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Volume III, Number 6 - March 2010 ●   Contact Us  •  Past Issue Archive   ●   

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


This Month's Topic:  When Dealing with Opponents Use Respect and Grace
 

“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way”–Daniele Vare.

In all dealings with opponents remember to be civil and respectful. The goal of negotiation is to reach an agreement. Civility makes this happen.

When negotiating an agreement, civility and grace serve as handy tools. Here are five ways to use them.

1. Always consider the "worth" factor. Cost-benefit analysis does not always drive a negotiation. Each issue in a settlement holds a different value to each participant. You can often give your counterpart things that will satisfy their worth needs, without giving up an essential deal point for yourself. Examples of this could be that timing of payments would be “worth” enough to loosen the requirements for delivery.

2. WIIFM (What’s in It for Me?) Your counterpart is continually asking: “What’s in it for me?” Never assume your counterpart knows what he or she has to gain from a settlement. Take time to not only find out what you want but spend time identifying what they want. Then make sure you spell out the benefits of your proposal to them. You can highlight those advantages that the opponents value the most and that you value least.

3. Negotiation is not a competition. In other words, getting as much as you can does not mean beating the other person. You seldom have so much leverage that they will agree to a deal that gives them nothing.

4. Show respect for and acceptance of their position. To set a friendly tone, look for common affinities with your opponents before beginning negotiations. Never attack the ego and self-worth of your opponents. If you do, they will be more resistant to even the most beneficial settlement terms.

5. Be persistent. No matter how great the differences, the final outcome often is not apparent until after extended discussions. Be persistent—do not give up until you have examined all possibilities.

Linda B. Bulmash, Esq.,
writes the Negotiation Tips.
You can contact her at:

lbulmash@adrservices.org
www.bulmashmediation.com
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