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Volume VII, Number 2 • August 2013 • Archive of Past Issues
An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association
Written by Linda B. Bulmash

This Month's Topic:

Value is always in the eyes of the beholder: what it is worth to them. But it is often very difficult to determine where to start your negotiation so as have enough room to negotiate as well as to engage your counterpart. The typical comment in the give and take of mediation/negotiation is usually something like this: "I don't want to insult them and have them walk out!"

So how do you decide? Years ago, in a hysterical piece in the television show Taxi, Louie De Palma (Danny Devito) is negotiating with Jim (Chistopher Lloyd) and Jim's father to cover the damage caused when Jim started a fire in Louie's apartment. Louie had no information nor had he done any research. Check it out and think about whether you have ever felt like this and then come back and find out how to avoid that trap:

Most books on negotiation recommend that you do not go into the negotiation blind. Here's how you can make sure you have information at your disposal that will help you evaluate your negotiation plan:
1. Research your counterpart;
2. Get to know your counterpart through active listening;
3. Ask questions and gather information;
4. Identify your counterpart's weak/strong points and use this knowledge as leverage in negotiating a deal;
5. Search for hidden agendas
6. In litigated cases, research verdicts and settlements in your locale;
7. Remember people are thinking "What's In It For Me?" (WIIFM) so frame the offer in terms of a benefit to them.

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?
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