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Bargaining in good faith can lead to losing a negotiation. There can be several reasons why this occurs.
In some societies, good faith bargaining means bargaining to a perceived point, only to back out of the deal in the end, for a more favorable outcome. Such tactics can be very frustrating to deal with, if you’re not aware of what is occurring.
Making sure that someone negotiates in good faith can be like nailing Jell-O to a wall, difficult. It can be akin to you thinking that both you and the other negotiator are negotiating in good faith, according to perceived decorum, only to discover later in the negotiation that the other negotiator has a different perception of what good faith negotiation is. Worse, because of the demeanor he portrays, you can become unsure as to the character with whom you’re negotiating, which can cause anxiety to seep into the negotiation.
You can employ strategies to shield yourself from these tactics. The following are ideas and suggestions you can employ to thwart such efforts.
1. In some societies and cultures, the perception of good faith negotiation is very open to interpretation. Thus, there can be a wide chasm between the manner parties interpret what good faith negotiation means. Understand what the definition of good faith is when you negotiate. You can get insight based on the past negotiation habits of the other negotiator.
2. To assist in keeping the other negotiator bound by what his commitments are during a negotiation that stretches over an extended time, negotiate in modules and insert short-term deliverables into your agreement. Collect the deliverables when you’ve completed a module, before moving to the next one.
3. If your negotiation efforts become strained, due to what you perceive to be less than good faith negotiation efforts, seek leverage by identifying ‘points of influence’ to which you can apply pressure’; it can be in the form of entities that have a stake in the outcome of the negotiation, or another source to which you can summon. In essence, get others that have an interest in the outcome of the negotiation to influence the other negotiator.
If you sense the other negotiator will not negotiate in good faith, invest as little time in the negotiation as possible. In the end, you don’t want to be dragged into a quagmire that will only turn out to be wasted time and effort. Save yourself from such disasters … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
The Negotiation Tips Are
- Try to never enter into a negotiation, when you’re unsure of the negotiation customs and habits of the other negotiator.
- If there’s a question to what good faith negotiation is, get the other negotiator’s perspective and observe to what degree he moves from that perspective during the negotiation. His movement will be an early warning signal, if he begins veering off the path of, good faith.
- If the other negotiator refuses to abide by the covenants of a negotiation, exploit his points of weakness, in an effort to nudge him back in the right direction.