Attorney-Mediator Linda Bulmash Negotiates in a Minute

We seem to be in “five rule land.”  Today’s five “One Minute Negotiation Tips” (courtesy of the Los Angeles County Bar Association) come from attorney-mediator (and good friend) Linda Bulmash.

Her five tips below:

WINNERS OUTWIT AND OUTCHARM THEIR COUNTERPARTS

“Civility is not a sign of weakness!” President John F. Kennedy

  1. Negotiation is not a contest. In other words getting as much as you can does not mean beating the other person. You seldom have so much leverage that they will agree to a deal that gives them nothing.
  2. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) Your counterpart is continually asking “What’s in it for me?” Never assume your counterpart knows what he or she has to gain from a settlement. Take time to not only find out what you want but spend time identifying what they want. Then make sure you spell out the benefits to them of your proposal.
  3. Show respect for and acceptance of their position: Take the chip off your shoulder before starting the negotiation. Never attack another person’s ego and self-worth; if you do, they will be more resistant to even the most beneficial settlement terms.
  4. Be Persistent. No matter how great the differences, the final outcome often is not apparent until after extended discussions. Be persistent — do not give up until you have examined all possibilities.
  5. Always consider “worth” analysis. “Cost/benefit” considerations are not the only driving force in a negotiation. Each issue in a negotiation has a different value/worth to each participant. You can often give your counterpart things that will satisfy their “worth” needs, without giving up an essential deal point for yourself. Examples of this could be that timing of payments would be “worth” enough to lower the demand.
                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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