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December 7, 2018

Negotiating Tip 46: Negotiating Rationales

Use a combination of the 4 negotiating rationales!

Know Your System!

When asked, most people could not identify or describe their negotiating rationale.  Some might even respond that they don't have one.  Oh yes, they do.  We all do. 

Unless specifically selected from a list of possibilities, we adopt a rationale by default.  We just gravitated to one accidently.

The problem is that our default rationale might not be the best for us, the most effective for our negotiating situations or the one compatible with our style.

There are four (4) negotiating rationales to choose from.

1.  Accommodation:  Our rationale here is that we want to give up things so others can have them.  It could be summarized as:   I lose, you win.   We all know accommodators.  We've even been them, at least in certain situations, especially with our kids.  

Can we agree in a serious negotiation, this isn't our best choice?

2. Persuasion:  This rationale is that we are super aggressive and strongly focused on trying to influence our negotiating opponent to do or see things our way.  Call it:  I win, you lose.  Here we pull out all the stops.  

We leverage every power source available and muster our most influential language to get the other side to yield.  To some, this sounds wonderful.  But consider, if you have to live a long time with this opponent or ever have to negotiate with them again, the problem becomes inevitable.  Another bad choice.

3. Compromise:  Here's where many will drop their anchor and say, "Yes, I like this one."  But wait, isn't compromise when both sides are required to give up something?  Couldn't this be called:  I lose, you lose?  

We've all experienced this one too.  It has become the default rationale of many.  The only (significant) downside is that both end up 'losing'!

4. Partnering:  Most haven't heard of or considered this one.  It's more of a collaborative rationale where our goal is:  I win, you win.  Now that you have heard of it,  can you think of a reason why you wouldn't want all your negotiations to end with both sides feeling like winners?  Let' face it, this should be our selection!

Epilogue:  I can't leave this discussion without admitting that we don't live in a perfect world where everything fits into a neat category.  There's no way every negotiation can be restricted to just a partnering rationale.

Most good negotiators use a combination...and so should you.

Aren't there times you want to be persuasive?  Should you be accommodating here and there?  And, finally, don't we all have to give up something small (compromise) to gain something big (partnering). 

The message is, diversify and don't get caught using only one rationale, especially if it isn't the best one for you and your negotiating circumstances.

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