Find Mediators Near You:

Do You Have a Reason for that Number? Settling Lawsuits with Better Persuasion Skills

Explaining why our bargaining partners should do what we want them to do requires persuasion — a compelling account of our business requirements and capabilities — along with any other reasons we can gin up to prove that what we want is fair and reasonable.

As sociologist Charles Tilly explained in his book, Why? we fail to persuade when we’re talking past each other and we talk past each other when we’re using a type of reasoning different from that of our bargaining partner. I first heard of Tilly’s work from that great popularizer of social science research, Malcolm Gladwell (Here’s Why) after which I never argued my case or negotiated a deal in the same way again.

But First, Why Reason Giving is a Critical Negotiation Skill

In experiments on reason giving, researchers have found that we are far more likely to persuade people to accommodate us if we give them a reason to do so even if the reason makes no sense whatsoever. In one experiment, students were asked to cut in line at Kinkos. One group was instructed to give no reason. Another was told to give a good reason (I’m late for class). The last was directed to give an irrational reason (because I want to).

                        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 >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

Helping Not Hoarding

Morrow Mediation Blog by Bernard MorrowThe uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has hit us all like a ton of bricks, particularly over the past week, as each day brings a...

By Bernard Morrow
Category

What To Look For In A Basic Mediation Training

As a practicing mediator, I frequently get phone calls from people who are interested in becoming mediators themselves. These people are motivated by a desire to help others, to transition...

By Diane J. Levin
Category

The Dark Side of Setting Behavioral Goals for Your Negotiations

I want to stay calm and flexible in my negotiation with him, said Ann. My goal is to keep my center and allow my reasonable self to lead the way,...

By Tammy Lenski
×