The Negotiator Magazine

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Appreciative moves include:

Help the other side to save face. Image is a concern for everyone. How negotiators look to themselves and to others who matter to them often counts as much as the particulars of an agreement. If your proposal will cause significant headaches for the other side, it won't get very far. Think about the reasons for resistance and couch responses in ways that respond to those reasons.

Keep the dialogue going. Sometimes talks don't get off the ground because the timing is not right. Information may not be sufficient or the other party is simply not ready. People have good reasons-at least reasons that make sense to them-for thinking it's not yet time to negotiate. Appreciating this disposition doesn't mean abandoning or postponing a negotiation. Instead it requires that you keep the dialogue going without pushing for immediate agreement. This appreciative move allows an opportunity for additional information to come to the surface and affords the other party more time to rethink ideas and adjust initial predilections.

Solicit new perspectives. One of the biggest barriers to effective negotiation and a major cause of stalemate is the tendency for bargainers to get trapped in their own perspectives. With the sale looming so important to you, it's simply too easy to see only that importance. But if the terms don't work for the other party, the proposal won't get off the ground. You want to find out the why behind his or her dissatisfaction. Draw out the other person so that you understand the objections. Once they are on the table, you can work together to find a solution that suits you both.

There's more to negotiation than haggling over issues and working out solutions. The shadow negotiation, though often overlooked, is a critical component. Whether you use power, process, or appreciative moves in the shadow negotiation depends on the situation. Power moves encourage the other party to recognize the need to negotiate in the first place. Process moves shape the negotiation's agenda and dynamic so that you can be a more effective advocate. Appreciative moves engage the other party by fostering both trust and candor in the shadow negotiation. While power and process moves can ensure that a negotiation gets started on the right foot, appreciative moves can break a stalemate once a negotiation is under way. Used alone or in combination, strategic moves in the shadow negotiation can determine whether you get the account or make the sale.

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