To Negotiate Successfully Be Sure Your Negotiation Position Is Not Double-Edged

“Tea Party and Dr. Martin L. King March on Washington”

To Negotiate Successfully …  Be Sure Your Negotiation Position Is Not Double-Edged

When you negotiate, does your negotiation position have the potential to be a double-edged? If it does, the advantage you attempt to create with it might be used against you.

Consider this example of a double-edged position.

A mosque near Ground Zero in NY, a Tea Party march in Washington DC to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “I Have A Dream’ speech: What negotiation position do they both have in common? Groups for and opposed to activities related to both events are using the same positioning and ending up on opposite sides of the premise of their position, based on where and how the premise of their position is applied.

The gist of the premise is, in the US, we have the right to free speech and assembly. Both groups, those that support the mosque being located near Ground Zero and those that support the march of the Tea Party in Washington, while having opposing views from one another, are using the same premise to support their events.

The challenge to the positioning premise occurs when the premise is examined based on where it’s applied, and how opposing factions adopt opposite positions, once the location has changed. In this example, either side of the argument can use the same premise to represent their position. Thus, either side can refute it, when used by the opposing party.

When creating your negotiation position, consider these factors.

1.    Sometimes, a rose by any other name is not a rose.

  • Consider how you will present your negotiation position. Part of that consideration should be the words you’ll use in making your presentation, the timing to when you’ll present your position in the negotiation, and what you’ll do if the other negotiator tries to reframe your position to one that is more advantageous to him.

2.    Consider how your position will be applied and other manners in which it can be used.

  • You’ve more than likely heard the phase, “Don’t use my words against me”. Thus, it’s understood that some negotiation positions you’ll adopt can be applied in a number of different ways. That’s to say, they can be implemented in different environments, based on what the circumstance call for. When you create your negotiation position, attempt to position it in a manner that is confined to the current situation in which you’re negotiating. This can often be done by phrasing your position by saying, “if we can” and complete your position.

3.    When considering the premise of your negotiation position, reflect on how it might be framed.

  • If it’s framed from the perspective of having the highest perceived value, based on the perception of the other negotiator, she’ll be more apt to accept it without challenges. She’ll adopt such a position, because it’s to her benefit, versus attempting to thwart it and/or using your position against you. This becomes a fine line to balance, but it’s a consideration that can bear fruit if crafted in the right manner.

Suffice it to say, when creating your negotiation position and offers, do so while thinking of how those positions can be used for and against you. In so doing, you’ll make it increasingly difficult for the other negotiator to use your negotiation premise against you … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

 The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • In the planning stage of your negotiation examine the premise of your negotiation position for manners by which it can be used against you, but also assess how you might be able to use the other negotiator’s position to your advantage.
  • Sometimes, you can create a negotiation position that serves the purpose of being advantageous to the other negotiator. Consider how you might do so, in case you need to make such an offer.
  • When the other negotiator attempts to usurp your negotiation position, question why he’s doing so and then seek to understand why he’s initiated his actions.
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