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Help with different perspective activity in negotiations



I am currently designing a negotiations course for front line staff (with varying levels of experience) and was hoping to include an activity on different perspectives. I am trying to keep it fresh and avoid the problem of including activities that they may have done in previous courses.

Any ideas would be gratefully accepted.

Andrea Wallace

4 Responses

  1. BATNA
    Hi Andrea

    If you produce some simple case studies (or get the delegates to do so) you can ask the delegates to consider the BATNA of each “opposing” party;
    BATNA is MY “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.”

    Say you are talking about a case study of a complaint about a faulty product;
    The customer’s BATNA may be
    “I’ll leave the product and walk out and accept that I have wasted my money, but I’ll NEVER shop there again”
    The shop’s BATNA may be
    “Sorry, the small print says it is out of warranty, if you want to take us to court you can!”

    Each has consequences for each side of the negotiation

    I hope this helps


  2. Empathy is the Key
    Hi Andrea

    Empathy in negotiation is extremely useful as people feel they are being heard.

    Making sure that you have understood issues and repeating back to people your understanding of the nature of the issue is good.

    NLP also uses techniques such as mirroring of body language, and pacing where you use the pace and tone of speech to lead the other party.

    It’s also important that you listen to people and notice how they speak. For example are they a visual or auditory person? Do they talk in terms of “I’m finding it hard to VISUALISE this” or “You’re not HEARING me”. Or perhaps they are more in touch with their feelings about the matter (kinaesthetic) – “I’m not happy about this” or “I sense that…”. Once you’ve identified their manner of speech, talk to them in their own language. It’s easier to negotiate if you’re on the same wavelength.

    When challenging people start with phrases such as “Just so that I’m sure I’ve understood…”. This deflects any tone of accusation and is less likely to put the other party on the defence.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you need further help.

    Warm wishes


  3. Many skills required for successful negotiation
    When it comes to successful negotiation, good ’emotional intelligence’ can save the day. A lot depends on managing psychological aspects of the parties involved and that means being able to say No, but also being able to agree and compromise. You need to be aware of the 6 principles of influence beautifully described by Robert Cialdini and you need to master reading body language so that you can read the other person beyond the words they speak.

    We explored and researched negotiation techniques in our client management course. When it comes to using specific strategies in negotiations, we found two really useful systems to be incredibly helpful. One was BATNA which was already mentioned in comments and another was the system of MSP/LAS (Most Supportable Position/Least Acceptable Settlement). With these two systems you can work out many common scenarios and easily decide in your head what you need to do in the heat of negotiation.

    We designed the course and many exercises that comes with it around all of the above topics, because no single system can help you to succeed in negotiation.

    So when it comes to giving exercises, I think your best bet is to give your delegates a cast of exercises so they can practice and be ‘psychologically agile’.


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