Negotiation Impasse Are You Strong Defiant Steadfast
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When you reach an impasse in your negotiation, what tactic do you adopt? Do you become strong, defiant, and steadfast, or moderate and compliant?
In order to maximize your efforts, you must adopt the position that’s appropriate for the current negotiation, while keeping in mind that you’ll also be influencing future negotiations.
The following are 3 questions to consider when you reach an impasse and how you might deal with them.
Why is there an impasse?
Prior to reaching an impasse, you should sense that it’s coming. As such, you have time to assess and make preparations as to the best course to adopt. Depending upon the type of person with whom you’re negotiating, you can display a demeanor that indicates you’ll be steadfast in your position, or adopt a position that’s softer, indicating you’re willingness to go along to get along. Be careful if you adopt the latter position. You could be perceived as being weak.
How was a point of impasses reached?
While anticipating the potential of an impasse, you should consider under what circumstances one might occur. Then, if you find yourself in that position, you might adopt a strategy that reverses the path that got you to the impasse. As an example, you could say something akin to, let’s take a few steps back to where we were in agreement and start from there. If the other negotiator is agreeable to your suggestion, she’s also indicating through her actions that she’s amenable to ‘working together’ to reach an outcome that’s satisfactory to both of you.
How much validity is there to the impasse?
Negotiation Tip: Some negotiators will use impasses as a ploy to see how you’ll react. Heighten your awareness of this person’s actions; they’re shrewder than most negotiators. The best position to adopt with this person is one of waiting, waiting to see what they’ll do as the result of the impasse. If you wish to make the first move, show strength in doing so by wrapping strong and conditional statements around your offer/counteroffer (e.g. if I give you ‘x’, I must receive ‘y’). To test this negotiator, you can make ‘y’ something of great value to her that she’s not willing to concede. In such a situation, you can say you made an effort to untangle the impasse. Then, ask what she might suggest as a way to resolve the impasse. If she’s shrewd, she’ll make a similar offer to you, which will give you more insight into the type of person with whom you’re negotiating. Both of you can play this game until one tiers. If she’s the one to do so, this too can be a ploy so be observant and alert to assess her intentions. If you wish to test her position again, you can give something that’s of small consequence to you to see if she moves; wrap this offer around an ‘if’ statement too.
When planning your negotiation consider what will occur if an impasse is incurred and how it might be addressed. Give serious thought to this aspect of the negotiation. In so doing think of who will need the deal the most (make sure that’s the other negotiator), and how you might use ‘if’ statements for positioning and to gather additional information (e.g. if I could do this, what can you do?). By implementing the suggestions above, you’ll be better prepared to address impasses in your negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!