Vol. I, No. 1

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August, 2007

A Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

When engaging in any mediation or settlement process, put these negotiating skills to use to help you achieve the optimal outcome.  This free monthly “One Minute Negotiating Tip” is based on Linda Bulmash's highly acclaimed column, "Negotiate Like The Winners".


"Civility is not a sign of weakness!"   President John F. Kennedy

As this newsletter publishes its first in a series of “One Minute Negotiation Tips”, let us start at the beginning: remember to be civil and respectful in all our dealings with our counterparts.  The objective of negotiation is to reach an agreement. Civility goes a long way toward making this happen.

Here are some basic principles that will help you get what you want by being civil and gracious in your dealings with others.

1.  Negotiation is not a contest. 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. 

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 to them of your proposal.

3.  Show respect for and acceptance of their position:  Take the chip off your shoulder before starting the negotiation.  Never attack another person's ego and self-worth; if you do, they will be more resistant to even the most beneficial settlement terms. 

4.  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.

5. Always consider "worth" analysis.  "Cost/benefit" considerations are not the only driving force in a negotiation.  Each issue in a negotiation has a different value/worth 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 lower the demand.


Linda B. Bulmash, Esq.
ADR Services, Inc.
1900 Avenue of the Stars  Suite 250
Los Angeles, California 90067

Tel:  310.201.0010; Direct: 818.783.6338
Website: www.bulmashmediation.com

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