Expert 4 Law

Selected Benefits
Superior Court Civil Register
Member Benefits
Calendar of Events
Know Your Judges
Judge Your Judge

LACBA on Twitter.
LACBA on twitter.

LACBA on Facebook.
LACBA on Facebook.

LACBA on LinkedIn.
LACBA on LinkedIn.


Volume V, Number 11 • December 2012 • Archive of Past Issues
An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Written by Linda B. Bulmash

This Month's Topic:

Good News/Bad News

One would think that receiving good news would have a positive impact on a negotiator's or party's psyche. However, psychological studies suggest that when a person receives all of the good news at one time, they are not as happy as they are when receiving it a little at a time. On the other hand, when bad news is received all at once, it is less depressing than the "drip, drip, drip" of receiving it in small amounts over time.

So how do we use this to our benefit in a negotiation and to best structure our delivery? A great action program is as follows:

1. Since a concession is "good news" to your counterpart and "bad news" to your or your client, give concessions and deliver good news in increments to secure the highest benefit to you/your client while also keeping your client in a positive frame of mind.

2. Demands and difficult deal points are "bad news" to your counterpart and "good news" to your client. However, it is best not to get your client's expectations to high nor to antagonize your counterpart. Therefore, the best course of action is to bundle them together to lessen their negative impact on the negotiating process.*

*Thank you to Ralph Williams III my colleague at ADR Services for this great tip.

LACBA member Linda B. Bulmash, Esq., writes the Negotiation Tips. You can contact her at:
Do you have a question about negotiation?
Do you have ideas for upcoming One Minute Negotiation Tips?
Would you like to submit a negotiation tip of your own?
We want to hear from you!
Send us an email.

Back to Top

Readers are advised that changes in the law may affect the accuracy of this publication or the functionality of links after the publication date.