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.