“Do You Know How To Resolve Negotiation Disputes Better” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Good dispute resolution starts with respect, not from the position of higher authority.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Do You Know How To

Resolve Negotiation Disputes Better”

“People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.”

“I don’t like disputes in my negotiations. I’ve looked at your offer, and I’m ready to conclude our talks if we can agree on one more thing.” That’s what was said by one negotiator to the other. The response was, “we don’t have to have disputes. To avoid them, all you have to do is accept my counteroffer. And then, we can conclude this deal.” With that, both negotiators had staked-out their new negotiation positions. And that led to further disputes, as they attempted to come to an agreement to which both could accept.     

Disputes arise in every negotiation. If they didn’t, that would imply the parties involved did not engage as intensely as they should have to create a better outcome for themselves. Thus, how you address disputes determines the degree of success you’ll receive for your efforts.

What were your thoughts as you consumed the exchange between the two negotiators? Did one appear to be gruff, while the other appeared to be more placid? What other factors came to mind when thinking about their exchange?

The following information is a ‘must-have’ for you to increase your dispute resolution abilities. And once you master these insights and apply them in your future disputes, you’ll observe a noticeable increase in the acceptance that others have of your ideas and suggestions.  

Setting The Mood

No matter the environment, you must consider how it’ll add or subtract from your efforts. You may be familiar with the thought stating, the person that has the negotiation in her environment has an initial advantage. Depending on the skill level of the negotiators, that may or may not be accurate.

  1. Related to resolving disputes, what you must consider about one environment versus another is how you’ll create a mood that’ll advantage your position.  
  2. Understand the other party’s perspective and why they’re adopting their stance. One way to do that is to recognize why someone wants attention and what they seek attention to achieve. That’s often the reason why people push one proposal versus another.
  3. Egos can also be hidden forces in negotiations. Thus, when considering how you might enhance the mood, think about when you’ll project a strong persona and when you’ll appease the other negotiator. Remember, one action leads to another. In so doing, you must choose your moves wisely, or they may take you in an unwanted direction.


Listen, Learn, Lead, is a mantra that some follow. And it’s an excellent thought to remember when you’re attempting to resolve disputes.

Listen – When listening to the other negotiator, I suggest you observe how he’s making his statements, the words he uses to do so, and the tonality he employs. Paying attention to those facets of his speech will give you insight into the self-importance of what he’s saying.

Learn – Based on the information you gather from listening to your negotiation counterpart, per how he delivered his message, you will gain awareness on how to position or reposition your solution to a dispute.

Lead – And based on what you hear, and what you learn as a result of doing that, you can adopt a stern leadership position that says follow me, one that states that I’ll follow you, or one between those two positions. The point is, you should adopt and project the demeanor that’ll serve you best, based on the additional insight you’ve gained.   


There are multiple strategies to consider when attempting to resolve disputes. Before you engage in the following suggestions, think about the prominent thoughts occurring in the negotiation. Do that by considering the state of mind that’s influencing the efforts of all parties involved. The thought process you’re in at the point of resolving disputes will impact the views you use to engage that process. Thus, observe the following suggestions when considering which strategies to employ.  

  1. Be mindful of not grabbing what may appear to be an obvious solution. To do so could mean to exclude other options.
  2. Be aware of false choices. If you’re extended or extend an either-or option, once again, you might be excluding another/better alternative.
  3. Consider implying that you’re leading the efforts of a less substantial group, or entity. With the right opponent, this tactic could elicit empathy, which would make him more understanding of your position.
  4. Be willing to suppress your demeanor, demands, persona, for a point worth doing so. Sometimes, a negotiator can be appeased by feeling superior in certain situations. Thus, feed his ego when needed to accomplish the outcome you seek.
  5. Know when to call a time out. Never let things get so far out of hand that they become tinged with out of control emotions. It can be extremely challenging to continue dispute resolution efforts when emotions are in turmoil.

Project/Control Perceptions

Always attempt to touch the consciousness of the person or group with whom you’re negotiating. People become more passionate and understanding when they can place themselves in the situation or outcome you’re suggesting. To facilitate that process, when you speak, paint vivid pictures with your words that lead the other negotiator to the resolution you’re articulating. Thus, through your words, you wouldn’t be telling or suggesting what he should do, you’d paint the picture that would recommend it.  

As an example, instead of saying, “I know if we do ‘x,y,z,’ we’ll be happy with this deal.” Consider saying, “once we adopt this solution, both of us will see improved operations in our business. We’ll also have an enhanced bottom line that will make our shareholders happy.” You should base your verbiage choice on what you gleaned during your interactions. Remember, the more vivid the image, positive or negative – depending on the situation, the higher the probability you’ll touch someone’s emotions. Don’t let that touch go unexposed.  


There are various ways to address dispute resolutions. The insights mentioned are strategies you can use to enhance your chances of successfully reaching points of agreement when disputes seek to fall your negotiations. By employing those suggestions appropriately, your negotiation efforts will meet with more significant negotiation outcomes. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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