares.

Theory of Prominence. When parties come from similar backgrounds, they tend to make a choice because it is the most prominent, conspicuous, unique, or created by precedent: the tallest, smallest, oldest, the middle, the most famous, splitting the difference, etc…

Linda B. Bulmash, Esq.
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