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Mammoth Strategies

Bob Harvey

Copyright © 2008 Bob Harvey
First published in 2008 by:
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ISBN 978-0-462-09923-1
Cartoons by David Mostyn
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CPI Mackays, Chatham ME5 8TD

To Cuthbert John, my father, who has been
a constant source of encouragement


Contents Introduction vii Part One – Background to negotiation 1 Fundamentals of negotiation 3 2 Who is this person? 26 3 What’s this all about? 44 Part Two – Preparation for negotiation 4 Knowing what you want 59 5 Establishing what the other side wants 78 6 Information and opportunities 94 7 Establishing a measurable way of judging the outcome 104 8 Knowing and believing your Walk-Away Option 118 Part Three – Doing the deal 9 Playing games and handling gamesmanship 137 10 Handling personalities and working as a team 156 11 Strategies. tactics and handling foul play 177 Part Four – Summarizing the process 12 Tork and Grunt pass it on 191 Acknowledgements 198 About the Author 199 .


commerce and business. It’s about all aspects of life. exploring a broad range of options. It explains the importance of detailed preparation and the value of a flexible and open mindset. Through them you will learn everything you need to know about conducting a successful negotiation and reaching a win-win outcome. because everyone communicates and negotiates every day. Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Effective Negotiations demonstrates individual one-on-one deals as well as formal negotiations between teams from the two sides.Introduction Tork and Grunt are two cavemen. You will learn how a creative approach. Tork and Grunt learn to communicate and negotiate. And it’s not just about work. Both sides achieve an outcome which satisfies their objectives. It explains the importance of understanding body language and appreciating both sides of the debate. vii . They discover they need an overall approach – a Mammoth Strategy – if they are to achieve something that suits both parties. They show how conventional bargaining from opposing positions generally fails to reach a satisfactory conclusion and how it is important to identify all the issues affecting both parties. can generate new ideas and produce positive results.

most importantly. will last well into the future. getting on with people. It’s about making everyday interactions effective and successful. viii .TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Effective Negotiations is about understanding what motivates people and how to make yourself understood. and negotiating deals that work for everyone and.

PART ONE Background to negotiation .


He picks up his flint-tipped spear and heads for the forest where he knows he will find his prey. He freezes. rubs his eyes and awakens. screeching its morning call. He stalks through the undergrowth with his spear raised to his shoulder. and the two creatures stare coldly at each other. The first streaks of the morning sun glow on the horizon but it is still cold and Tork shivers. Tork stirs in his sleep. He is cold and hungry. Then he reaches for his spear and creeps out of the cave. a twig snaps loudly under his foot. ready to attack. There is a rustle in the bushes ahead of him and suddenly a beast appears. startled by the noise Tork has made. Tork must go hunting for food to feed his family.1 Fundamentals of negotiation The caveman and the mammoth A strange bird flaps noisily across the sky. 3 . He smiles as he tracks the footprints in the soft ground but as he takes another step forward. Its bright eyes focus on Tork.

This can be as straightforward as shopping or as extreme as territorial warfare. Ground Rule 1: Someone’s got something you want Whatever the situation. they are competing for survival. 4 . a negotiation starts when one party wants something that is specifically available from the other party. which teaches us the first ground rule of negotiation. Although negotiations are not necessarily based on conflicting interests. Kill or be killed – this is the only language they know. If food were plentiful there would be no conflict.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Suddenly a beast appears. startled by the noise Like Tork. the beast is scared. you tend to think that people approach a negotiation from opposing positions.

an unspoken communication passes between the two adversaries. The negotiation is over and Tork is the winner. nor any mutual point of reference. When they meet in the forest. He balances his spear and launches his attack. no common language. When the parties communicate. the other must either be sacrificed. seriously wounded. Speek. rushing forward and thrusting the spear deep into the animal’s body. they can appreciate each other’s needs. Tork cannot sit down and discuss alternative options.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION In the case of the caveman and the sabre-toothed tiger it’s critical. There’s no room for creative proposals. and could end up fighting over the rights to the cabbage patch. the caveman and the beast would not have to resort to trying to kill each other. and there’s no compromise. A workable negotiation is based on the ability to communicate and understand both points of view. Tork and his wife. This teaches us the second ground rule of negotiation. Tork focuses on the vulnerable soft spot beneath the shoulder blade. Ground Rule 2: Understand – and be understood The importance of communication. The animal gives a desperate roar and collapses on the ground. Even if they both became vegetarians they still wouldn’t have a language with which to communicate. The tiger recognizes a threat and roars. there is no communication. The situation will only change if the issue of scarcity is resolved because if there were plenty of food for all. But 5 . Without communication there is no understanding and similarly without understanding. In order for one to survive. The immediate problem with this particular negotiation is that there is no opportunity for communication. or else head for the hills. may not always agree with each other. Tork and the sabre-toothed tiger don’t have a common language. but at least they can communicate and understand each other.

Ground Rule 3: Plan for the future The history of the world is a story of conflicting interests leading to wars. Tork’s goes like this: ‘Breakfast!’ ‘Greeow! Greeow! Greeow!’ roars the tiger in reply. Tork trips and falls. Speek. She stands staring at him. as recent decades have taught us vividly. However. calling the tribe to help him drag his trophy back to the cave. it is one thing to win a war and quite a different matter to win the peace. if Tork’s shouts had not alerted the beast’s mate. a successful negotiation must have a lasting outcome because you have to live with it in the future. then jumps up and races off through the jungle before the animal can leap at him. When the conflict is over you must establish a situation 6 . At least he can rely on his beloved wife. Then the conflict starts all over again and might have continued indefinitely if Tork had not raced off home for urgent medical attention. cutting his head. Has Tork run fast enough? Have his tribe folk come to his rescue? Will the animal strike again or turn and run? Was the negotiation successful? No. The tiger’s mate has heard the noise and charges out threateningly. When Tork and the tiger faced each other they both have the same thoughts going through their minds.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS just as Tork is shouting triumphantly. conquests and domination. to listen to him and understand him. there is a crash in the undergrowth. Tork has won one confrontation only to face another because the matter has been only temporarily resolved. roaring and snarling. meaning – roughly translated – ‘Here comes my early lunch!’ Tork lets out a blood-curdling shout: ‘Ha! I’ll get you before you get me!’ And there it might have ended.

You want to know how to persuade someone else to come around to your point of view. there is every possibility that conflict will re-emerge and the vanquished will rise to fight another day. You are probably asking yourself why this chapter is talking about fighting for survival in the Stone Age and going to war over territorial boundaries in the twenty-first century. This may mean that both sides have to accept fundamental changes. you are probably thinking that this is all far removed from the sort of regular negotiations you face in your everyday life. how to reconcile conflicting interests in the course of day-to-day negotiations. Remember the ground rules By now. positive results based on the three ground rules of negotiation: Ground Rule 1: Someone’s got something you want Ground Rule 2: Understand – and be understood 7 . If they do not.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION that both parties can live with. They outline an alternative way to work towards lasting. What you want to know is how to win an argument. The following chapters start with the basics and go on to examine what negotiation is all about.

You saw how negotiation is generally viewed as a clash of opposing ideas. there is a better way to negotiate than by resorting to verbal conflict.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Ground Rule 3: Plan for the future Rough & Tough or Soft & Sweet People tend to use the same war-like vocabulary whether they are negotiating a business deal or resolving a personal disagreement. the confrontation was inconclusive. In any negotiation there’s a limit to how much you should sacrifice and it may be wise to walk away. so there was no obvious room for compromise. However. The caveman and the sabre-toothed tiger each wanted to kill the other. Is this the way many negotiations pan out. Their positions and demands were irreconcilable because they appeared to have totally conflicting interests. In the end. They were both injured and ultimately fled. giving up and walking away looks like failure. a fight to maximize gain and/or minimize loss. and was this an unsuccessful conclusion? Sometimes the best option is the walk-away option At first sight. It’s the WAO factor: the Walk-Away Option. the problem was that it was impossible for the parties to achieve 8 . But in reality. if the parties walk away they have achieved the one objective that was paramount: they are still alive to fight another day! This isn’t the WOW factor. On this particular occasion.

Let’s say you want to pay someone 500. and in the end you strike a deal for 750. or a ferocious tiger chasing you. they want to charge you 1.’ it means that nobody gets what they really want. What is wrong with being rough and tough and insisting that you get your way? You’d demand that the job be done exactly the way you want it done. surely he or she should play soft and sweet and reason with you in a way 9 . you might feel aggrieved at having to spend more than you’d initially planned. and yet most people think this is what negotiation is all about. Bargaining often means nobody gets what they really want When you say: ‘I’ll meet you halfway. if there’s a man with a spear.000. Equally. Perhaps there is some degree of satisfaction because you think you’ve forced the other side to make a concession in your favour. if your subordinate disagrees with you. you take the run-away option. and everyone has to reach a compromise away from their stated position. you either compromise or take the walk-away option. And. In many negotiations: ➣ You take a position ➣ You attack ➣ You defend ➣ You make sacrifices ➣ You make gains ➣ You make concessions ➣ You demand more But in the end. Or. This is not a satisfactory way to conduct a negotiation.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION both their short-term objective of finding food and the long-term objective of staying alive. Similarly. the other party is unhappy at receiving less than they wanted in the transaction. Is conflict the essence of negotiation? Let’s imagine that you are the boss and you want something done.

What generally happens is that you end up with an outcome which satisfies neither party and consequently will not last. This is only possible when the two parties know each other’s objectives and can discuss. It breaks Rule 3 – it fails to plan for the future because you are left with both parties 10 . This describes an interaction in which you choose your position and argue from your own individual standpoint. that rather than arguing from your position. I call this confrontational bargaining process Positional Negotiation because it’s based on arguing away from your particular position. They may not be entirely happy. Nor does it mean that you have to think in military language about ‘defending your position’ or ‘fighting for what you want’. You intend moving away as little as possible from your personal stated position. understand and appreciate them in a search for a mutually acceptable resolution. This doesn’t mean gentle reconciliation. But they must both believe they have each got the best deal they could in the circumstances. with the parties being soft and sweet with each other.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS that respects your relative positions and ensures that this relationship is maintained. Well. It’s a takeit-or-leave-it approach that stems from a fixed position on both sides. You have to believe you got the best deal you could In every effective negotiation it is essential that both parties are satisfied. and they may have been hoping for something better. What you will discover as you examine negotiation in more detail is that conventional bargaining is generally unsatisfactory. you argue about what you both want to achieve? What difference might it make if you negotiated towards the objective rather than negotiating away from where you are starting from? The next section will explore this in more detail. Suppose instead. the truth is that this approach is inefficient for both you and your colleague because there is nothing much to discuss.

rough and tough. who is macho.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION resentful at getting less than they wanted out of the deal. who wins? Is it Grunt. He is devoted to his wife. So. who was his childhood sweetheart. When it comes to domestic arguments. She is the epitome of the soft and sweet partner. what tactics will deliver a lasting outcome? Is it best to be aggressively masculine . fighting for what he wants? Or is it Natter who is always gentle.? Away on the other side of the hill lives another tribe. understanding and conciliatory? Grunt and Natter have very different styles of communication 11 . . Their leader is Grunt the Hunter. Natter. Natter adores Grunt and will do anything and everything to keep him happy. . a straightforward chap with a rather rough and tough style about him. They have always kept themselves separate from Tork’s people.

The solution is a compromise and as such is unstable. As a negotiation continues he digs in. Her objective is to find out what he will settle for and agree to it. or is it better to be submissively feminine? As a loving spouse. He will threaten Natter and be determined to argue for the final position he has already decided upon. Natter’s objective in a negotiation is to reach agreement. he will make it clear that their relationship will suffer if he doesn’t get what he wants. It’s never that simple Of course. The parties argue in terms of how far they are prepared to move in order to achieve an outcome. Positional Negotiation describes where both parties look at a situation in terms of the fixed positions they are occupying. back down from her opening position and – in contrast to her husband’s stance – she will be prepared to reveal what her final position is.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Even at home. Neither party achieves what they want. She will tend to trust him and concede to his demands in the interests of maintaining the relationship. She will accept changes. while the Soft & Sweet negotiator will back down and make concessions in order to reach agreement. reinforcing his position and refusing to yield. . neither of the tactics described above is absolute. and to persuade Natter to come around to his point of view. He will keep his final position hidden from her and will probably distrust any arguments she proposes. and she will counter his threats with alternative offers. . . and most positional negotiations involve a constant switching of 12 . He will aim to diminish whatever offer she proposes and keep pushing and increasing his argument. When Grunt’s position becomes entrenched she will propose alternative deals. Above all. Grunt is looking for conquest: he is determined to win the argument. The Rough & Tough negotiator is inflexible.

FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION Positional Negotiation Rough & Tough Soft & Sweet Going for conquest Going for agreement Dig in Suggest deals Threaten Offer Go for what you’ll settle for Go for what they’ll settle for Argue for own position Argue for agreement Push hard Back down Conceal final position Reveal final position Increase argument Avoid argument Distrust Trust Be hard Be soft Make demands as a condition of maintaining the relationship Concede in the interests of maintaining the relationship 13 .

Just suppose that instead of demanding what had to be done. led by Grunt the Hunter. He heads off into the forest with his spear and finds that the tribe from over the hill. Grunt had talked about the outcome he wanted to achieve. it’s about achieving an outcome. this time avoiding the ferocious sabre-toothed tigers. but neither hard nor soft tactics will move things on if the parties are entrenched in their positions. 14 . rather than where they want to be. Tork meets Grunt in the forest Let’s take another look at Tork. That’s not the way to reach a lasting solution. What stops people from being successful in the deals they make and the disputes they seek to resolve is their characteristic tendency to be centred on positions and personalities. It sounds obvious. This is the crux of the matter. He is hunting once again. they would each have been focusing on the direction they should follow in order to move towards achieving their common objective. getting what you want. rather than on opportunities and outcomes. This way. And just suppose that. have trapped and slaughtered a hairy mammoth. Negotiation isn’t about sticking to a position.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS strategies between being tough and being soft. and most of what you will learn about negotiation will seem obvious once you start to examine the subject more closely. As long as the two parties are focused on positions – whether defending their own position or attacking the position of the other party – then the negotiation risks simply going round in circles until one or other party yields. instead of agreeing to Grunt’s course of action. This technique is covered later in the book in the section describing Black Hat – White Hat strategy. The objective is to find an outcome that will satisfy both parties. Natter had put forward her own ideas on how he might get what he wanted. The successful negotiator needs to break out of the positional mindset and establish a different framework. The debate can go on interminably as long as both parties are looking at where they are.

and he wants some of it for himself and his tribe. As he approaches the group. Grunt looks up at him with a mixture of curiosity and aggression. and you will see the Rules of Negotiation in action. 15 . Tork finds that Grunt and his companions have been successful in their hunt for food He turns to his fellow hunters and asks: ‘Who is this chap? What’s going on here? How do we handle this?’ Pause for a moment. Tork sees the food.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION A group of them are squatting around the carcass. hacking it into chunks to carry back to their cave.

one or other party is going to feel that they have made concessions and lost out. now what? Tork can play rough and tough: ‘Share the food with me. he must ensure that it leads towards an outcome which both sides can live with. If Tork is to get what he wants you have to hope the two tribes have a common language. But if they say no. even if he is very fleet-footed. because this is where Ground Rule 2 comes into force. how does Tork proceed? He is outnumbered. Tork will have less food than he would like and the neighbours will have to part with some of their hard-won trophy. the neighbours will probably chase after him and seek some sort of retribution. Ground Rule 2: Understand – and be understood So. 16 . If he proceeds with positional negotiation. So.’ If they say yes to either request the negotiation is over. there is not much he can do proactively. please share your food with me. Tork has to keep Ground Rule 3 in mind. Ground Rule 3: Plan for the future Whatever he does. or else!’ Or he can play soft and sweet: ‘I am hungry. If he seizes a lump of meat and runs off back to his cave as fast as he can.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Ground Rule 1: Someone’s got something you want Grunt’s tribe have food and Tork wants some of it.

‘appropriate’ and ‘workable’. By the time a truce or surrender is finally signed. both sides have paid a high price and the basis of the original disagreement often remains unresolved. The way in which the negotiation then proceeds must conform to the first standard: it must be sensible. This framework is bounded by a set of standards for negotiation – four Ss. Sensible : Straightforward : Sustaining : Satisfying A negotiation should be sensible. and clarifies just what is meant by adjectives such as ‘sensible’. conflict is not sensible. Throughout history there are examples of how one side has won the battle only to lose the war. It is generally inappropriate and rarely achieves a workable outcome. appropriate and workable There are times when one’s position and survival are so threatened that war is the only option. Although the negotiation starts when one party wants something from another party. In other words. Grunt and his tribe must be willing to reduce their stock of food and decide on what basis they are prepared to do this. Then you have the challenge of finding a way to win the peace. it only becomes active when the other party shows some willingness to consider entering into the deal.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION The four criteria of negotiation To optimize the situation you need a framework for negotiation: a set of principles which both parties can accept and work to. 17 . But. one side has achieved a short-term gain but has failed to resolve the issue in the longer term. In Tork’s case. by and large. which means starting negotiations all over again. appropriate and workable. An effective negotiation seeks to acknowledge the grounds for a potential transaction and agree the terms on which this transaction can take place. The second standard expands on this.

’ In British English this means you will leave the offer open to further discussion and come back to it later. Grunt and his people can explain that they too are hungry and that they 18 . while the offer has not been rejected. In face-to-face negotiation it is important to give constant feedback and ask for clarification. Even when they believe they speak the same language there can be differences in usage and interpretation. A good example in the language of negotiation is the phrase: ‘We’ll leave the offer on the table. so that understanding is complete and the risk of misunderstanding is minimized. Tork is still on his hunting trip. There is not the real-time exchange of a conversation which makes clarification simpler. it is put on one side because it is going nowhere. To do that. telling and hearing. people often work in a language which is not their mother tongue. efficient and smooth The protocol of a negotiation requires effective communication. However. In the situation that has just been described. if the communication is written. In the modern world of global corporations. He is hungry and needs food for his tribe. In American English the meaning is more negative. such misunderstandings can be dangerous. Similarly. This means: ● Communicating your own position ● Establishing beyond doubt that the other party understands your position ● Understanding the other party’s position You achieve these three points through a constant exchange of speaking and listening. you must have a common language. It implies that.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS A negotiation should be straightforward.

A position can mean anything from a vague preference to an immovable principle. Tork is moving away from negotiating about a position and instead he is negotiating about areas of common interest. You saw in Tork’s encounter with the tiger that there was no clear outcome. establishing a point from which to make concessions.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION need to conserve the food resources so they have enough to survive on in the coming weeks. alternatively. Ground Rule 3 makes this point absolutely clear. Tork needs to communicate with Grunt some facts about his position. It has to last. But it’s not enough for a negotiation just to be sensible and straightforward. it is important that the present negotiation does not damage or diminish their relationship. This would fit the first standard of being sensible. efficient and smooth. This follows the second standard of being straightforward. It clarifies why Tork wants to negotiate. A similar situation could now confront Tork and his neighbours. Tork could then go on to ask if they are willing to discuss mutual issues and explore ways in which they can cooperate. Maybe Tork and Grunt already co-exist on a friendly basis. 19 . which is why the third criteria is critical if the process is to develop effectively. He is giving Grunt and his tribe the opportunity of determining at the outset whether there is the potential for negotiation. He could ease the path of negotiation by removing any suggestion of hostility and by discussing the problems his tribe faces in finding food. Either way. they may never have met face-to-face. A negotiation should sustain and not damage or diminish the relationship of the parties involved Conflict is not a good negotiating tool. appropriate and workable as it immediately establishes some basis for possible cooperation. Tork and Grunt are each taking up a position.

First. There is little chance of the neighbours agreeing to share their food in a situation when there is always a shortage. You have looked at our cavemen and seen how they might negotiate. Maybe they will now establish a new basis for future cooperation. here is an example of a typical Positional Negotiation and a typical compromise. However. and Tork might do just that.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Ground Rule 3: Plan for the future Now that they have met. now let’s take a modern example. if you assume that Tork would not be happy to walk away empty-handed. Maybe the discussions will never get off the ground. 20 . the process has been set in motion. Home sweet home From prehistoric caves to suburban houses. An unsatisfactory outcome for Tork – but it satisfies the WAO factor. It could even conform to the fourth standard: A negotiation’s outcome should be satisfying. and even though they haven’t yet started formal negotiations. he might have stood a better chance through an alternative process I call Directional Negotiation. However. Grunt might tell him to go away. which is explored later. meeting the realistic expectations of both parties Tork might realize that he would be pushing his luck. you must ask yourself: would it have been possible for him to have conducted the negotiation in a way that achieved an outcome which met all the criteria of both parties? Certainly he would not have achieved this through Positional Negotiation.

not revealing their final position and not trusting what Robert and Rosemary are saying. They had no intention of taking their furniture. especially if you are looking for a smaller place in the country. Rosemary replies to Jill: ‘Of course I understand your position.000. Jack and Jill are arguing their position. we are not in a hurry to sell. and I am sure you know the market value of your home. On the other hand we can complete the sale and purchase quickly as we are renting at the moment.000 but decide to view the property as it seems from the particulars to be ideal for their needs and rather overpriced. We need to think about our future plans and cannot afford to start giving away 50. so we can wait until we get what we want.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION Jack’s house is on the market for 250. She is agreeing with the other party and is already suggesting they might pay a little more and that there could be other deals which they could discuss. He plays rough and tough: ‘We’ve had the place valued and we know what it’s worth. but we have a budget of 200.’ Rosemary’s style is soft and sweet. Robert opens negotiations with a soft and sweet approach: ‘We really like your home.’ This is classic rough and tough style. Or maybe you don’t want to take everything with you. carpets and curtains with them as 21 . pushing hard. Jack still plays rough. Jack.000.’ Jill adds: ‘You must know the value of property in this neighbourhood. and makes a grudging concession. digging in. even if it meant delaying buying some of the new furniture we had planned to purchase.000 and wonder if you would consider coming down in price. Robert and Rosemary have a budget of 200. Perhaps we could offer a little more.’ Jack knows he has pitched the price on the high side but wants to get the best price he can. After looking over Jack and Jill’s house.

in classic rough and tough style. It would mean that we would not be able to have the new furniture we planned on for a year or two. It’s heartbreaking. However he still needs to get the best price he can to conserve as much capital as possible. agreeing with what Jack and Jill are saying. What do you think: 215. He keeps following a hard line.’ Again. and we were surprised how little it cost us. Carpets and curtains are never the right size when you move. Jack is concealing his position and leaving the other side to come back with an offer. It seems to have very little value when you come to sell it. and cost us a lot of money. but it’s all top-quality. I suppose we could do a deal on the furniture and fittings. The sale would go through smoothly and they could move earlier than they had anticipated. 22 .TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS these would not suit the country cottage they have their eyes on.000 to include all the furniture. I think we could realistically offer you 215. isn’t it. And I agree with you that there are properties in this area fetching 250. and fashion changes so fast in furniture. but we could gradually do one room at a time as we can afford it. gently trying to establish a value for the furnishings: ‘We had to furnish our first home with second-hand furniture. Rosemary steps in. Robert and Rosemary are following the soft and sweet pattern. and that would suit them. I think you’d be lucky to get more than a few hundred. when you know what it cost you?’ Robert joins the discussion: ‘I agree with my wife. curtains and carpets. increasing their offer. I don’t know what to say – we’ll have to work out a price.000 and you don’t have to worry about house clearers and auction sales?’ Again.000 but there are also some around 185. they don’t trust them and they would never reveal more than they had to in conducting the negotiation. Jack can see that selling to Robert and Rosemary could have several advantages. backing down and almost revealing their final position. maybe a thousand for everything. They will not reveal this to Robert and Rosemary because.000. ‘OK.

That’s what happens with positional negotiation. On the other hand. we’d want to complete the sale quickly. they are resentful of the fact that they are paying 30.000. If we do that.000 more than they had planned.FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION ‘It has cost us a fortune to get this place looking this good.000. Jack now knows he cannot push the price any higher. you say you are in a position to close a deal quickly. Both parties feel hard done by but. the same negotiation could have been achieved more easily and more positively if the two parties had approached it differently.’ Finally they shake hands on the deal. so perhaps we could come down to 235. but that’s as far as we can go.000. we might be able to raise 230. If we take our savings and borrow extra.’ Jack picks up on this and concludes: ‘Right.000. well. as we shall see later. 23 . if that really is all you can manage then I suppose we will at least be able to move quickly and not have to keep showing people round the house. and replies: ‘Well. we will accept your offer of 230. As Robert and Rosemary drive home. Jill?’ ‘It’s not what we want. Jack turns to Jill and comments that they are out-of-pocket by 20.’ Rosemary responds: ‘We couldn’t stretch to 235. it’s just too much for us to afford.000 but we insist that the sale is completed by the end of the month. and you’d be saving a lot of money with the house ready for you to move in without having to spend anything. I think we must insist on a quick sale. What do you think. As Jack and Jill stand at their front door and watch them drive away.’ Rosemary has revealed her final position and is doing everything she can to avoid an argument. and I don’t want to make a commitment and then find that Robert and Rosemary cannot go through with the purchase.

TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Summary There are three basic rules to all negotiations: Ground Rule 1: Someone’s got something you want Ground Rule 2: Understand – and be understood Ground Rule 3: Plan for the future 24 .

FUNDAMENTALS OF NEGOTIATION There are four criteria for conducting an effective negotiation: Sensible : Straightforward : Sustaining : Satisfying A negotiation should be sensible. meeting the realistic expectations of both parties 25 . appropriate and workable A negotiation should be straightforward. efficient and smooth A negotiation should sustain and not damage or diminish the relationship of the parties involved A negotiation’s outcome should be satisfying.

they look at him with a mixture of curiosity and aggression. Establish what it is you are discussing. These are: 1. and the four standards for conducting an effective negotiation. Consider the people who are involved. Grunt speaks: ‘Who is this person. and how do we handle this?’ Grunt encapsulates our three steps most succinctly: 1. 3. Determine how you are going to negotiate. 2. Consider the people who are involved: Grunt asks: ‘Who is this person?’ 2. You can see this in Tork’s encounter in the last chapter. As Tork approaches the group. what’s this all about.2 Who is this person? You have seen the three rules of negotiation. Establish what it is you are discussing: Grunt asks: ‘What’s this all about?’ 26 . Next are the three steps the parties take when they start to negotiate.

you will make a judgement based on their voice. Determine how you are going to negotiate: Grunt asks: ‘How do we handle this?’ Who are you dealing with? This chapter and the next examine the first two elements – the personalities and the issues. The fundamental mistake is to judge the person. a commercial contract or an international treaty. it all starts with the personalities involved. In any personal interaction. Equally. From this you will form an impression about the person or the organization sending it to you. the style. their choice of words and their accent or dialect. or a parent and a child. First impressions count for a lot but if you read too much into your initial reaction you can make serious mistakes. Where the contact is by telephone. When Grunt asks: ‘Who is this person?’ you can picture them eyeing each other. whether you are talking about a domestic dispute. 27 . most people will start by looking the other person up and down and making an assessment. If the initial approach is written. you will judge the use of language as well as how the document is structured. you will use an initial judgement in any type of contact. a teacher and a student. First impressions are important The parties each sum up the other and make judgements.WHO IS THIS PERSON? 3. The rest of the book looks at the mechanics of negotiation. You don’t need to see people to form an opinion of them. rather than evaluate the deal the person is looking for. layout and overall aesthetics. the quality of the paper. The people aspect of a negotiation is the first consideration because. This applies whether you are talking about a sales person and a customer. You do this when you meet someone face-to-face.

Common ground.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Are you judging the person. or evaluating the deal on offer? People do it all the time. They use their assessment of the person as a tool to help them determine what the issue is. When you see a smiling face you are instinctively more receptive to the person. experience and human instinct can work to your advantage. you imagine you are going to have to make some concessions. The first consideration – going back to the initial ground rules – is their communication with each other. After that first impression the two parties must establish a working relationship. When two parties make contact they make a judgement about each other before they consider what it is that each is asking for. While friends and enemies may be two extreme examples. When you see an angry expression. values and beliefs. this may complicate the process. creates a link between the parties. She may also be able to dismiss contacts who are ‘just looking’ so that she does not miss the opportunity to attend to customers who are more likely prospects. On the other hand. This can be either helped or hindered by how well they know each other or each other’s personality. It can be an advantage to be negotiating with someone you know well. whether it is based on personal background or on the discovery of common interests. what the expectation of the other party is and what their position should be. the point is that all negotiation is a people-thing and getting to know the other party helps to build a basis for interaction. even before they speak. educational or cultural background. connecting them with a degree of mutual trust. 28 . If you see a pleading face. or who has a similar social. you immediately assume you are going to have to put up a fight. A skilled sales manager may use her experience to sum up a customer from a first impression and be able to estimate what the customer is willing to spend on a particular product or service. Pre-judgement based on skill.

even if the deal on offer is a good one. from toddler to teenager. because you do not want to give any benefit or advantage to someone you don’t get on with. Sex rears its not-so-ugly head when a handsome man or attractive woman uses flirtatiousness as a tool in a negotiation with a member of the opposite sex. Children. at other times they can rebound with an unexpected outcome. Sorry officer. Maintaining the personal relationship becomes more important than optimizing the proposed transaction. no speak the lingo A language barrier can be a bonus: a motorist on holiday in a foreign country may plead his ignorance of that country’s laws in order to try to avoid being given a speeding ticket.WHO IS THIS PERSON? Are you letting your personal feelings cloud the issue? It can be difficult to do business with friends because your personal relationship gets in the way of commercial considerations. know exactly how to exploit this: a manipulative child negotiating with a parent will use age or dependence to try to win sympathy. can get in the way of achieving an efficient negotiation. 29 . you may find it difficult to do business with someone you do not like. Looking at the opposite situation. In a court of law. What you can see from all of this is that personal relationships. issues of gender. whether positive or negative. On the other hand. status and culture can all have an impact on any kind of negotiation. generation. How to handle unavoidable differences In addition. a woman in dispute with a man may deliberately choose to be represented by a male solicitor so the element of male/female conflict is reduced. either party to a negotiation may deliberately exploit a difference to gain an advantage. Sometimes such strategies are effective.

In every case the parties are seeking to remove barriers to communication and to come closer to achieving a basis for rapport. equally prejudiced: ‘Don’t listen to her.’ This is what you might say. What is more. and personalities are central to every interaction. If you allow personalities to over-influence you. Personal factors can complicate the issue. This is covered in more detail later. basing your decision on a trusted personal relationship. ‘He’s my friend. Where there is any level of language barrier the parties will engage an interpreter to make sure the nuances of language are fully understood. or they can make it easier. a business executive negotiating with a foreigner will attempt to be familiar with local cultural and social practices to avoid being at a disadvantage. that does not fully evaluate the issues under discussion. Choosing between the negotiation and the relationship Negotiations are all about people.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Would it help if you involved a third party to act as an intermediary? In family life a child may turn to an elder brother or adult relation to mediate with parents over a disagreement. when there is a differential in the status of the two parties – a junior wishing to negotiate with a superior – the junior may seek the support of a senior colleague. Do you want to maintain the personal relationship. When it comes to cross-cultural or international negotiations. you can end up taking an unwise decision based purely on personality. in these examples they are specifically involving a third party in their negotiations. They will frequently engage the services of a local person to act as their agent in handling the discussions to ensure complete comprehension.’ You need to ask yourself what it is that you want. keeping friends as friends – or 30 . Similarly. Or. so that the age difference is less significant. Give him whatever he wants. She is jealous and is always unreasonable.

in an international trade negotiation. keeping enemies as enemies – or do you want to resolve the issue being negotiated? There is not necessarily anything wrong with making the personal relationship more important than the negotiation. you may be unreasonably prejudiced or unfavourably influenced. Take the example of a domestic situation. knowing that the US consumers appreciate the quality and value of their products. as long as you are aware of what you are doing. Separate the personalities from the problem The only way to set the basis for an efficient negotiation is to be clear about establishing a definite separation between your relationship with the personalities involved. as long as you realize this is what you are doing. So what is the answer? If you keep your distance. if you are cold and dispassionate and do not take personalities into account. if you let yourself be swayed by personal or political considerations. There is nothing wrong with ranking a personal or political consideration as more important than a negotiation. By contrast. Cuba may be willing to sell cigars to the US. and your attitude to the issues which are being considered in the negotiation. the US may decide that it wishes to maintain an embargo on trade with Cuba for political reasons. However. but people and business must be dealt with separately. Negotiation is a people business. 31 . What is important is to be aware when you are sacrificing one objective in order to fulfil the other. In this situation either party may decide to relinquish their personal preference in the interests of maintaining the relationship.WHO IS THIS PERSON? equally. On the other hand. you miss the opportunity to build on an existing relationship or on the fact that you do have some common understanding. The husband wants to go to a football match and the wife wants him to go shopping with her – and for various reasons they cannot do both.

TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Tork and Grunt enter negotiations First impressions are always important Grunt looks at Tork. Grunt guesses that Tork must be hungry. Grunt is amazed because nobody goes spear-hunting for mammoths these days. Tork has a big old-fashioned spear so he is obviously out hunting. 32 . Pits are much easier and more reliable. Tork is wearing funny clothes: his loincloth goes right over his shoulder. Grunt wonders how sophisticated Tork’s people are. Tork looks at the mammoth that Grunt and his companions are carving up and licks his lips. and what are those silly bits around his ankles? When Tork greets them. his voice is squeaky and some of the words he uses mean nothing to Grunt and his companions. it’s terribly out-of-date.

following the etiquette of his own people. it is a lot easier to negotiate with the other party if you can at least understand where they are coming from. He has been formal. How should they proceed? Whether you are talking about a prehistoric caveman or a twentyfirst century city trader. Culture. their ancestors and their families. everyone has the same basic primeval desire for territorial demarcation and the same psychological demand for recognition and ego-protection. which any civilized man knows is over-familiar. As soon as they met. Tork and Grunt were forming opinions about each other and each other’s intentions. Grunt and his companions are wearing tiny loincloths that only cover their bottoms. and be especially cautious when dealing with people of a different culture. tradition. 33 . and finds it rather offensive. and even if you do not hold these same values yourself. almost rude. and has talked at length about the weather before ritually offering blessings on them. Each finds the other’s appearance rather quaint. they were drawn back to very basic instincts. Everyone has their own values. When Tork and Grunt meet they are both perplexed because what they see is unfamiliar. You need to verify your early interpretations. Tork is perplexed and unsure how he should proceed. language and territory What you learn from the initial contact can provide you with useful information for your negotiation. He is also surprised at their lack of greeting when he approached. As they observed each other. Tork thinks it shameless to walk around with the chest fully exposed. Both parties made their initial evaluation of the situation and both started to assess their next steps. All Grunt has done was stare at him. They ought to be offering hospitality but show no inclination to share their magnificent kill.WHO IS THIS PERSON? Tork looks at Grunt. even though no real communication had yet taken place.

race or nationality. When you look back at past events and try to understand them. and ask yourself: ‘How on earth did they arrive at that solution?’ Whether you are talking about the impulsive actions of teenagers or the political actions of past governments. Because it’s not always easy to do this. Their egos were validated. If you look back at history you can see how the whole social context affects why people did the things they did and why this sometimes looks strange from a present-day perspective. This point is crucial to understanding the process of negotiation. their values were upheld and their self-esteem was preserved. you need to understand the perspective and realities of a past era. This was considered in the previous section when you looked at gender. look at the actions of governments of previous generations. Their decision was right at the time because decisions are rooted in real-time and relate to the values of the day. Similarly. People forget that their own parents were similarly perplexed by their actions and ideas. and hindsight is an exact and unforgiving science. the answer to the question is that they chose their options because they felt good about the values on which they based their decisions and felt good about the outcome they achieved. 34 . people will often appoint an intermediary who can relate more easily with the other party. Everyone operates from their own perspective When people talk about a ‘point of view’ they are using the vocabulary of perspective. Each party to a negotiation will operate primarily from their own perspective – their own point of view – in a way they perceive to be perfectly logical and rational. you need to understand where they are coming from. When you negotiate with someone. status and culture. generation. But there’s more to it than being the same gender.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Everyone protects their own identity and integrity When you look at members of a younger generation you may be surprised by their priorities and some of the things they do. There is always a tendency to judge past events by present values. you can look back at history.

WHO IS THIS PERSON? Put yourself in the other party’s position When people look back at the age of the British Empire. They question how one civilization thought it appropriate and justifiable to eliminate cultures and societies that had existed for many generations. If this sounds unbelievable to twenty-first century ears. society challenges and denounces colonialism because society has different 35 . the official record of British parliamentary debates. However. you can go back to Hansard. You can start to find the answer if you now examine the British parliamentary debates that surrounded – for example – the building of the railways in East Africa. they are often puzzled. and at the same time they embodied a strong element of altruism in believing they had a mission to ‘save’ the local population by converting them to Christianity. what you will also find as a strong thread in the parliamentary arguments is a passionate desire to evangelize and bring western education and values to areas that had been isolated from the outside world before the railway was conceived. and in terms of the violent wars of conquest. because current thinking is that imperialism was essentially an economic movement born of greed and arrogance. you will find discussion of the economic imperative to open up Africa to trade and commerce. You will make your own judgement as to whether you believe people were being open and honest in what they said. It is revealing to discover that these were the clear values that were being expressed. The Victorians wanted to create economic wealth. but you do have to understand and appreciate it What actually happened in terms of the seizure of land and other assets. There. but many other contemporary records support the thesis that idealism and religious fervour were important elements in the British colonial psyche at that time. This you can understand. what you can see is that the basic motivation was far from simple territorial expansion and economic exploitation. is a separate issue. Today. and look at what was being said in Parliament at that time. You don’t have to agree with another person’s point of view.

In short. people today have a different perspective from people a century ago. ➣ How do you think history will judge the American nation for the invasions of first Afghanistan and then Iraq? ➣ Will multiculturalism be looked on in a positive or negative light? ➣ Is Political Correctness a mature and correct way to interact with other people or is it patronising and over-reacting? All we can do is try to see a situation from many points of view. the sense of self-worth and ego. and ultimately the parties will polarize into opposing positions. is at the heart of our individual values. despite the benevolent and humanitarian assertions found in contemporary documentation. colonialism threatened two of the most important elements of civilization: It denounced self esteem and it claimed territory. it is challenging to try to predict future attitudes. And when we try to look forward.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS values. You must acknowledge the other party’s territory and self-esteem Personal integrity. If you look deeper into imperialism. going back to Rule One: Someone’s got something you want Colonization failed as a way of achieving this for many reasons including its ultimate failure under Rule Three: Plan for the future One of the underlying reasons for failure was that. people are arguably more tolerant and more open to different ideas. Usually we will see the bare bones of a negotiating situation. you can see colonization as a sort of negotiation. you will rebel against the other party and insist on your right to be who you are as an independent human individual. 36 . There will be a lack of communication and understanding. and try to understand the various different perspectives. If you are not allowed to be yourself. By and large.

occupying their own space in every sense. People are all animals at heart. a workable way forward.WHO IS THIS PERSON? Once again. When you look at a formal negotiation like an armistice. non-combatant relationship. it now establishes a new.’ The peoples of India did not want to be told what they could and could not do. or to alternate between Home and Away. and from its own perspective. This will ensure that neither party has reason to be intimidated by being on the other’s territory. The final outcome may not be what each party had hoped for at the outset. In every negotiation. even though it confirms that one party has won and one has lost. This is a classic negotiation scenario. Choosing where to negotiate The selection of a location will make a clear statement about the relationship between the parties. ego is all about the territory you occupy mentally. it is important to select a neutral location. It is highly significant that the talks to end the Vietnam War were delayed for months because no agreement could be reached on the shape of the table around which the delegates would meet to 37 . that you have the basis for a positive solution. whether they are sitting with a group of friends drinking coffee and chatting socially or whether they are at the boardroom table discussing corporate policy. you can look at history for examples. They claimed the right to act within their own personal integrity. each party wants to make its own choices in accordance with its own values. Jawarhalal Nehru. nor is either party able to demonstrate territorial dominance. Personal territory is an imperative which must be considered in any negotiation. It is only when each party truly believes it is reaching the best available decision. In one sense. said: ‘We want the right to make our own mistakes. but it must be one that each party agrees to as an acceptable resolution. In the negotiations leading to the independence of India from the British Empire. If one wishes to create the impression of equality. then the future first Indian Prime Minister.

negotiations on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East have been held in the United States. The location of a negotiation often determines a hierarchy between the parties. What is more. That was not a matter of aesthetics or whim. 38 . you come up against one of the buzz-words of the twenty-first century: Respect. In more recent times.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS negotiate. it was a highly significant issue of the physical territory the parties would be seen to occupy. The Franco-German armistice in the First World War was concluded in a railway carriage in the middle of a forest. An acknowledgement of both real and virtual territory is fundamental to understanding effective negotiation. They demand respect because it is the essential element that validates their individual ego and their right to personal territory. which is why international alliances are often concluded on neutral ground or at a relatively anonymous location. signifying on the one hand the removal of the negotiation from the theatre of the dispute. away from any publicity so that no element of triumphalism could endanger the ongoing relationship between the population and the invading power. the negotiating table was eventually situated in a neutral venue (Paris). It is a word commonly used by people who feel themselves to be socially or economically disadvantaged. You hear it in the vocabulary of negotiation: ‘We need space to manoeuvre … Where do we go from here …? We need to move on …’ The importance of showing respect When you look at acknowledging and understanding ego. but at the same time confirming the dominant role of America in influencing policy in the negotiations between the Arab and Israeli peoples.

Then he adds a few words which he hopes will be well-received: ‘Greetings to you. You are acknowledging and practising the real process of negotiation. You set aside your own opinions (ego) and vacate your own position (territory) so you can see what your opinions and your position look like from a different perspective. In doing this. he acknowledges Tork’s ego. He puts down his flint knife and the bone he has been gnawing and raises his hand in his own tribe’s formal greeting. From the length and substance of Tork’s opening greeting. He cleverly chooses a compromise and gestures to some rocks a few yards away. stranger. you show you are willing to explore – to use a territorial expression – where the other party is coming from. and at the same time effectively threatening him by outnumbering him. ‘Let’s sit over there and talk. Grunt realizes Tork is used to rather more formality than his own tribe. Now. He can invite Tork to join them. but in doing so he is both inviting him into his circle with his companions.’ 39 . and to establish what it is that Tork wants to negotiate. Blessings on your women and children. back to the cavemen again Grunt asks: ‘Who is this person?’ Having made his initial assessment he needs to find out more.’ In doing this.WHO IS THIS PERSON? When someone asks for respect. what is it that they are actually asking for? In a sense it is recognition of their individuality – but how do you recognize individuality? You do it by moving out of your own mindset and temporarily putting yourself into the mindset – the beliefs and values – of the other party. and then he needs to address territory.

Grunt knows he has made all the right moves. 40 . Grunt offers Tork a hunk of meat and the balance is restored. There is still an imbalance in the negotiation. Grunt makes sure that Tork can see the others. He also ensures his companions can see him and overhear the conversation. but they have made him comfortable by accommodating his psychological needs and his hunger.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Get to know the person you are dealing with Grunt’s companions watch as Tork and Grunt walk across and sit down. He has carefully thought about the situation from Tork’s point of view. which is clear to Grunt as he sees Tork licking his lips. They clearly don’t have the same traditions as his own people. Tork understands the strategy and complies. Tork is now revising his initial opinion of the other tribe.

This shows respect for Grunt. He continues the conversation about food supplies. When Tork has finished eating. Now Grunt has to decide what to do next – but he is in no hurry to declare his hand. or small and a potential ally in the struggle for survival. He does not wish to imply that his plight is desperate. because each party has shown skill and intelligence in the way they conduct their business. he needs to assess whether the neighbour’s group is large and threatening. If there were more of us there would be more danger. Grunt talks about the mammoth they have hunted and asks Tork if he has had any success. How could you manage alone if you were successful in your hunt?’ Tork thinks a moment: ‘One hunter can move silently. Tork is careful not to reveal too much of the harsh situation of his people. In particular. who have not eaten well in weeks. A similar conversation could have taken place between a manufacturer and a potential supplier seeking to discover more about each other. That can wait while they get to know each other. not revealing that he is the only strong and fit adult male in his group. He tells Grunt that he has been tracking the mammoth Grunt and his companions trapped and congratulates his neighbours on their success. while the others wait to help when I find the mammoth. reverting to their common interest: ‘I like to hunt alone. ‘We need three of us to carry the meat back to our people. The 41 . but equally there is a common language that establishes a basis for understanding. even though things are very tough right now. but at the same time asking Grunt a leading question which may help identify the size of his group. Are there just the three of you who are hunters?’ Tork has been clever.’ There is now mutual respect. There is an element of point-scoring in the exchange. addressing his ego.WHO IS THIS PERSON? knowing that he and his companions are in a strong and possibly threatening position.

’ ‘I agree. Grunt pauses. Whether or not you like the other person is relevant. There might be ways that would make life easier for all of us. a way of doing things that will work whenever we need to resolve an issue.’ responds Tork. and begin to negotiate. we need a policy. A strategy for dealing with mammoths and a big. and by asking for clarification. mammoth strategy. then has an idea: ‘What we need is a strategy. then speaks again: ‘Perhaps we can help each other. not wanting to put himself at a disadvantage by making any requests at this stage and putting himself and his people under an obligation to their neighbours. big. food is hard to find. but must be put to one side: you must separate the personalities from the problem. emphasis and explanation. There is no communication without understanding. and the only way to ensure you are understanding and being understood is by constant active listening. a way of working together so that we don’t have to worry about the day-to-day problems.’ And so they establish a personal relationship.’ Tork thinks for a moment. each considering the next move. 42 . something that would work for all of us. strong strategy.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS two parties sit in silence. Summary Communication is at the heart of negotiation. a great. Not just a survival strategy.’ Grunt laughed. ‘Mammoth strategy – that’s good. Personalities can help or hinder a negotiation. I reckon you and I could come up with something that would suit all of us. then Grunt speaks: ‘This is a harsh and difficult life.

WHO IS THIS PERSON? Who are you dealing with? A pre-negotiation checklist How do you relate to the other person? Are you the same gender as the other party? Is this an advantage or a disadvantage? Are you the same status as the other party? Is he/she superior or inferior to you in the organization or situation you are in? Do you need to act in a different way? Are you culturally similar? Are there any national. an interpreter. someone closer to the other party in status or age or of the same gender? Are you both speaking your mother-tongue? Do you have a fluent and fully understood common language? Timing Are you ready to hold this negotiation here and now? What will be the effect if you delay the negotiation? Is the other party ready to proceed? Can you agree when to proceed? Location Should you aim to hold the negotiation on your own territory? Would a neutral location be an advantage? Should you aim to hold the negotiation on the other party’s territory? Is there a significant third party whose territory could be used advantageously? Common interest Can you see possible areas of common interest? Are you willing to explore possibilities? Is the other party open to expanding the negotiation? Will they be persuaded to move from a fixed position? 43 . a legal representative. religious or racial issues which might affect your conversation? Should you appoint a third party who would relate more effectively to the other person? Do you have similar social and educational backgrounds? Should you negotiate through your local business agent.

There is another way to look at this. and the particular situations of Grunt and Tork are the direct result of this central issue. After the initial greetings and formalities establishing a relationship and finding a comfortable neutral location to talk. Tork’s position is that he doesn’t. this is where things can start to go wrong. When the cave people find a mammoth they have plenty. After all. what’s this all about? Establishing the issues It is vital to realize that the issue is not that Grunt has food and Tork does not. which is generally the outcome of Positional Negotiation. This is the critical issue. when they were all very hungry and desperately hunting. If they focus on the present circumstances.3 What’s this all about? In traditional Positional Negotiation. Grunt’s position is that he has food supplies. it’s all about the fact that food is scarce and hard to come by. they can see the situation only in terms of one party winning at the expense of the other. but mammoth-hunting is hard work and not always successful. their conversation might have gone something like this: ‘Seen any mammoths today?’ 44 . Suppose Tork had met Grunt and his companions on the previous day.

the trouble is that if you manage to get one then the other can come on after you. If they keep personalities out of the discussion and listen to each other’s point of view. viewing the situation from a broader perspective. concerns and needs.’ ‘But then we could have enough food for all of us. it could work.’ ‘Yes.’ ‘That’s always dangerous when there are two of them. That objective already existed on the day before Grunt and his companions were successful.’ ‘Suppose we got a crowd of us together and tried to separate them.’ Tork and Grunt have a common objective. 45 . The present situation.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? ‘I saw two together. which is that food is generally scarce and it is hard to feed everybody. Tork and Grunt will have a more efficient negotiation if they concentrate on the issue. What do you think?’ ‘If we involved all our people who can run fast. It is in human nature to be so focused on your own position that you fail to see the opportunities which could satisfy both parties. Moving in the right direction Let’s look at what happens if you compare the process of Positional Negotiation with Directional Negotiation. over by the mountain. which is to have enough food. when Tork has no food and Grunt has plenty. does not contradict the basic fact. and it will be the same objective when the new stock they are dining off today is depleted. they can discover whether there is a solution that works for both of them. then we could limit the risk. we’d have to work closely together. Mind you. Taking a creative approach requires a willingness to forget any preconceived ideas about what the outcome has to be. and an openness to considering every option. explore all the options and are open to investigating all the alternatives.

46 . and respond accordingly Distrust Trust Take trust out of the equation Be hard Be soft Be balanced Make demands as a condition of maintaining the relationship Concede in the interests of maintaining the relationship Keep personalities out of it You can illustrate this example if you take a look at two cavewomen who live far away from Grunt and Tork. on the other side of the mountain. They are Wizpa and Chat. and they have their own problems surviving in these primeval times.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Positional Negotiation Directional Negotiation Rough & Tough Soft & Sweet Broader Perspective Going for conquest Going for agreement Going for an appropriate outcome Dig in Suggest deals Focus on what it’s all about Threaten Offer Explore Go for what you’ll settle for Go for what they’ll settle for Establish what all the options are Argue for own position Argue for agreement Look for mutually beneficial options Push hard Back down Listen. and be open to alternatives Conceal final position Reveal final position Don’t have any fixed final position Increase argument Avoid argument Listen to reason. one group has trapped a mammoth while the other has been unsuccessful. Chat arrives on the scene to find Wizpa and her companions hard at work skinning the mighty beast. Once again.

or Chat might play it Soft & Sweet.’ shouts Chat. ‘You can’t possibly want all that – it’s huge. The argument could move into Rough & Tough mode and become violent. but would this serve their individual needs? Think about it for a moment! What would happen is that both parties would be left disgruntled. 47 .’ says Chat. ‘You can’t have it. At this point Chat and Wizpa have taken up positions and are arguing about who should have the mammoth. having failed to maximize what they could have got out of the negotiation. We found it and it’s ours!’ replies Wizpa. Eventually they might agree to divide the carcass.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? Fighting over the kill ‘I want that mammoth.

We are cold at night and winter is coming. ‘The lake is full of fish. but the only source of food they are familiar with is meat.’ ‘How can anybody catch a fish?’ asks Chat. It has moved on to skills which each can teach the other – and transfer of skills means that there is a benefit to the receiver without any loss to 48 . As for fishing. And anyway. and then makes a proposal – a revolutionary win-win solution. so they need the fur of the mammoth to make clothes and bedding.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS You must establish what both parties want from a negotiation The problem with Chat and Wizpa is that they have not established what it is that each wants from the mammoth.’ retorts Wizpa. ‘They swim too quickly. The debate continues.’ Suddenly.’ answers Chat. Wizpa’s people have no problem taking fish from the lake for food. but they do not know how to keep warm without layers of fur clothing and bedding.’ says Wizpa. On the other hand. Wizpa pauses for a moment. ‘We can’t keep the fire after the storms. ‘We will show you how to make harpoons and catch fish if you will teach us how you make fire. don’t you know how to make a harpoon?’ Chat’s people have no problem keeping warm in winter. Chat’s issue is that she and her group are hungry. why are you cold? There is plenty of wood to burn?’ ‘Only thunderstorms make fire. We need to keep warm. ‘And my people are all hungry. ‘We need all of the mammoth. and we can’t make it ourselves. and they want to eat the mammoth. the negotiation is not about the mammoth at all. The argument continues. Wizpa’s issue is that she and her group are cold. ‘Why are you hungry?’ says Wizpa.

The secret of this success has been a willingness to move from a fixed position. and then offers a counter proposal: ‘What about the carcass? Once you’ve skinned it you’ll have enough fur to keep you warm. we make all sorts of things with bones. including brooches and buckles for our clothes. But the bones are really useful.’ Chat is surprised. Chat thinks.’ Wizpa looks for a further deal. ‘The meat is tough and hard. What about all that meat? There’s too much there for your group to eat and our people love to eat meat. Once they established what it was all about.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? the giver. ‘If you put the meat on the fire it is very good to eat.’ Wizpa shakes her head in disbelief. This proposal benefits both parties but Chat’s eyes are still on the mammoth.’ What was it all about? It wasn’t about who should have the spoils of the hunt. it was about finding sources of food and finding ways to keep warm at night. That’s how we catch the fish. of course. too. You can sharpen pieces of bone to make knives and it’s perfect for harpoons. It tastes really good. It becomes tender. ‘Bones can be carved into different shapes. You can cook it with plants and vegetables. to be 49 . they created a winwin solution. You say the bones are useful? Why would you want to keep the bones? We just throw them away. Solving each other’s problems by being creative Now you have established that there is in fact no conflict between the positions that Wizpa and Chat started from. That’s why we don’t eat it.

This means Jack and Jill wanted to sell their home and much of the contents. Let’s look again at the negotiation you considered in Chapter One. while Robert and Rosemary wanted to buy a house and most of the necessary furnishings. 50 .000 was probably a fair and realistic price for both parties. But it only appears so when you look at what the negotiation was really all about. In reality. but all of this only came out after initial disagreement and a degree of tension.000. This was what it was really all about.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS creative and open to ideas. It’s not just a matter of price The first example of their negotiation focused primarily on the price. They pitched the price of their property at 250. the figure of 230. Although they said they were not in a hurry to sell. From that opening perspective. there were many other issues that surfaced in the course of the negotiation.000 in mind. they were going to have to spend a significant sum on furnishing their new home. When you know the real issues. and you saw that Robert and Rosemary knew there were similar properties available at a range of prices lower than this. it seems that the 50. Once they focused on their needs they quickly reach an ideal outcome. Jack and Jill were going to sell not only their house but also the contents. and not when you examine it from the standpoint of the opening positions of the two parties. there was considerable benefit in being able to sell to buyers who did not themselves have a property to dispose of.000 differential could never be bridged. smooth and straightforward In the end. the negotiation can be more efficient. Although Robert and Rosemary had a figure of 200. with Jack and Jill selling their house to Robert and Rosemary. which was at the higher end of its valuation.

we are also hungry.’ he shouts. ‘I haven’t eaten for three days!’ Grunt looks up and sees the stranger. By focusing exclusively on his own position he has tried to start the negotiation but has failed to consider the other party’s position. establishing the format and timetable for a series of discussions. how the parties can evaluate and judge the proposed outcomes. in the first example. His stomach rumbles and he feels very hungry. Examining the process of Directional Negotiation Let’s take another look at Grunt and Tork.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? How do you handle this? You have looked in some detail at the matter of establishing what a negotiation is about. A tough salesman will often try to establish a timescale in advance. when Tork finds his neighbours grouped around the carcass. ‘Give me some food. Suppose he had said: 51 . and deciding in advance what sort of agreement will be acceptable to both sides. Then you need to determine how the negotiation itself should be conducted – and. it may take days to draw up the timetable for an international negotiation. He could say: ‘No. Generally negotiations take place on two levels at the same time. The What? And the How? Firstly you need to establish what it is that you are negotiating about. most importantly. We haven’t eaten all week!’ Tork has now stalled the negotiation. At the other extreme. Tork arrives on the scene and sees his neighbours eating. but finding out what the real issues are is only one step in the negotiation process. telling a customer that the prices and deals he is quoting are only valid if the customer signs up there and then. most negotiations involve a further stage. determining how evidence will be presented.

This resolves the immediate imbalance without creating a longer term problem. Grunt might then have replied: ‘Yes.’ In doing this Tork is deliberately seeing things from Grunt’s point of view and Grunt cannot disagree with what Tork is saying. inviting Tork to join them. What did it take to resolve the negotiation? 52 . and nor can Tork. Grunt and his people cannot eat a whole mammoth by themselves. Are you also hungry?’ Grunt can see from the expression on Tork’s face that he is. so the main negotiation on whether they should all share their food is postponed. and Grunt’s approach is polite.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘I see you are hungry and eating well. it is a long time since we have eaten.

You cannot ignore the realities of a situation. As you can see. In the example of Chat and Wizpa. 3. In any negotiation. and the realities are the positions you start with. exploring and debating are not enough. You establish how you will evaluate the options. You set the scene. and between good and bad ways of achieving the desired outcomes. However. you must continually pull the debate away from considerations of positions.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? Summary The negotiation process goes through six steps. You define the issues. nor are you yet negotiating about the issue. 1. The basic issue between Grunt and Tork is that food is scarce and hard to come by. you again saw how the existing position can cloud the issue. which is: 6. and to do this: 4. you can then start to look for the underlying issues. This may not be as straightforward as it was when Tork and Grunt agreed that food was scarce and hard to come by. you are no longer negotiating about the positions. There may be many possible outcomes to a negotiation. having acknowledged the situation. Even then. 53 . leading to the next stage: 5. This establishes the final stage of a negotiation. This means establishing a personal connection and deciding when and where the negotiation should take place. You identify the desired outcome. and many ways of achieving the outcomes. You now need to explore and see if there are other issues that may be particularly important to either party. You acknowledge both of your positions. they both wanted the mammoth but they wanted different parts and for different reasons. You will not reach an acceptable resolution of the negotiation unless you agree in advance on how you will differentiate between good outcomes and bad outcomes. You are determining the process of negotiation itself and agreeing on the parameters by which you will judge the options. You explore possible solutions. The next step is: 2.

and the following chapters explore different aspects. 4. you can work towards a mutually rewarding outcome. We have set out ground rules.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS To summarize. You You You You You You set the scene. tactics and approaches. define the issues. 5. identify the desired outcome. whereas if you find the common objective that is underlying a negotiation. 3. RECAPITULATION OF PART ONE Negotiating strategies There are two basic strategies: Positional Negotiation which means arguing from where you start. 6. establish how you will evaluate the options. this then is the process of Directional Negotiation: 1. acknowledge both of your positions. explore possible solutions. Most people use positional negotiation even though it leaves both sides dissatisfied. The three ground rules There are three basic rules to all negotiations: Ground rule 1: negotiation starts because someone’s got something you want 54 . 2. scope and a process to make this work efficiently. or Directional Negotiation which means arguing towards what the parties want. This book concerns itself with making directional negotiation work for you. criteria.

The criteria of the negotiation Four criteria for conducting an effective negotiation: Sensible : Straightforward : Sustaining : Satisfying Firstly. 2. appropriate and workable 55 . a negotiation should be sensible.WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT? Ground rule 2: negotiation can only continue if the parties can understand one another – and also be understood Ground rule 3: negotiation is only successful if you plan for the future The scope of the negotiation 1. The People: consider the people who are involved. 2. The Topic: establish what it is that you are discussing. The Method: determine how you are going to negotiate.

it should be straightforward. acknowledge both of your positions. meeting the realistic expectations of both parties The six-step process of directional negotiation 1. be assured that homo sapiens has been negotiating since he was hunting mammals. it’s important that a negotiation should sustain and not damage or diminish the relationship of the parties involved Finally. explore possible solutions. 2.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Secondly. establish how you evaluate the options. If it all sounds very complicated. define the issues. 56 . 4. 3. And while some of his contemporaries were making the same mistakes then as people still make today with positional negotiation. identify the desired outcome. In Part Three you will learn the essential skills for handling the negotiation itself. efficient and smooth Thirdly. others were learning the winning strategies and tactics of directional negotiation arguing towards a win-win solution. a negotiation’s outcome should be satisfying. In Part Two you will learn about all the necessary preparation that establishes the context and background for a negotiation. 5. You You You You You You set the scene. 6.

PART TWO Preparation for negotiation .


I’ve only just finished the cave-paintings in the living area.’ Tork’s sister joins in the conversation: ‘How many people are there in that tribe? I thought they were all young warriors. isn’t Some time later. after further discussions with Grunt.. It’s looking so bright and cheerful. everyone! We are going to join forces with the people who live on the other side of the valley and work together to trap mammoths. We’re going to live together as one big community. uncles. Tork rushes back to the cave.4 Knowing what you want Sometimes.. aunts. how many women and children are there?’ Tork’s father breaks out in a fit of coughing. brother. Noisily clearing his throat. Isn’t it a great idea?’ His wife. in-laws and all his relations look at him with shocked expressions. His wife responds: ‘Will there be room for all of us? And anyway. what seems like a good idea . sisters. I don’t know that I like the idea of living down in the valley. excited about the news he has for the family: ‘Listen. he looks at Tork with a worried expression on his face: 59 .

. down there in the valley. without thinking through all the implications of the idea. you know. In their enthusiasm.’ Tork is taken aback. The two of them had been so excited that they had readily agreed to go ahead without consulting their families.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘It’s very damp. ‘It’s not much to ask for in my old age. and I like to sit out on the ledge and watch the sun go down. you know. It’s not on. the guys I met seem really nice. been a hunter and raised a fine family.. The fog and mist hang low every morning. and rather flustered as he tries to respond to their objections: ‘Well. Boss. You can’t expect me to start moving around the countryside at my age. neither of them had taken account of the many issues and concerns that their families might have. the most senior member of the group. He had been full of enthusiasm for Grunt’s proposal that the two groups should cooperate and live together. The air up here suits me. Meanwhile. I don’t know if they have families and I thought a change would be a good thing … ‘It just seemed like a great idea when we were talking about it … ‘We were thinking that .’ The group is silent. You know that. you know. Tork. Grunt sits down with his family group. strokes his beard and looks Grunt in the eye: 60 . It won’t do my chest any good – I get very wheezy in the winter. I met this chap Tork – nice bloke – and we reckon that if we all hunt together then life will be a lot easier. smiles broadly and announces: ‘The people up on the mountain are going to come down here and live with us.’ Tork’s voice fades away. I’ve done my bit over the years. down in the valley. just a place in the evening sun to sit and watch the clouds drift by.

you know. exchange sly glances. who both have teenage daughters.’ Grunt’s two sisters. One turns to the other with a look of shock and dismay on her face: ‘Well. Grunt lets his enthusiasm get the better of him ‘Your great-grandfather had the same thought. It will never work out. Perhaps they should have 61 . but in the end there was an argument and our ancestors drove them back up the mountain. you know. don’t you? They want our daughters!’ Grunt realizes there are other things to consider apart from having more people to help with the hunting. ‘Mountain people are very different. They’re lazy and they’re poor hunters. It seemed such a good idea.KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT Like Tork. you know what those mountain men are after. They’re not like us. The women just stay in the cave and play with the children.

Tork and Grunt became so excited at the prospect of an easier life that they rushed to decisions without taking all the implications into account. Once in a while you may face a situation when you need to make a snap decision. When Tork met Grunt. Is this a good time to talk? Tork and Grunt both rushed in and started trying to negotiate without first establishing whether the other parties were even interested in negotiating. it pays to take stock and assess all the issues involved before coming to a decision that may have many ramifications. They had not asked themselves the first question of any negotiation: ‘Is this important. you need to be sure you’ve sorted the fundamentals. Confusing importance with urgency is a common fault you can make when you become deeply involved in wanting to resolve a situation. To maximise your bargaining power.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS talked about it more before hastily shaking hands on what had seemed like a good idea at the time. Fools rush in … The message of this example is that it is not a good idea to rush into an agreement unless circumstances demand instant action. and is the other side interested in talking? The following diagram is based on the Harvard Theory of Negotiation. Is this the right time. the topic they discussed was very important to both of them – but it was not a matter that needed to be decided there and then. 62 . and is it urgent?’ When Tork was facing the tiger the timescale was critical – kill or be killed. Techniques for making quick decisions are examined later in the book – but firstly this section looks at how you prepare yourself for a negotiation. Far more often. the right place. and sets out the critical path for laying the foundation for a negotiation.

KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT The first steps in opening the negotiation process Meet face-to-face : first impressions Gender Culture Age Establish appropriate approach Status Appoint third party negotiator Formalities and exploratory remarks Decide not to proceed Decide to proceed Timing – are we both ready to proceed? No Yes Do I want to continue? No Yes Postpone negotiation Reschedule timing Unable to agree on timing Reach agreement on timing Do both parties agree on location? No Yes Passive approach Active approach Await proposal from other party Propose alternative location Discuss alternatives Unable to reach agreement Agree on location Open negotiations Decide not to negotiate Determine negotiation process 63 .

you must be clear about what it is that you really want out of the deal. you also establish a clear and strong basis for your discussions. where you are willing to go if you cannot go where you would ideally want to go Working out these positions is preparation that will often make the difference between good and bad negotiation. Negotiation involves changing your position from where you are at the moment to a new position – whether it’s about war and peace. Just as importantly. When you consider all these positions before you start to negotiate. why do you want it? Are there other ways of achieving your objective? What is your acceptable WAO? If you start by finding the answers to these questions you are well-prepared to negotiate sensibly towards the outcome you desire. To negotiate successfully about this change in position. you lay the foundations for achieving a lasting outcome rather than a temporary solution. it just means you acknowledge how things stand at 64 . or agreeing what to do on a sunny afternoon. The importance of preparation Every negotiation is about change. you not only clarify things in our own mind. Furthermore. You saw in Part One how negotiation is often couched in phrases that relate to location. really want? At the same time as being sure your timing is right and that the other party is ready.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS What will you talk about? What do you really. position and movement. buying and selling. Being realistic Knowing your position does not mean you are adopting Positional Negotiation. you need to prepare yourself by knowing: ➣ Where you are at the moment ➣ Where you would like to go ➣ Where the other party or parties to the negotiation would like to go ➣ And finally. hiring and firing. willing and able to negotiate.

You start by talking about this informally.KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT present and have an expectation of what you want. to find out more about the company and discover what openings there might be. Tork knew he wanted an easier way to have enough food for himself and his family but neither he nor Grunt had thought through all the implications of the solution they hit on – which would mean relocating Tork’s family and disrupting Grunt’s living arrangements. but a clear picture of what it is that you want. like Tork and Grunt’s plans to join forces as a community together down in the valley. the next stage in your preparation is to determine the criteria you will be considering. you could be invited back to negotiate the possibility of a job. and you believe this could represent an interesting opportunity for you. or whether it is a matter of a business transaction or a career move. Knowing what you want Whether you are negotiating a family decision. you must decide precisely what you want to achieve. Imagine you have been in the same job for three years and feel that you’ve gone as far as you can in your current employment. Up to this point. You hear that one of your customers is setting up a new business. Not more or less the sort of outcome you might settle for. and why you want it. You have been going through a logical progression. Setting your personal agenda Having gone through the preliminaries. what it entails. there has been no actual negotiation. These will depend on the type of work you are applying for. You will probably also have some sort of road map in your head with various options clearly defined. and if this goes well. You will not – if you are serious about getting the best deal from your new employer – 65 . If this looks promising. you might then have an exploratory interview. Let’s take a contemporary example and examine the preparation you might go through as part of a plan to make a career move.

and you will also be ready to justify why you believe that your proposal is fair and reasonable. Communication: you have established personal contact and have no problem communicating. On the other hand. and what this means in terms of role and responsibility ➣ You will want be sure that you will have the support and assistance you need to perform your job effectively. Timescale: you know your personal timescale. Desirable outcome: you both know that the subject of the negotiation will be a mutually acceptable contract of employment. if you are reasonably content in your present employment. If you were currently unemployed. Mutual benefit: you have determined that there is something each of you wants from the other. because there is an accepted procedure – the interview scenario – which you both accept as the process for reaching a negotiated agreement. there is probably no need to be over-anxious to finalize negotiations quickly and come to a quick decision. with specific 66 . Process: you also know how you will negotiate. a new job would probably be a matter of some urgency. You will have an idea of the salary and benefits you want.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS simply be looking for a certain level of pay. or it could be more complex and look something like this: ➣ You will have an idea of the appointment you want in the company. It could be simply a matter of determining the job and the remuneration package.


authority in terms of your authority to hire and fire, and to make
certain levels of expenditure
➣ You will want specific strategic authority to set policy, within the
terms of the job specification
➣ You will know the salary you are looking for, and will want to
ensure that the ratio of fixed salary to performance bonus is
acceptable to you
➣ You will know what additional benefits you expect in terms of personal insurance, life and health cover, pension scheme and
holiday entitlement
➣ Finally, and you will consider this in more detail in a moment, you
will know what your options are if the job offer does not match up
to what you are looking for
Clearly, the more senior the appointment, the more critical some of
these elements will be. But all of the above points apply to some
extent to any level of employment. Even the most junior position
carries with it certain rights, obligations, duties and privileges.

Knowing where you can afford to be flexible
The sum total of these criteria acts as a starting point for you, but
takes no account of what may be important to the other side. Again,
that can be put to one side for a moment.
Clearly, potential employers will not want to pay you more than they
think you are worth. They may not wish to grant you privileges and
benefits they are not offering other employees in similar jobs. Because
of this, it is important that you decide how flexible you are over the
criteria you have listed and think about the range of alternative outcomes which you are prepared to accept in each of the areas.
There may be a balance. Some points may be critical to your decision, while you may be prepared to reduce your demands in some
areas in return for an increased benefit in others.

The importance of the timescale
One crucial factor in any negotiation, quite apart from the simple
mutual benefits of the transaction itself, is the question of urgency.



Are you in a hurry or can you afford to wait? Do you have a deadline?
Is the other side anxious to conclude the deal quickly?
The package deal that one party is prepared to offer is almost always
related to the need and urgency with which the other party wants it.
Generally, if you are not in a hurry to finalize a negotiation,
whichever side you are on, you are in a stronger position.
If you are in business and critically short of funds, you may be forced
to borrow at a high rate of interest or sell a controlling share of your
business in order to survive. If you are trying to buy a house and are
in a position to move quickly because you are currently renting
accommodation with a short-term lease, the person who is selling to
you may accept a lower offer because he or she knows you can close
the deal quickly. One person who needed money and concluded a
deal which later proved to have cost him dearly was J.R.R. Tolkien,
author of the fantasy trilogy Lord of the Rings.
In 1968, Tolkien sold the film rights to Lord of the Rings for 10,000
pounds sterling in order to settle a personal tax bill. When the three
films were eventually made, almost 40 years later, they grossed
almost three billion US dollars in box-office takings with a further
two billion dollars from additional sales and rentals of videos and
the merchandising programme of toys, games and other products.
Even allowing for exchange-rate fluctuations and inflation, Tolkien’s
price represents a miniscule fraction of one per cent of the
film’s earnings.
Was it a good deal or a bad deal?
In 1968, Tolkien needed money urgently. At that time, with the
growth of television changing the pattern of social life, market analysts across Europe were predicting the demise of the cinema
industry, and theatres were being pulled down or converted to
leisure centres and supermarkets. The offer of 10,000 probably
looked reasonable, and nobody could then have imagined that the
eventual screen adaptations would prove to be in the all-time top ten
of box-office money-earners.
The crucial points are that both the prevailing market conditions and
the seller’s need to conclude a deal were strong factors in enabling



the purchaser to strike a bargain that now, with the benefit of hindsight, seems to have been a steal.
Once you:
➣ know the timeframe
➣ know what you want and
➣ know how flexible you are prepared to be with your demands …
you will have taken three of the most important steps in preparing
yourself. But setting a starting position and deciding on your final
position are not enough.

Moving from ‘What?’ to ‘Why?’
If you can’t get what you want, and even the final negotiation falls
short of what you are prepared to settle for, what will you do? What
are the alternatives to achieving a negotiated agreement?
Sometimes you become over-attached to the subject of one particular negotiation and end up making more concessions than you had
planned. Alternatively, you walk away when your final offer is
refused, and have a sense of failure about the whole deal.
The reason this happens is because you lose sight of your motivation.
You can become so focused on the one particular negotiation that
you forget why you started on this course of action. If you go back to
basics, and you clarify the reasons why you want to make a deal, you
can see whether the present negotiation is the only solution, or
whether it is one of a range of possible alternatives. Furthermore,
you can establish a course of action to follow, if all your negotiations
fall through. This is what is called the WAO – the Walk-Away Option.

The risks of seeing a single solution
Let’s return to Robert and Rosemary, who bought the house and
most of the furniture from Jack and Jill and are now settling in. As
they relax one evening, Robert sees an announcement in the local



paper for an auction sale with a photograph of a fine dining table
and set of chairs. He points it out to his wife:
‘This looks good. Why don’t we go along and bid for this?’
‘I agree, it does look rather smart,’ she replies. ‘But why do we
need more furniture?’
‘Your family are all coming over next month, and that old table is
too small to seat all of us. We need a larger table and it would be
good to have a set of matching chairs. The estimated price is
1,500–2,000. It’s an antique, and at that price it would be an
So they decide to go to the sale, with a budget of 2,000.
An auction is a tightly structured type of negotiation. The clear
objective is to strike a bargain between the seller and the bidders.
The communication process is formal, with gestures and eye contact
between the auctioneer and the potential purchaser to place and
acknowledge a bid. The procedure and rules are understood by
all parties.
The potential problem for buyers at an auction is that it is easy to
become focused on winning the single negotiation of the auction, to
be carried away by the excitement of the bidding, and to end up
spending more than was originally planned.
In this example, the antique suite rapidly reaches the estimated
price and is finally sold for 2,200, above both the estimate and the
budget that Robert and Rosemary had set. They go home disappointed, and worried about accommodating the forthcoming visit of
their relatives.
Even if they had continued bidding, and bought the suite, it would
have solved their guest problem but cost them more than they
planned. Why have they failed to achieve the outcome they wanted?
The reason is straightforward. The motivation for buying furniture was
to be prepared for the visit of the relatives; this was why they went to
the auction sale. In fact, they had considered only one solution to their
problem: the auction sale. Was this the only option? Of course not! But


KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT by focusing on the single negotiation and losing sight of their motivation they failed to achieve the outcome they wanted. What did they do that made this a good negotiating strategy? ➣ They went to the auction because this was one option to solve their problem of needing a new suite of furniture ➣ They researched the market and found an acceptable alternative in case their bid at auction was too low to conclude their purchase ➣ They went into the negotiation. but drop out of the bidding at their budget limit of 2.800. Next day they buy the modern suite and have enough left in their budget to purchase new crockery and cutlery in time for the visit of their guests. but we can’t afford to pin our hopes on placing the winning bid. It’s an antique. but kept to their strategy and stopped at their budget limit 71 . Let’s have a look around and see what else is available. ‘But why do we need more furniture?’ ‘Your family are all coming over next month. it does look rather smart. We need a larger table and it would be good to have a set of matching chairs.’ Then Rosemary could reply: ‘Yes. you’re quite right. Rather than take a decision there and then. they still go to the auction. and that old table is too small to seat all of us. why don’t we go along and bid for this?’ ‘I agree.’ That weekend they go round the furniture stores and find a good modern suite for 1.000. and at that price it would be an investment. Establishing alternative solutions Let’s rewind the conversation: ‘This looks good. I agree that it would be good to have a quality antique.’ she replies.000. The estimated price is 1.500–2. we must get a new table before the parents arrive.

you have to be creative and know precisely why you are going into the negotiation in the first place. they had made a clear distinction in their minds and they were not attached to a particular solution to the problem. How is about your Walk-Away Option: How will you proceed if the negotiation fails? At the beginning of this chapter you looked at Tork and Grunt and their decision that they should all live together. It was not specifically to purchase the antique suite that they saw at the salerooms. Why is about Motivation: Why do you want to have this negotiation? 3. they had a valid alternative if their bid at auction failed. Even though they liked this. When is about Timing: When do you need to have this negotiation? 2. Where and How. you are keen to determine your ‘bottom line’ or ‘final offer’ but you do not always ensure that you have established your Walk-Away Option. which was to buy a new dining suite. They hurried back to break the news to their shocked families and it 72 . What.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ➣ They achieved their objective of having the furniture – and the bonus of new crockery and cutlery – in time for the visit of their guests The point about this example is that Robert and Rosemary were clear about what they wanted. when you think about negotiation. Where is about Flexibility: Where can you be flexible and where will you be rigid about concessions? 5. Often. and decided it would be an investment. Following the Rules of Preparation You can summarize the process of preparation into five questions which help you to focus on the areas you need to think about before you get down to discussions. What is about Results: What are the outcomes you want to achieve? 4. Most importantly. To do this. down in the valley. These are easily remembered as When. Why. 1.

1.’ ‘Suppose we got a crowd of us together and tried to separate them. There’s no point in hanging around – I’ll go and tell everyone to pack up.’ ‘That’s always dangerous when there are two of them. The issue was important but improving matters was not a matter of urgency. over by the mountain. it could work.’ Tork replied: ‘Sounds good to me.’ Grunt smiled: ‘And I’ll tell my people to make room for you and your relations. You will remember one of their conversations in Part One: ‘Seen any mammoths today?’ ‘I saw two together.’ Analyzing what Tork and Grunt decided What could they have done differently? Now examine the situation. Mind you. using the five rules of preparation. and we can all live together? When we’re running low on food we’ll get everyone together and go off hunting.’ ‘Yes. we’d have to work closely together.KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT looked as if that idea was a non-starter. why don’t you and your people move down in the valley. What do you think?’ ‘If we involved all our people who can run fast. 73 .’ ‘But then we could have enough food for all of us. the trouble is that if you manage to get one then the other can come on after you. Timing: Tork and Grunt had an ongoing problem but they had lived with it for years.’ This is how their conversation continued: ‘So. then we could limit the risk.

3. ➣ What they did: although Tork and Grunt were laid back about the idea of living together. hunting ability. ➣ What they did: they planned to have the two communities living together ➣ Third mistake: they had never tried working together and could not know whether hunting together would work – let alone the idea of living together Flexibility: They both wanted a fair share of the hunt. 5. ➣ What they did: they decided they would live together and hunt as a combined group. they saw it only from their own point of view. They did not consider either of these areas in any detail Walk-Away Option: There was none! ➣ What they did: they went ahead and agreed on the plan.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS 2. leaving themselves without any option to think it through and consult the others ➣ Fifth mistake: by doing this. or any other criteria ➣ Fourth mistake: hunting together would mean establishing new rules and procedures that everyone could agree on. 4. they would probably later lose face with each other and lose the respect of their own communities if they were subsequently forced to back down 74 . they did not establish whether this should be on the basis of numbers. then share the food they trapped ➣ Second mistake: hunting together did not mean they necessarily had to live together Results: They wanted to hunt together – and share the spoils. and did not take into account the opinions of all the other people involved. They thought this would work well if they combined their living arrangements. ➣ What they did: they acted impulsively and took a major decision without considering all the implications ➣ First mistake: they didn’t need to rush into a decision Motivation: Both groups had a difficult and dangerous way of life and wanted to find an easier way to have enough food. gender. seniority. Living together would mean embracing major changes and readjustments. As for sharing out the food.

KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT Five simple questions set the basis for change To summarize the mistakes that Tork and Grunt made: ➣ They made a quick decision when there was no urgency to change the existing situation ➣ The solution they decided on went much further than was necessary ➣ They had no idea whether the idea they proposed would work in practice ➣ There was no pressure to agree on the first idea they came up with since they had the ongoing option of continuing as they had in the past ➣ They were left without any face-saving option if either their own or the other community rejected their proposal 75 .

it could work. Timing: ‘Well. you can see that lack of forethought and inadequate preparation can back-fire on the negotiators. Now assume that Tork and Grunt have done their preparation and approach the negotiation more carefully. Results: ‘We could try hunting together.’ 3. there’s no rush to change things.’ 2.’ ‘How could that work?’ ‘There’s a lot to discuss.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS From this simple example. covering the five areas of preparation: 1. and we’re each going to have to talk to our people about it before we go ahead. we’d have to work closely together.’ ‘But then we could have enough food for all of us. Mind you. it’s been this way for years and both our communities have survived up to now. then we could limit the risk. This is how the conversation might continue: ‘Suppose we got a crowd of us together and tried to separate the mammoths. whether it should be divided equally or whether some people should have a larger share than others. the outcome and the prospect of resolving the issue at a later stage. Motivation: ‘Life here is a struggle.’ 76 . to see if we can work well together and find out whether we can develop a new joint strategy. it would be good if we did not need to spend so much time out hunting.’ Then their conversation could have continued. you know. What do you think?’ ‘If we involved all our people who can run fast. Flexibility: ‘We will have to decide how the food should be shared.’ 4.

You can do this by making sure you know the answers to five questions: Considering your position When When must you finalize this. what is your timescale? Why Why are you negotiating – what is the background? What What do you ideally want to get out of this? Where How Where can you be flexible and where must you be rigid? How will you proceed if the negotiation fails. Maybe later we might even move together into one big settlement. Walk-Away Option: ‘If it doesn’t work out and our people can’t get on together. what is your WAO? Now you are prepared … but what about the other side? 77 . then we can always go back to the way things are at the moment.’ 5.KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT ‘We need to talk to our people and see whether they are willing to try it as an experiment. you need to be prepared.’ Summary Before you enter into a negotiation. is it urgent.

’ 78 .’ Tork shouted. and see if the other party agrees to this course of action. Often that’s the way people announce a decision: they simply say what they are proposing without having considered what the other party might think. and subsequently the only way to repair the damage was to start the negotiation all over again. He jeopardized the project by rushing in without any preparation. everyone. rethinking the way he presented the proposition that he and Grunt had initially rushed into. What is the best way to start a negotiation? You could just state what it is that you want to do. and certainly without leaving an opportunity for discussion. he was surprised to find that his family did not share his enthusiasm for the project.5 Establishing what the other side wants Why don’t you want what I want? When Tork spoke to the community about the plans to combine their living arrangements. ‘We are going to join forces with the people who live on the other side of the valley and work together to trap mammoths. Tork and Grunt both told their colleagues what they proposed to do in cold factual terms: ‘Listen. We’re going to live with them as one big community.

79 .’ Imagine the reaction of the family groups. In the same way. people are more interested in the effects of the changes than in the detail of the changes themselves. Whereas people may always say they want a better life. benefits alone are rarely sufficient reason for people to accept the proposals.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS Meanwhile. In classical sales language. When an organizational change is being negotiated. the two parties may put a different value on the amount agreed depending on their personal circumstances. you need to explain and demonstrate to the other party the benefits of the course of action you are proposing. smiled broadly and announced: ‘The people up on the mountain are going to come down here and live with us. because people resist the upheaval of change. when you instigate a negotiation. When you were considering the way people look at the elements of a negotiation. Grunt sat down with his family group. The detail – the mechanics and logistics of the change – are very much secondary to seeing what the advantages are. they are more interested in ‘Benefits’ than they are in ‘Features’. The only thing that truly motivates them to risk the uncertainty of making changes is when they are significantly dissatisfied with their lot and strongly concerned about specific issues. Here was a proposal to make a fundamental change to the living arrangements. such as the change in living arrangements that Tork and Grunt have in mind. apparently on a whim and with no thought to the social and organizational upheaval this would represent. you saw that people put different values on different aspects of the benefits package. The immediate reaction of the two groups was similar: ‘Why should we want to move?’ When someone suggests making changes. the reality is that they are generally quite contented to let things stay as they are. Even if the transaction is purely financial.

they are rarely welcomed with open arms. this garden is a real mess. I think we should extend the paving and have a proper patio. You could lay the paving and fix the decking. We’re away quite a few weekends in summer and we manage at the moment with the garden furniture and our old barbecue. and now that the weather is improving it has got to be sorted out. It shouldn’t be too expensive. acquisitions and takeovers. than if it simply promises improvement. you know. I think it would be an awful lot of work and quite expensive. When companies go through mergers. People are most likely to react favourably when a proposal counteracts an inconvenience or eliminates a problem. Then we should build some decking so it looks tidy and less of an eyesore.’ 80 . I don’t think it would be extravagant. Robert and Rosemary are facing a decision about their garden. Rosemary makes the mistake of negotiating without thinking about the reaction her proposal might have from Robert. ‘Robert. Even though the changes are always presented as improvements to the previous organizational structure. Another tactic is to highlight an opportunity that is particularly appealing to the other party.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS They are more likely to accept change if it promises to remove something they dislike.’ Robert looks up from the sports section of his newspaper: ‘I’m not sure we would get much use out of it. Firstly.’ ‘But Rosie. there is usually resistance to the changes. that’s a major project we’re talking about here …’ ‘Well. when government departments go through re-organization and when new staff members join any organization. if we don’t tidy up the garden then we certainly can’t have your new boss round for drinks or for dinner.’ ‘I don’t think it need cost too much. The most effective way to gain acceptance of such developments is by highlighting a number of difficult issues and suggesting that the changes may resolve the problems these create. Here.

If we did that then you could have a proper built-in barbecue area. Outdoor entertaining is very informal and laid-back. I’d like to show our new house to some of the guys from the Golf Club. And you’re right. Then Robert realizes the picture is not quite right … ‘We will need some more outdoor furniture. Robert has created the opportunity for Rosemary to introduce her ideas: ‘You know. in the idea of entertaining in the garden of their new home.. Robert.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS Rosemary has a vision of sitting out in the summer enjoying her glass of wine and a barbecue with the children. All Robert can see is either a substantial price-tag or himself working weekends as a garden designer and contractor. Suppose Rosemary had focused on the benefits to Robert and approached things slightly differently: ‘Won’t it be lovely when we can sit out in the garden in the summer? Perhaps you could have your new boss round and entertain some of your golfing friends. Robert. and that garden needs sorting out.. Then Rosemary moves on to emphasize the value to Robert: ‘We could have a barbecue when the weather gets warmer.’ At this point.’ Immediately. Do you like the idea?’ ‘Yes.’ Again. it is time you met my new boss . she highlights the benefit to Robert – a proper built-in barbecue area – which leads him on to think about the practicalities of the idea: 81 . It’s such a mess and it’s a lot to maintain.’ She is painting a picture of Robert enjoying the benefits of an improved garden as he demonstrates his culinary skills to his boss and his friends. Robert sees significant benefit to himself. the garden would be a lot more manageable if we put down some more paving. I can’t let them see it the way it is now. You know how people always love your barbecued chicken.

In this example. If we don’t do this then we are in danger of starvation. allowing him then to take ownership of the project. neither of them focused initially on the difficulties that beset their communities. In the first conversation Robert saw Rosemary planning to spend money on the garden and him having to work hard in his leisure time. Let’s go down to the garden centre this afternoon and get some ideas. it can’t be that difficult to put down paving slabs.’ and then moves straight on to instigating action while Robert is in complete agreement and before he changes his mind. Robert is so keen on the idea that he is prepared to give up some of his leisure time to turn the dream into reality: ‘Well. So. In the second conversation. Rosie. He would have gained their 82 .TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘We could only put down a small area of paving because the ground is too uneven.’ By this time. not only has Rosemary let Robert identify both the problem and the solution. Robert saw himself entertaining his buddies. Maybe I could do some of it and that would keep the cost down.’ ‘I love the idea but I am not sure we could afford all of that. These landscape contractors charge a lot for paving.’ In this way he would have focused the minds of his community on a real problem that needed urgent action. the immediate reaction was: ‘Why do we have to move?’ Tork could have started by saying: ‘We must find a way to increase our supply of food. When Tork and Grunt tried to communicate their new ideas.’ ‘I would like you to be able to entertain your boss properly. But then we could lead from the paved area to some decking where the land slopes down. she has also let him come up with the idea without her even mentioning it. That would save the back-breaking job of mowing all that grass.’ Finally. Rosemary reiterates the key benefit to Robert: ‘to be able to entertain your boss properly.

Alternatively. in-laws and all his relations look at him quizzically. sisters. everyone. tracking and chasing. and it doesn’t provide us with enough to eat. clean water?’ asks his wife. excited about the news he has for the family: ‘Gather round. provided they agreed that there was a real problem. and come across to join him. uncles. ‘Have you found a new spring of good. I never meet anyone.’ Tork’s sister joins in the conversation: ‘It would be wonderful if we weren’t so isolated up here. out there hunting day after day. living up here on the hillside. Tork and Grunt could have started by listening to what their community thought about their general situation before explaining what they had in mind. It’s tough on you. Suppose Tork had taken this approach: Tork rushes back to the cave. they would have listened to his proposals. I think I have found an answer to some of the problems we have. brother.’ His wife. but there just aren’t enough of us to get organized. If only there was some way to increase the supply. there’s something important I want to talk about. and I would love to see some new faces.’ 83 . I think I have found a way that we can all live more comfortably and not need to work so hard. the negotiations might have gone very differently. ‘It would be so much easier if we didn’t have that long climb back up here every time we go to fetch water.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS attention and. aunts. I know how hard it is for you Tork. If they had done this.’ Tork’s father sighs and rubs his stomach hungrily: ‘There’s always a worry about food.

The location of the settlement was some distance from a source of drinking water. The community was isolated and lacked social connections. There was a problem with the food supply. 3. In the original example. 2. 84 . whereas in fact he has now come up with a potential solution to what would appear to be three of his community’s major concerns. Tork had been thinking only about the third problem area. Tork presented the outcome he envisaged (living with the neighbours in the valley) without first explaining the problems they had and the way that he saw his solution would overcome these.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Tork focuses on the key issues Here are three issues which were all problematic: 1.

You saw the importance of the five questions which need asking before you get into the negotiation itself: ➣ When: When must you finalize this.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS Even if he had started off by talking about the food problem and the hardship of hunting alone. you looked at the initial preparation for a negotiation. you look at the information about the other side that would be useful in your negotiation: ➣ When: How urgent is this for them? When must they finalize this? Do they have a fixed timescale and does the timing work to your advantage? ➣ What: What do they ideally want to get out of this. and what can they offer you? ➣ Why: Why should they agree with your ideas – and why should they not? What’s going on inside their heads? Is there a hidden agenda? ➣ Where: Where are they willing to be flexible? What is important to them and where are they rigid? Do they and you have different critical factors? ➣ How: How strong are they? How far can they push their argument? What are their options if the negotiation fails? 85 . he would have been arguing primarily from his own personal point of view. If Tork had let his colleagues have their say and let them reveal their hopes and fears. This time. rather than from the standpoint of the whole community. In the last chapter. what is your timescale? ➣ Why: What is the background to this negotiation? ➣ What: What do you ideally want to get out of this? ➣ Where: Where can you be flexible and where must you be rigid? ➣ How: How will you proceed if the negotiation fails? In this chapter. he could then have presented his arguments in a way that addressed these concerns and demonstrated how these problems would be alleviated. is it urgent. you consider the same five areas in a slightly different order.

You saw a good example of this in Rosemary’s decision to get Robert down to the garden centre to look at paving and decking as soon as he had reacted positively to her ideas.’ Take as much time as you need to make the right decision. even more important … when are the wrong times? As a general rule. When is the right time for you to negotiate? 2. One is the importance of choosing the right time to negotiate. implement it swiftly. Negotiation is not just about what you say and how you say it. The other is appreciating whether or not timing is important from your own point of view and from the point of view of the other party. When is the right time? Throughout this book you will come back to two things. you need to think from both points of view and to consider four critical timings: 1. Timing does not rely on eloquence or argument. Once again. As far as the other party is concerned. the most important factor is to be aware of the differences between what you find important and what the other side considers important. When things are delayed they tend to revert to the way they were before. As far as you are concerned. it is critically about when you negotiate and when you intend to conclude the negotiation and implement the agreement. To quote the Scandinavian proverb: ‘Make haste slowly.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS In all of these areas. Timing is ultimately common sense and is dependent only on the ability to be sensitive to the other person’s thoughts and feelings. when would be the right time to implement the agreement? And. When is the right time for the other party to negotiate? 3. when would be the right time to implement the agreement? 4. but once it is made. of course. Even if the decision is to implement 86 . you want to commence implementing an agreement promptly after the negotiation is completed.

But there just aren’t enough of us to get organized. over a long period. You need to remember precisely what it is that 87 .ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS changes slowly. This gives Tork the opportunity to use their declared problems as the basis for what he is about to propose. there’s something very important I want to talk about. he is encouraging them to come up with the idea he and Grunt have already considered: the possibility of living and working together. and I would love to see some new faces. As you see.’ Tork’s father sighs and rubs his stomach hungrily: ‘There’s always a worry about food.’ In addition to Tork’s prime concern – food supplies – they mention water supplies and social connections as being major issues for them. If only there was some way to increase the supply. I never meet anyone.’ Tork’s sister joins in the conversation: ‘It would be wonderful if we weren’t so isolated up here. Tork introduces the discussion by stimulating their curiosity and imagination: ‘Gather round. What’s it all about? In his alternative approach. He could continue by saying: ‘What could we do that would give us a more secure supply of food. they come right out and tell Tork exactly what they are unhappy about: ‘It would be so much easier if we didn’t have that long climb back up here every time we go to fetch water. I think I have found an answer to some of the problems we have. living up here on the hillside. it is important to start the agreed programme once the negotiation is completed. members of the community will be thinking about their own particular problems. everyone.’ Immediately they hear this. and easier access to water?’ In doing this.

However. Other people see things differently. Of course. and why not! If you have prepared your negotiation well. Do you want the kudos of having come up with the idea. Grunt sits down with his family group. smiles broadly and announces: ‘The people up on the mountain are going to come down here and live with us. One turns to the other with a look of shock and dismay on her face: 88 . as Rosemary did with Robert. You also need to work out what false ideas they might have about the reasons for your ideas. Where the other party suggests an idea. if you cannot manoeuvre the other party into initiating it. They have their own perspective. who both have teenage daughters.’ His two sisters. When you face the other side in a negotiation. But when it comes to this stage.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS you want out of this negotiation. but also to your final objective and all that is entailed in achieving that final objective. Look at how Grunt’s sisters react to his ideas. you need to try and work out what their reaction to your proposal will be before you present it. Why. or do you want to see the changes happen? It is often easier to achieve the desired outcome if you can lead the other party into coming up with the idea themselves. you can prepare yourself for logical arguments that respond to the thought process you have been following. you must be prepared for a reaction that is quite unrelated to the way you see the issue. You may have to swallow your pride – but it is a powerful and effective strategy when applied skilfully. it already has their endorsement. you know what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. exchange sly glances. you must try to work out what their likely reaction will be – not only to negotiating.

For this reason. This is their prime concern in all aspects of their daily lives. Frequently they are not directly related to the negotiation itself. In this instance. and are often connected to personal. your first thought must be to consider what are the prime concerns of the other side.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS Men don’t always see women’s point of view ‘Well. don’t you? They want our daughters!’ People often have prime concerns which affect their reaction to any proposed changes. you know what those mountain men are after. with the knowledge 89 . when you approach a negotiation and are confident that your timing is appropriate. the women’s first thought could well be to consider how the changes and upheaval would affect their children. cultural or religious considerations. even if Grunt had been far more careful in the way he made his initial introductions.

However. if they are serious negotiators. Even a stalled negotiation can open up and move forward once you start to be creative and look for additional options. Not just a price limit at which the negotiation collapses but an alternative. agreed position – the existence of some major problems with living in a small group on the mountain – towards his proposal for a solution. wanting to strike the 90 . there are frequently other issues which may be of little interest to you. as in the case of Grunt’s sisters and his teenage nieces.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS that they may be totally unrelated to the issue you are seeking to resolve. His clear intention is to align his position with theirs and then move from a common. and where would they go? Assuming you have prepared yourself well. where Tork is addressing his community and highlighting the hardships of living on the mountain. you can see how he is attempting to address what he sees as the prime concerns of his community. which will be a different route either towards achieving the same overall objective or else at least avoiding an unfavourable outcome. your cautious course of action would be to imagine yourself in their position. a ‘Plan B’. In the second example. but are critically important to the other party. It will be greatly to your advantage if you can get some idea of what they are thinking. Similarly. Where can you negotiate? It is important to know where you are prepared to negotiate and where your position is fixed. so that you know where you can manoeuvre. you will have a ‘walkaway option’ clear in your mind. How far can you push them. When you are talking about a straight financial transaction. The other side. you would think that both sides would place an equal value on the deal. If you have no clear idea about this. you need to find out the same points for the other party. will probably have done the same.

If Robert had come back and reconsidered his objections in the light of this. Robert’s boss cannot be entertained. whether it is you or they who decide that no more concessions can be made and that what is on the table is the best and final offer which can be achieved. 91 . Let’s suppose you are negotiating a distributorship agreement for your products in a territory. As you will see. the length of the agreement. this is not a safe strategy and can back-fire with serious consequences if your bluff is called. Rosemary’s ‘Plan B’ is that if the garden is not to be improved. A good ‘Plan B’ is a real walk-away option that you genuinely propose to carry through if negotiations break down. One of the main reasons why pressure can be dangerous is that you may not be aware of all the options available to the other party. and you might find yourself back again at the negotiating table. or even hours. Both parties have a number of options apart from a straightforward deal. of Rosemary’s plans for the garden. there is always the possibility that critical factors may change within a matter of days. You need to be ready with your own walk-away options. In their shoes. The next section of the book looks at the tactics of using bluff and threats to force the other side to move. the minimum performance requirements and so forth. there is a chance that her plans would have gone ahead. Even if you are unable to reach a decision at the moment. A strong ‘Plan B’ can often be a lever which persuades the other party to reconsider their position. what would you have plotted as your ‘Plan B?’ In the first example. Both parties could be considering a number of variables such as the method and level of remuneration. Robert might have started to compromise and negotiate a simplified version of Rosemary’s plans for the garden.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS best deal for yourself. Both parties could be negotiating with other potential partners. Just remember that a negotiation is always taking place in the context of the current situation. and things may change overnight. In this instance.

Can they make enough to go round? Enlarging the pie Negotiators sometimes say they are sharing a pie. 92 . Through the When. Where and How of the negotiation you are constantly looking for ways to create more options. Why.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS If you do not bear this in mind. you may have to make significant concessions to rebuild the relationship – should you find yourself back in negotiation at a later date. and end a meeting with angry words. and that this pie is a fixed size. What. This is the process that expert negotiators use to find their win-win solutions. demonstrate alternative solutions and find opportunities to bridge the gap between you and the other party. so nobody can increase their share without someone else losing.

but what do they want. what are they thinking and is there a hidden agenda? What What do you ideally want to get out of this? You know what you want to get out of this. is it urgent. what is your timescale? When is the right time for both parties in terms of talking about this and putting it into effect? Why Why are you negotiating – what is the background? Why would they not agree. what is your WAO? How far can you push them. here is a summary of the key points for both sides: Considering your position Considering both positions When must you finalize this. and what can they offer you? Where Where can you be flexible and where must you be rigid? Where are they willing to be flexible. how strong are they and what are their options if the negotiation fails? When 93 . and are the same things important to both parties? How How will you proceed if the negotiation fails.ESTABLISHING WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS Before you consider ways of increasing the size of the pie.

In the example of Wizpa and Chat arguing about sharing the mammoth. The cartoon at the end of the last chapter showed Grunt looking very concerned at the prospect of having to share the pie between five hungry people when he had divided it into four portions. Some will benefit one party more than another but some may actually benefit both parties without diminishing the benefit to either one of them. Sometimes you are so focused on the first idea you come up with. that you never consider the possibility of any alternatives. I can let you have it back tomorrow. Tork?’ he says. The reality is that most negotiations have many possible solutions. the reality was that their demands were perfectly compatible: Chat wanted the meat to eat while Wizpa wanted the skin and bones to make clothing and tools.6 Information and opportunities Creating choices There is usually more than one solution to a problem.’ 94 . Let’s eavesdrop on the subsequent conversation: Grunt looks up apprehensively as Tork approaches: ‘Can I help you. ‘I was wondering if we could borrow your pie dish as ours is broken.

Sometimes everybody gets what they want Even when a negotiation is purely financial. he just wanted to borrow the dish the pie was in. In 95 .INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES Sometimes the ‘pie’ is bigger than it looks. In this case Tork did not want any part of the pie itself. there may be other issues apart from the price tag: ➣ Extended credit payment terms or cash discount ➣ Delivered and installed or cash-and-carry ➣ Extended warranty or ‘sold-as-seen’ ➣ Basic specification or with ‘optional extras’ Making a bigger pie The smart way to prepare for a negotiation is to start by working out all the alternative packages which could be up for discussion.

They talk to an estate agent and are told that repainting the exterior and tidying up the garden would certainly make the house look more attractive and help it to sell. George and Mary reckon they could afford to spend 5. George and Mary want to sell their house but they know it needs smartening up if they are to achieve the best price and sell quickly. We can only afford 5.000 to the market valuation simply by installing a fairly basic new kitchen. To put it another way. Let’s consider this example. However. if they really want to maximize the price they achieve. then turns to the sales consultant: ‘We are planning to move this summer and we want to do this so we can get the best price when we sell. they could add 15. and when do you plan to put the house on the market?’ 96 . they will look at the detail of the proposal rather than consider the end objective the other party wishes to achieve. How could we save on these plans?’ The consultant sees an opportunity and puts the plans on one side for a moment. people are often blind to the variety of alternative options that could be discussed.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS other words.000 and talk to a couple of specialist kitchen companies.000. Their eyes will scan down to the price tag and they will focus on negotiating around the price. where both parties end up with a larger slice of a bigger pie. twice what they have planned to spend. ‘When do you want to have the kitchen installed. you increase the size of the pie before you start to calculate the size of the portions. The first proposal works out at 10.000. Obvious as this may seem. But the second company produces an attractive layout which would work out at a total price of 7.000. George looks at Mary nervously.

‘So. rather than the basic design we have been 97 . doesn’t it?’ The consultant nods sympathetically.INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES ‘We’d like to go ahead as quickly as possible – in the next few weeks – and then we’ll put the house on the market once we’ve finished decorating.’ The consultant looks at her calendar. We want to be settled in our new place for the summer.000–18. then explains: ‘My point is this: a house in your part of town. From your address. knowing she is about to clinch a goodsized sale.000 to your valuation.’ Mary responds quickly: ‘Yes. yes. If you place your order for that range before next weekend. that would be around the beginning of April. I can see you live in an up-and-coming part of town. Everything costs so much money. In fact. But what has that got to do with the cost of the new kitchen?’ The consultant smiles. I would imagine that a new kitchen would add at least 15. You’ll be able to settle up when you have the proceeds from the house sale. The sooner the better. ‘Well. You will have sold the house well within that time.000 budget. don’t you think?’ George looks puzzled. ‘The point is that we have a special promotion this month on our Geneva range of kitchen units. I would think it’s realistic in the present buoyant market conditions. what with all the costs of decorating and generally sprucing up the place. will probably sell before September. I’m sure it will. so you won’t need to touch your savings to pay for the kitchen. but we need to make as much profit as possible on our sale so that we don’t overstretch ourselves buying our new home. we can offer you interest-free credit for six months. smartly presented with a really beautiful kitchen. We simply cannot afford to lay out more than our 5.

Everybody wins because the kitchen consultant established that the motivation for George and Mary was not to spend their savings and create a beautiful kitchen they could enjoy themselves. When a simple negotiation about a straightforward transaction starts. so the kitchen becomes a major selling feature. What do you think?’ George and Mary need little persuading. This increases the market valuation of their home by over 25.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS considering for your house. specific and to the point: ‘How big is your kitchen?’ ‘What styles can you offer?’ ‘What appliances do you want?’ 98 . The consultant explored the options. which proved to be too small for even a basic renovation. I would suggest we look at something rather more luxurious. The power of questions Questions can work for you or against you. How did this happen? In essence all this came about because the consultant asked questions.000. you will see that when they went into the negotiation they were focused on the fact that they had allocated a budget of 5. but to make an investment in their property in order to increase the profit on the sale of their home. The questions are direct. In establishing the motivation behind the action she could produce a deal that directly addressed their needs.000. and when Mary told her that they were planning to move within the coming months. Both parties get a larger slice of a bigger pie. she knew she could make a proposal that would not only conserve their bank balance. upgrade their ideas and invest 10. They seize the opportunity. it would also both give her a bigger sale and give them a larger profit.000. Looking back. it is a formal process of responding to enquiries with factual information.

This gave her the opportunity to increase the value of any sale she made.INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES ‘How soon can you deliver?’ When the questions go beyond immediate issues and start to involve other related factors. but if they come too close they both threaten and in turn are themselves threatened. talk moves on to chatting and the exchange becomes less formal. From that analysis you see there was a clear common objective. Sheila. you start to see a development in the nature of the interaction. For Sheila. 99 . it also arouses fear on both sides. When this happens. If they are too far apart they cannot communicate. wanted to make a sale. The way to remove this threat is by transforming the relationship into a partnership in which both sides are working towards a common objective. What was not immediately clear was that each party had a hidden agenda. After the initial formality of an exchange of information. they put up a barrier that keeps them apart. By understanding the feelings of the other party you can stimulate a real dialogue which moves both parties towards the outcome both parties want. In the end. the process itself has to be a compromise. Uncovering this agenda created a better result for both parties. the hidden agenda was that the company was running a special promotion on the Geneva range of kitchen units. George and Mary wanted to buy. One positive development is relationship-building. and thus increase the value of her commission. They are caught by a need to bring down the barriers so they can negotiate. and the consultant. and while this creates warmth between them. You remember the old warning: ‘Don’t get too close or they’ll take advantage of you. They also know what they must have as a bare minimum and what they want to avoid at all costs. the parties start to develop an emotional connection. Both parties know what they ideally want as the outcome of the negotiation.’ Whenever two parties start a negotiation. and a need to keep up their defences so that they protect their interests.

she was instead curious to know why Sheila had asked the question.000–18. George and Mary would probably have moved on. This could have worked to her disadvantage. Lawyers always advise their junior colleagues: ‘When you are in court. when Sheila commented: ‘I would imagine that a new kitchen would add at least 15. you always risk revealing more of your position than you need to.000 to your valuation …’ Mary might have taken offence at a comment about their personal affairs. Whether you are asking questions or making comments. the active party automatically sides with the passive party. or asking questions to which you already know the answer. except to the extent that it was of interest to George and Mary. since Sheila then knew it would not matter whether or not the units were particularly longlasting. never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer. Without any perceptible change in tone. Similarly. In order to broaden the discussion. She said nothing about her particular interest in selling the Geneva range. Before you start asking any questions in the course of a negotiation. This tactic is often effective in negotiation: making statements with which the other side will agree. you must think through what the answers could be. Sheila used a proven tactic of making a statement with which she knew George and Mary would agree. George and Mary were mainly concerned only with outward appearances. both parties are now on the same side of the negotiating table. When Mary told Sheila: ‘We are planning to move this summer …’ Mary revealed her position. the hidden agenda was that they were investing in improving their home so they could increase the profit they would make when they put it on the market. Fortunately.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS For George and Mary. In doing this.’ It is very 100 . and even if there were any complaints or quality issues in a year or so. Sheila was very careful in the questions she asked.

You cannot just blurt out your thoughts without considering several possible outcomes: ➣ What will your question or comment reveal about you or your position? ➣ Will it change the other party’s opinion of you.INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES important that when you ask questions you are aware that there is a delicate balance between pulling the parties closer together and pushing them further apart. How much information do you need to share in order to get the result you want? Look at what Sheila told George and Mary about the Geneva promotion: she only mentioned the six months interest-free purchase deal. 101 . of course. and if so. how? ➣ Will it force the other party to adopt a firm position and reduce their flexibility? ➣ Will their reaction or response be positive or negative? When in doubt. Whenever you talk. possibly because it was rather old-fashioned or maybe it had a minor design fault. With the increased dissemination of information through investigative journalism. proactive media. wait for the other side to do the talking. Perhaps the range was being discontinued. the Internet. satellite communications and. you have access to limitless quantities of information and disinformation. you must remember that it can be just as easy to sabotage the outcome as it is to achieve what you want. This is the central question of this chapter: how much information should you share when you negotiate? Recognize the value of information You live in a society with communication policies pulling in opposite directions. It would not have been in her interest to reveal any of these factors in her negotiation with George and Mary. Perhaps Sheila received an extra bonus each time she sold the Geneva range.

So far in this section. What the other party needs to know in order to negotiate with you. despite this openness in everyday life. Controlling a negotiation is all about controlling the balance of information. you must ensure that you all agree on what the boundaries are.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS On the other hand. most government departments and commercial operations run on a strict policy of Need to Know. 102 . Information is power. You now need to find a way of agreeing with the other side about whether the solution is acceptable to both parties. you maintain control and must remember that you are ‘thinking outside the box’ – exploring all the possible options. What you are prepared to divulge in addition to this in the course of negotiation. you need to be clear in your own mind about this. details you might reveal under certain circumstances. You reveal less while encouraging the other side to reveal more. When you are negotiating alone. You can have soft borders between these categories. and you can control the balance of power by what you choose to say and by what you choose to leave unsaid. In this situation. If you are part of a negotiating team. 2. You need to agree how you will agree. What information you will hold back and not reveal under any circumstances. you talk less. In your preparation for a negotiation. This is where careful questioning becomes the vital tool. As the questioner. Government or corporate employees are told only what they need to know in order to do their work. and so forth. This sounds complicated but it is in fact straightforward. 3. you should classify the information into three categories: 1. with headings such as information you absolutely must disclose. evaluating what the other side wants and expanding the options and opportunities. you have looked at putting together your own case.

INFORMATION AND OPPORTUNITIES Summary: ➣ Information is power ➣ Look for a hidden agenda ➣ Ask questions to uncover motivation ➣ Probe to reveal additional information ➣ Categorize your information and be strategic in the way you disclose it 103 .

Now look at the last of the six points listed above.7 Establishing a measurable way of judging the outcome Rules are rules When you looked at ‘How do you handle this?’ back in Chapter Three. You explore possible solutions. 4. You define the issues. You identify the desired outcome. In Chapter Six you considered how they might find answers which satisfied both sides by being creative in the way they explored alternative options. You set the scene. 5. 104 . you set out the process of Directional Negotiation: 1. In Chapter Five you looked at how Tork and Grunt might prepare themselves for what the other side might be looking for. 6. You establish how you evaluate the various options. In Chapters Two and Three you had already looked at positions and issues and in Chapter Four you considered what Tork and Grunt wanted to get out of the negotiation. 3. 2. Consider how you can measure whether any of the solutions you are evaluating actually meets the objectives of both sides. You acknowledge the position of both yourself and the other party.

ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME What tends to happen is that. how do you resolve this? Sometimes. In Chapter Three. What is needed in advance of a negotiation is an agreement on what will constitute an acceptable outcome. but in fact they never agreed on detailed objective criteria in their negotiation. Generally speaking. a verbal contract is not worth the paper it’s not written on! Lip-reading is for mime-artists and mind-reading is for psychics! But there is not always enough time to draw up a document that clarifies everything. As they negotiated it became clear that while Chat wanted the meat for food. At the end of the example it looked as if the matter was resolved. It comes back once again to different perspectives. one party thinks a negotiation is over and an acceptable solution has been reached – only to find that the other party does not agree. having discovered what Wizpa wants: ‘What about the carcass? Once you’ve skinned it you’ll have enough fur to keep you warm. before you start talking. Wizpa and Chat were arguing over the carcass of a mammoth. This can be dangerous. You need objective criteria against which you can judge what has happened. Look at what happened as they tried to cooperate: Chat has been trying to work out a solution. all Wizpa wanted were the fur and the bones to make clothing and tools. you rely on your interpretation or ‘reading’ of the arrangement. Otherwise you may end up in the sort of mess that Wizpa and Chat got themselves into. 105 . and the way in which people see things differently. What about all that meat? There’s too much there for your group to eat and we like to eat meat. You need ‘rules’ that really are ‘rules’ so there is no misunderstanding.’ Wizpa looks for a further deal. when you think you have an agreement. because the only sort of reading that is reliable in a negotiation is to read what is written down. as you shall now see. So.

’ Chat is surprised.’ The conversation continues. For Chat. But why do you want the bones?’ Wizpa shakes her head in disbelief. She attacks her half of the carcass and hacks the meat into big joints.’ The two cavewomen start work. ‘Right then. To start with. The ‘rules’ they have agreed on are too vague and imprecise. smashing and splintering the bones as she does so. we’ll have the meat and you can have the skin and bones. Wizpa carefully slices the meat off the bones. and I’ll take the back end. The danger of misunderstandings This is an example of what happens when the criteria are not clearly established. the 106 . but unfortunately each is thinking only about her own side of the bargain. And I’ll show you how to start a fire to keep us warm. Chat smiles broadly. not about what the other party wants out of the agreement. You can start cutting up the front end. and I’ll cook some meat for us to eat – all this work will make us hungry. That’s how we catch the fish. We don’t eat that but we always need the bones. Chat doesn’t bother to remove the skin in one piece. all that mattered was butchering the carcass so there were large joints of meat. ‘If you put the meat on the fire it is very good to eat. ‘Bone is perfect for harpoons. She thinks she can see a solution. Meanwhile. on the other hand.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘The meat is tough and hard. of course. For Wizpa. leaving a heap of slivers of meat lying in the dust and dirt while she trims the bones clean.

without taking into account why they had been able to reach a deal.’ 107 . Here is the dilemma that Jack and Jill faced when they were planning to move after selling their house to Robert and Rosemary. and was fascinated by the loud tick-tock and the chimes that struck every hour. Each was focusing on what she wanted out of the bargain. you need to set non-controversial.’ Jill is particularly attached to the old clock she remembers from when it stood in her grandparents’ house. But what would we get for it? How should we sell it? And look. we’re probably moving within a month. so there is a personal connection with it. Jack and Jill are looking at the 100-year-old long-case clock that stands in their hallway. As a child she loved to stand and watch the pendulum swing steadily to and fro. When it comes to the sort of negotiation you might find yourself entering into.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME important thing was to remove the skin in one piece and then trim the bones clean. Neither Chat nor Wizpa finished up with what they wanted. This is a scenario everyone faces when they decide to sell personal possessions. I think the time has come to sell it and put the money into a new lounge suite. Many readers will be primarily concerned about financial negotiations. it just isn’t going to fit in the new place. so there’s not much time. and may be wondering how one can achieve objective criteria in agreeing on a price for a product or service. She would definitely miss the family heirloom. Jack. and is never more pertinent than when relocating and moving house. Reluctantly. They had not agreed on objective criteria that defined what they each understood the agreement to be. objective criteria so that what you get is what you wanted in the first place. my love. she agrees with her husband: ‘I know you’re right. She inherited the clock when her grandmother died. even though they thought they had agreed. Jack sighs: ‘You know.

Typically. In the case of a manufactured product. the accounts department of a company will calculate the cost based on the sum of the inputs – materials. the manufacturing costs of CDs and DVDs are a tiny fraction of the selling price. The timing issue might be avoided if Jack and Jill can enrol friends to help out with storage. The valuation is less easily resolved. cost and value are three different things. In most business.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS What are the key issues that Jack and Jill are considering in preparing for their negotiation with a potential buyer? The two main points are timing – always a fundamental consideration in any transaction – and price. and then fixes its price accordingly. or else what the market will bear. or would cost to replace today. Another consideration is the question of volume. price is fixed according to market expectations. the initial costs are amortized over a large number of units. and what principles affect the decision. labour and overheads – plus a profit margin based on the expectation of a certain volume of sales. by looking after the clock if they cannot complete the transaction before they move house. Is it worth what it cost? An obvious place to start when you fix a negotiating price is to identify what an item cost originally. Let’s consider how you can establish the value of any article. 108 . The unit production costs will be substantially higher if there is to be only a short production run. The entertainment industry approaches the price from the marketing standpoint of what the market expects. But price. What it costs to produce a DVD of a movie that has already been released around the world bears little relation to the price at which it will be sold. If a product is expected to be sold in thousands. Cost is based on actual inputs together with a forecast of anticipated sales volume revenue.

and reducing this by an allowance for depreciation. Small cars hold their value better than big cars because in the usedcar market there is more demand for small cars than for large executive cars. The item is over 100 years old. What it cost originally is simply not a consideration in fixing their notional price.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME But for Jack and Jill. with detailed calculations that take into account age and condition. and how it had been maintained. Suppose Jill had finally persuaded Jack that it was time to sell his treasured classic 1969 Mercedes 280 SL sports car. The market price does not move according to a simple percentage of depreciation or basic calculation of wear and tear. In this case. years ago. He had bought it in a shabby run-down state. So. As with the market for DVDs. Small cars in many countries tend to depreciate more slowly. quite apart from their actual cost. there would also be a market expectation of what such a car would fetch. This calculation would depend on the condition of the vehicle. What if they had been selling their four-year-old car? Would that have presented a different set of criteria? In this case. you would definitely be considering the original cost. spending the bonus cheque from his first job. in the case of a consumer product like a car. This is why car dealers will generally keep a close eye on market trends. relying on constant market analysis statistics to keep them abreast of what particular models are likely to fetch in the marketplace. there is a strong reliance on what the market will fetch rather than the simple calculation of cost and depreciation. there is no point in considering either what he paid for it or even the cost of his time and the materials he invested in renovation. And such a calculation is never simple. The 69 Mercedes 280 SL is now a collectors’ item worth tens 109 . He spent months restoring it to showroom condition and only takes it out on the road for the occasional summertime spin. its mileage. cost does not enter the equation.

rather than the local car dealer. the location or the condition of the property – but its history could affect what a vendor can expect it to fetch on the open market. just as Jill is attached to her family heirloom. 110 . you return to the factor that has recurred throughout this book: time. notoriety can detract from value. And if Jill’s clock had once chimed the hours for a famous author or composer. rather than price less depreciation. it could significantly increase the price he could ask for it. such as in the case of a property that has been the scene of violent crime or personal tragedy. When you look at pricing this beautiful roadster you are not only looking at price plus inflation. the British serial murderer. it could also add to its desirability. was demolished after his conviction and the land cleared and left as an open space. This emotional attachment adds to the value as far as Jack and Jill are each concerned.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS of thousands of dollars and the potential market is global. even though it is irrelevant to the market price of the product. You are also looking at the global market opportunity. And there is one further factor. Emotional value can add to the market price or it can detract from it. How much time do you have? Finally. Establishing value Jack is attached to his Mercedes. and so much for price – there is a much more nebulous consideration. Nothing has changed the bricks and mortar. So much for cost. The home of Fred West. In a similar. If Jack’s Mercedes had at one time been owned by a Hollywood film star. The concept of value. and the price it might demand. opposite way. There would never have been any value in a home built on that site.

depreciated or inflated. Let’s see what happens when a local antiques dealer visits their home. and let’s look at how each of the negotiating points can be confidently countered by Jill. and whether they can enter negotiations with a clear idea of what the item is worth to them. you need to prepare yourself with a number of questions before you can determine a reasonable expectation of a final settlement which will satisfy both parties: ➣ How urgently do you need to complete the negotiation. there may be no interest on the day of the auction sale and they may have to resubmit the clock at a later date. incurring additional expenses in auctioneer’s fees and storage costs. All of these considerations are absolutely valid in our attempt to define objective criteria to fix a ‘fair price’ for Jill’s heirloom. 111 . or alternatively what is the replacement cost? ➣ Are there other factors which could affect the market value of the item? ➣ Are your demands or expectations influenced by emotional considerations about the value of the item? ➣ What will the market expect to pay? – to a dealer – to the final purchaser ➣ What is the state of the market for such items? Now Jack and Jill can decide whether their expectations are realistic. The dealer then takes on the financing of the time lapse between his purchase and the eventual sale.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME Supposing Jack and Jill need to sell the clock quickly. When you enter into a buying or selling negotiation. What’s more. they can approach a negotiation with a confident attitude and from a strong bargaining position. then what was the cost. they may have the opportunity to present their clock to a number of interested dealers and perhaps some final customers as well – but equally. they may have to sell to an intermediary such as a dealer. and what the market is likely to deliver. rather than to the final customer. If they go to auction. and are there creative alternatives (such as temporary storage) which will quite literally ‘buy time’? ➣ Assuming it’s relevant.

So let’s agree on some comparables …’ 112 . but we’ve decided it won’t fit in our new home. but then you are the expert.’ The dealer glances at the clock but does not want to appear too interested: ‘It’s not an antique. I must admit it’s in good condition. because if you look carefully you can see the date: 1901. What were you expecting to get for it?’ Jill isn’t yet going to reveal she knows what it is worth: ‘Well. not a collector. This sort of piece won’t fit in with modern décor.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘This was my grandfather’s.000. I’m sure you weren’t expecting that sort of sum. He bought it after the First World War from a second-hand furniture store. It’s an heirloom. and I hate to sell it. I am very surprised that you would offer me 400 when I know that a similar clock was sold at auction in the city just three months ago for almost 4. you must know what you could expect to sell it for. What would you say it would be worth to a collector?’ ‘Well. you’re the local expert. I am prepared to offer you 400. probably early twentieth century. I need a fair mark-up if I’m to pay you and then keep it in store. You can see that this is a Winterhalder & Hofmeier.’ The dealer is confident that he can press his advantage and try to get Jill to set the price: ‘You’re absolutely right. were you?’ Jill pauses for a moment: ‘Indeed not. I’m a dealer.’ Jill has done her research but she decides to play her cards close to her chest for the moment: ‘I know it’s not particularly old. We were wondering what you would give us for it.

He started by suggesting it was ‘second-hand’ rather than antique. Jill reaches into a folder and takes out a sheaf of papers she has printed out from the websites of dealers specializing in long-case clocks. both parties knew where they stood and had objective criteria on which to base the negotiation. You can see the criteria each side has been working to. she knew he was either ignorant of the clock’s true value. but she wanted to push him into naming a starting figure. or else he was trying to get a bargain. Jill decided she would let the dealer suggest the price rather than disclose what she already knew. From now on. nor was it derived from what the clock cost. and when he said 400. he pointed out that there would be a significant margin between what he would pay for the clock and what he might expect to sell it for. Jill knew this. Up to this point. the dealer moved his negotiation sideways. she had been careful not to disclose what she knew about the true value of the clock. Finally. When is the delivery? 113 . He suggested there was a limited market for such items. At this point she came in with what she had established as her benchmark for setting a fair price: she was working on the basis of auction prices achieved recently for similar items. Setting benchmarks Let’s pause here for a moment.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME As she says this. Now he ignored the age of the clock and focused on the criteria of current market fashion and expectations. This was neither her personal valuation. What is the product or service? 2. When Jill said that the clock wouldn’t fit in with the décor of the new house. He wanted to set a ‘usedgoods’ benchmark. in the hope that he could push the price down. Her valuation was based on objective criteria which were clear historical records of fact. What is the price? 3. When a negotiation concerns a straightforward financial transaction there are generally three crucial factors involved: 1.

it could have gone differently for Wizpa and Chat … Chat smiles broadly. what objective criteria can you then use? One proposal is to cite external factors which affect both parties and are outside their individual control. These criteria might include cost price and depreciation. even if it means smashing the bones.’ Then she adds: ‘Keep the joints as big as possible. Equally.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS In a simple retail environment. they will probably reflect current market value and whether there is a need to make the sale quickly. the price is fixed. She thinks she can see a solution. To start with. ‘Right then. With a little forethought. Examples of legislative restrictions that limit your individual negotiating power would include: ➣ Employment law – in the case of a contract of employment ➣ Building regulations – in the case of construction work ➣ Health and safety legislation – in respect of either or both of the above ➣ Currency regulations – in respect of a foreign trade contract In addition to legal obligations. we’ll have the meat and you can have the skin and bones. there is no need for ‘agreed objective criteria’. Since everything is visible and tangible. You can start cutting up the front end.’ 114 . such as a service contract or a building permit. or established procedures that are always followed in particular situations. These criteria are part of contemporary retailing convention. When you are dealing with a non-standard product – as in the case of Jack and Jill with the long-case clock and the classic car – objective criteria help both parties to establish a market value for that product. the purchaser pays the price and then takes the product home. there are also common practices and conventions which affect negotiations. But what about more complex negotiations. and I’ll take the back end. The way to avoid misunderstanding and further conflict is for both parties to state clearly what the proposed solution looks like to them. the product is identified.

‘Well. realizing they will have to agree on how they handle this – otherwise. how will I make harpoons and fish hooks? I like to keep the bones as large as possible and scrape them clean. both parties can get what they want in negotiation 115 . then responds: ‘If I smash the bones. neither of them will be happy.’ Chat is surprised. Often.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME Wizpa considers Chat’s proposal. We’re not bothered about the bones because we only chuck them away!’ Wizpa pauses. that doesn’t help me. We can’t carve the bones if they are all covered in grease and gristle. We want the meat in big pieces otherwise it can’t be smoked or salted. Once they can see the other point of view (back to Chapter Two’s discussion of perspective) they appreciate how they can work together so that they both achieve a workable outcome.

especially at this early stage of the negotiation. theoretical values of all types of property become grossly distorted by the realities of the situation. and will finally need to find a measure they are both prepared to accept. wouldn’t it?’ This proposal works. Having said that. such as depreciated cost and current market value. and the reason is that there can be no argument about whether or not they are doing what was agreed. Where time is critically important – one party insists on rapid completion of a negotiation – this can overrule any other considerations. We should be reasonable.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Chat turns to Wizpa. When agreeing criteria. you can choose either to walk away. when people want to make urgent and instant decisions. and it is in both interests to work towards making this happen. Any disagreement should be based on principle rather than result from argumentative pressure. two principles. ‘give and take’ are very important. Chat and Wizpa set objective criteria based on something they can both agree on. it is generally true to say there is no single rule that outweighs another. or to proceed even though you know you will be measuring the outcome in a way 116 . After protracted discussions. The only golden rule at this stage in the negotiations is – once again – time. if you still consider that the other side is being unrealistic. you are simply trying to find a formula that works for both parties. you are not yet discussing the matter you want to negotiate. can both be valid objective criteria for a negotiated settlement. After all. ‘Suppose we say we will cut up the meat so that: ➣ the skin is in one piece for curing and making clothes ➣ the joints of meat are mostly at least as big as a wild gourd ➣ the bones are kept whole and scraped clean That would satisfy both of us. The two parties will argue in favour of one or the other way of measurement. At times of war.

It considers what tactics are appropriate if the other side plays dirty and – most importantly – how to end the negotiation with a realistic alternative when it seems it will be impossible to ‘do the deal’. The next section looks at the skills of the negotiating table. body language. Establishing that walkaway option is one of the ways expert negotiators demonstrate their skills. in a financial transaction. Summary Set objective criteria to measure the outcome of a negotiation: ➣ What is the cost in material and other terms of doing nothing and simply maintaining the status quo? ➣ In a financial transaction. It could still work – it might even work in your favour – but you need to be aware that you are competing on an uneven playing field. social pressures? ➣ What are the market conditions that affect this negotiation? Be aware of personal or subjective criteria which could be affecting your decision: ➣ How urgently do you need to complete the negotiation? ➣ Can you ‘buy time’ one way or another? ➣ Do you have personal reasons affecting the value you place on the deal? 117 . what is the cost of replacing the item? ➣ Are there any external factors that affect the negotiation – political considerations. global conditions.ESTABLISHING A MEASURABLE WAY OF JUDGING THE OUTCOME you consider to be inappropriate. depreciated or inflated? ➣ Again. This is why the WAO is critically important. and the use of both forceful threats and gentle persuasion. what was the original cost of an item.

8 Knowing and believing your Walk-Away Option From theories to tactics Previous chapters have looked at theories. this could be a matter of size. or influence. 118 . wealth. and you try to find a way of ensuring that you give away as little as possible. Once you know what you want and you believe you have a pretty good idea of what the other side wants. the What and the How of negotiations. it’s time to focus on tactics. But what if you lack a strong bargaining position? The other party may be more powerful than you are. How will you ever come to a mutually acceptable agreement? Creating a safety net When the other party is more powerful. They have considered the factors that keep the parties apart and the factors that can bring them together. and the need for a way of independently evaluating the final outcome in terms of your prior expectations. These are all fundamental elements of negotiation. it’s natural to go on the defensive. and at the Who. Analysis of the negotiation process has shown ways of being more creative in the search for settlement. You fear you might yield to this stronger power.

Let’s imagine you have been commissioned to put together an art collection for an investor with a budget of 10 million. where the only variable is the price. the ‘bottom-line’ strategy works as a safety net. But very few negotiations involve one single possible solution. the longest delay you are prepared to endure or the least favourable terms that you are prepared to tolerate. when Robert and Rosemary decided that they would not bid more than 2. To start by calculating an undesirable WAO hardly feels like the basis for a win-win solution. You are more likely to be negotiating around one possible solution out of many options. but there will be other paintings with investment potential that will fit within your budget.000 for the dining room suite they had seen. if you have to. the auction room was only one possible solution to the problem that Robert and Rosemary were trying to resolve. It might be an unpleasant and uncomfortable place where you would definitely prefer not to go but. It is the highest price you are prepared to pay. You saw this in the auction rooms. To think only in terms of Picasso 119 . You might not have sufficient funds to be able to purchase a painting by Picasso or a van Gogh. However. the lowest sum you are prepared to accept. They are not something you like to think about but it’s reassuring to know they are there. you will because anything less acceptable would be even worse. it is always a sound policy to set a ‘bottom-line’ of the maximum figure so you ensure you are not tempted to pay out more than you were prepared to.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION The way you would generally do this is to establish your ‘bottom line’. it could be almost as appealing as your preferred option so you are spoilt for choice. but it’s a vital safety net. which is the point beyond which you will not negotiate. because their existing furniture was no longer suitable for their needs. In a single-solution negotiation. In an auction situation. The objective was not to acquire the specific furniture on offer but to acquire a dining room suite. On the other hand. It’s a bit like the lifeboats on a liner or the life jackets underneath the aircraft seat. such as the auction of a specific item.

’ … but in reality none of these is a real. they didn’t manage to purchase the dining suite at auction. they would have been back at square one after the failure in the saleroom. Or they could buy something cheap from a second-hand shop. The important point about the example of Robert and Rosemary is that the ‘bottom-line’ was only one part of the preparation they did. 120 . But it isn’t an aggregate and it doesn’t add up! The reality is that each of these supposed alternatives is actually just a part of the answer – but none is really practical. All too often. They might be saying to themselves … ‘There are lots of alternatives if we don’t get the one we want at the auction. they would be adding together all the alternatives in their head and arriving at what seems like an aggregate solution. They had also already determined what they would do if the auction bidding went over their budget: they had established their WalkAway Option – their WAO. they could borrow one from neighbours for the parents’ visit. They could have decided that if. they would buy an alternative modern suite from a high street store. viable option they would want to proceed with. If they had not established their WAO. Should they be unsuccessful at the auction. The trouble with this is that they are not really establishing a realistic alternative. and could have handled the situation differently. None of this establishes the right mindset for a negotiation.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS and van Gogh would stunt your ability to think creatively around the problem and come up with alternative solutions. the concept of a bottom-line number in a negotiation becomes just a way of saving face in the anticipation of probable failure. The importance of being realistic Robert and Rosemary might have been less specific about their options. Or they could put two smaller tables together. Psychologically.


When you establish your WAO it must be realistic and viable, and not
just a list of vague possibilities.
Another danger is to adopt the philosophy of:
‘We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.’
You can be so committed to one possible outcome that you cannot
face the possibility that it might not happen. You have set your heart
on the one option; you are so convinced this is the perfect outcome
that you don’t want to consider any alternative. You are like the eternal optimist pinning the solution to life’s problems on buying a ticket
each week for the national lottery. If you are in this situation, of having only one option in mind, you are in a weak negotiating position
and in danger of paying a high price for your lack of preparation,
planning and realism.

Creating a strong position
Robert is finding the new house and growing family putting a strain
on the family budget. He is successful in his job as an area sales
manager on a salary of 40,000 but feels ready to take on new
responsibilities. The annual salary review is coming up, and he has
decided that before trying to negotiate a substantial increase in pay,
he will test the market and see what other opportunities exist.
In this situation, Robert is being creative. He wants to go into his
annual review knowing what his market value is. When he looks at
positions advertised in the trade press, he sees that his current salary
is at the lower end of the scale. Pay levels range between 40,000 and
52,000 in various positions advertised over a one-month period.
This gives him ammunition for his negotiation. However, his fall-back
position at this stage is that he will have to accept whatever might
be offered, and then start looking around if he is not happy with
the new pay structure. He doesn’t have a WAO, and he needs to
create one.
Robert decides to test the market and increase his options by replying to an advertisement for the position of regional sales manager



with XY Technics, a company in a similar field. Having been successful at the initial interview, he is asked to come back to discuss the
position in more detail and to see whether the salary package
is attractive.
The company is impressed with Robert’s record and is prepared to
offer him 45,000 plus a bonus package that would add another
5,000 at the end of the year, based on current turnover adjusted for
price inflation. He is delighted with the proposal and promises to
give the company his firm decision within a week.
Robert then has to evaluate all the pros and cons of the offer. The
new post would involve more travelling, and hence more nights
away from home. In addition, it would mean a cutback in holiday
entitlement from 20 to 15 days. He decides to talk to his boss, Colin,
before taking a decision.
‘You wanted to see me, Robert. What’s on your mind?’
‘The thing is, Colin, I really enjoy my job but with the children
growing up we’re finding ourselves increasingly stretched financially. You’ve seen my area turnover grow steadily and I’m
looking for a new challenge. To be honest, I’ve been looking for a
bigger opportunity and I’ve been offered a position which would
give me more responsibility and more money.’
‘I appreciate what you’re saying, Robert, and I was going to talk
about this with you when it came to the review meeting. We’ve
been pleased with what you’ve achieved and we are looking to
promote you in six months, when Jack retires in September. That
would mean taking over a larger area and we could certainly talk
about more money. What’s the offer the other people are making?’
‘They’ve offered me a total package of 50,000 including the
‘So, we would have to better that.’



‘Well, I’ve been very happy working here, but I have to think
about the family and the longer term. What could you offer me if
I took over from Jack in September?’
‘Your bonus is pencilled in at 3,500 for this year’s review. Suppose
we made that 5,000 and raised the basic from 40,000 to
43,000. Then, when you take the promotion in September, we
could make the basic 47,000 with the prospect of a 5,000 bonus
next time around. How does that sound?’
The strength of Robert’s negotiating tactic is that he went into his
negotiation with a fallback position of 50,000 from the new company. He wasn’t keen on losing some of his holiday entitlement, but
since Colin had not asked for all the details of the other job, he
didn’t need to tell Colin the disadvantages of the proposal he
had received.
Colin knew that people are creatures of habit and avoid change. He
calculated that the offer of promotion without the upheaval of
changing jobs and with a significant pay increase was a good
one. Now it would be down to how much Robert wanted to
move companies.
Robert now has an offer that gives him the same money in total over
the next 12 months, and still gives him his 20 days’ holiday entitlement. However, he knows that Jack’s job isn’t much of a challenge,
even though it has a larger sales territory. Robert really wants the
potential of the job with the new company, and a few days later, the
phone rings:
‘Hi Robert, this is Arthur from XY Technics. I wondered if you’d
come to a decision about that job we discussed?’
‘Well, Arthur, I am very tempted by your offer, but my company
has just told me I’m in for promotion in September and it would
mean a total package of 52,000. The other factor, which is
important to me as a family man, is that I currently enjoy 20 days
paid leave and your company only offers 15. That extra week is
worth a lot to me.’



‘Hmm … I understand where you’re coming from on that one.
Although, frankly, now my kids are teenagers I dread family holidays and almost look forward to getting back to my desk! I’ll have
to call you tomorrow when I’ve had a word with my colleagues.’
Arthur now has a problem. He can see that Robert wants the challenge of working for XY Technics, but he can’t start making an
exception over holiday entitlement and have one member of the
sales department having more holidays than the others. On the
money side, he can afford to be a little flexible if he keeps the basic
salary about the same and increases the performance bonus. It
would also give Robert an incentive to get his teeth into the challenge of a new job.
The next day he calls Robert back.
‘You’ll be pleased to know I’ve been thinking about improving our
offer to you, Robert, and I know how keen you are to step up to a
new challenge. I am sure you’ll appreciate that we cannot make
an exception on holidays because we have a policy across the
board for all staff at that level. However, I can see the industry is
moving towards increasing holidays and probably by next year
we’ll have to change our terms for everyone … which doesn’t
help you in the short term.
‘However, I have a proposition which I hope you will find attractive. At XY we have a policy of allowing up to two weeks’
additional leave on an unpaid basis to any of our employees who
choose to take it. That week of extra holiday represents roughly
2½ per cent differential in financial terms; so if we increased your
pay by 2½ per cent you could take an extra week unpaid and still
be no worse off.
‘Now, the offer from your present employer, of rising from 43 to
47, plus a bonus of five, averages out at roughly 50,000 over the
next 12 months.
‘I can offer you 46 as an immediate basic salary, with a bonus of
5,000 based on current turnover and the potential to double that


Power is in the hands of the person who knows ‘What Next’? What is becoming apparent as you explore different negotiating situations is that the stronger party is not necessarily the one who is initially in the dominant position. For Arthur. Colin would have a problem in creating a walk-away option. By structuring Robert’s package with a substantial performance bonus. Colin could change his plans for Jack’s succession and restructure Robert’s region. In this situation the roles would have been reversed and the stronger party would have been Robert.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION if you increase turnover by more than 15 per cent in the full year. it is the one who has the better walk-away option. Both of these are strong walk-away options. If Robert were a highly specialized scientist. it was simply a question of looking at the next person on the list of people he had already seen for a first interview. Robert would match the money his present employer was offering and give himself the ability to take the extra week unpaid without losing out. Arthur had made a small adjustment to the basic salary which gave Robert a substantial immediate increase. not Colin. Sometimes the WAO is expressed in the same terms for both parties. if Robert decided to stay with his current employer. At other times the WAO may not 125 . How does that sound to you?’ Here was a classic win-win scenario. In the case of Robert. provided Robert is an average sort of employee. He then structured the bonus so that even if Robert did no more than maintain the territory sales. it was money and terms of employment for all three of them. Colin and Arthur. Robert’s walk-away option in each case was the other job – but did Colin and Arthur have walk-away options? Absolutely! If Robert left. leading the world in cutting-edge research. Arthur gave Robert a great financial incentive to build sales in the territory from the moment he accepted the position. Losing Robert could seriously affect the company’s R&D programme.

I’ve worked all hours and quite frankly I am bored. How would you feel about that?’ ‘There’s no reason why we couldn’t sell up and find something smaller. I love my little therapy business. maybe a storefront with an apartment upstairs or a little place on the outskirts of town. George is in a well-paid job but is weary of the commercial rat race and yearns to get out and be his own boss. I’ve travelled. We planned to take some time off next month. They immediately put their home on the market and in a couple of months they are able to 126 . There’s not much outstanding now on the mortgage. and the other side in the negotiation may not be able to influence the course of events. so let’s have a look around and get some ideas of what’s on the market. He and Mary share an interest in holistic therapies. George and Mary tour around looking at properties and find the perfect place: a former bakery in a small village just a few miles from their present home. George. I’m tired of working with Amethyst Holdings. You and I share an interest in health and fitness and with your physiotherapy we could build our own practice. Let’s look at George and Mary facing a major decision about their future life together.’ A few weeks later. How would you feel about doing something different?’ ‘Well. Mary is a qualified homeopath and George has been studying physiotherapy at evening classes. Mary.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS be in common currency. He has been with the same employer since leaving college and has built up a healthy pension fund. I’ve got a healthy pension fund with the company and we could keep paying into that for a few more years. I’ve been thinking we could take life more easily. Every Monday morning the prospect of going to work at the office looks less appealing. One Sunday afternoon they sit down after lunch and discuss their future: ‘You know. I’ve set up new offices. I’m getting quite well known and you know that the national association keep chasing me to become an examiner on the national standards committee. They have no children and are both in their early forties.

now it’s all in the hands of the legal people. occupied and generating property taxes. Bradley. Nothing wrong. and there’s quite a lot to do on the property. and explain his plans for the future: ‘So. We’ve made a good profit on our home. We’ve decided it’s time to move on and start our own business opening a health centre in the old bakery at Wolverton. the committee accepted the proposal to develop the premises as a health centre. but Mary already has a thriving practice and quite a reputation.’ ‘So you’re pretty set on this idea then? How do the numbers stack up?’ The Planning Committee was faced with a choice between seeing the old bakery stay in a run-down state until someone else came along and bought it as a food shop (the committee’s WAO – but an unlikely development) or accepting George and Mary’s proposal. It’ll be tight. In the event. I hope? Your department is turning in record results as usual. you wanted to see me for a chat. George knows it’s now time to talk to his boss. but it should work out. So. George. so I reckon we can survive until I’m qualified. Bradley. We’ve exchanged contracts on our house and on the old bakery and we have planning approval. ‘I’ve got another nine months before I qualify as a physio. Is something bothering you?’ ‘Well. which would see the property restored.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION make an offer on the bakery. thus realistically facing up to general trends in high street retailing and ensuring that the property was once again contributing to council revenues. Mary and I have been talking and come to some pretty major decisions. conditional on planning permission for alternative use as a health centre.’ ‘And this means you’re leaving us? I hope you’ll stay long enough to train up Bill to take over the reins?’ 127 .

There will be a lean period while the building alterations are being completed and he takes his final examinations – but after that the future looks promising.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘I’m not in a rush to go. I imagine. George’s WAO is that if Bradley decides to let him go straightaway he will have to fall back on the capital they have realized from their house sale. but maybe we can work something out to mutual advantage. He wants to minimize that if he can while keeping Bill motivated. George. Had you considered cutting back for a few months. you’re going to need quite a cashflow to cover the building alterations. At the same time. Bradley’s WAO is to accept George’s resignation and promote Bill immediately – but that could mean a lack of continuity and a difficult transition. I also know Bill is looking for a more challenging position and I am sure you could induct him into your job without stunting his ideas. Bradley lays out his proposition to George: ‘George. He knows he will lose Bill to a competitor if he can’t find a new challenge for him soon. But Bradley is being creative and looking beyond the employer/employee box that George has been mentally locked into.’ ‘I understand that. At the same time. Let me put a proposal to you. He will agree a period of notice with Bradley – hopefully two or three months – which will give him an income while he and Mary sort out their move and start on the structural work. After all. the negotiation seems simple. we value your contribution and will be sad to lose you.’ Bradley knows that George’s experience and expertise are valuable to the company and he would be sorry to lose that after all the growth George had helped the company to achieve. He had no idea the company would be open to such an idea. he knows that Bill is snapping at George’s heels and eager for additional responsibility. maybe working part-time or even leaving us but retaining a consultancy role to the company?’ George is taken aback. I know you and Mary are passionate about your interest in health and fitness and I believe you could be very successful with your new project. but I don’t believe it’s healthy for a company if someone hangs around once a decision is taken. For George. 128 .

He has itchy feet. and I need to see how this would work out in practical terms.’ Of course. I really look forward to coaching him into my old job. in principle. George. Otherwise. Bradley came up with a solution that worked to everyone’s advantage. so we need to get this sorted out in the next week or so.’ ‘Absolutely. developing a strong WAO is 129 . and he has an ongoing income over the next few months.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION Bradley’s proposal is a win-win solution. Brad. George had apparently ‘burnt his boats’. But you never know. since it looks as if you’ll be leaving us one way or the other. I’ll certainly be interested to see what this looks like on paper. you might welcome the continuing association with the company that you have put so much into. In that situation there would have been little he could do to persuade George to stay. And you know. Logically. the house was effectively sold and the new premises bought. the company will continue to have access to George’s 20-years’ experience in the industry for at least a few more months. if George had been moving out of town. How to create the Walk-Away Option You have seen that the power in any negotiation is in the hands of whoever has the better WAO. No amount of money could have persuaded George to stop pursuing his dream. But despite this. Bradley might not have been able to make such an attractive offer. George has time to devote to his new project. he’s going to be taking more odd days off when he says he’s at the dentist but we suspect he’s talking to other companies!’ ‘I’ll have something drawn up and we’ll talk again in a couple of days. you won’t mind if I start talking to Bill. I think that. I take it you’re in favour. You’re right about Bill. Bradley continues: ‘Obviously you want to think this over. will you?’ ‘I think it’s essential. Also. Bill will get the promotion he is hoping for and Bradley has the security of George shadowing and guiding Bill while Bill is adjusting to his new role.

2. He went to see him just to hand in his notice. I can see if Bradley will let me ease off and start handing over my responsibilities. 3. These are based on the worst possible outcome. George’s thoughts for a walk-away option might have been: 1. and see what period of notice we can agree. 130 . I could do most of the renovation work myself. Working out the WAOs Here are some of the WAOs that George could have considered. I’ll withdraw my notice and hang on for another year while Mary gets the new business up and running. George’s thoughts then might have been: 4. I can refuse to stay. But if cashflow had been more critical for George and Mary. 5. 6. this means: ➣ Establishing what alternative options you can develop if you are unable to get what you want ➣ Developing these ideas into real alternatives. they would have needed to think through the negotiation much more thoroughly. We will have to live on our capital until the health centre is generating a positive cashflow. With a little analysis and forethought. George could have made plans for a situation in which Bradley tries to get him to stay. I could get a part-time job so that we still have some money coming in until I qualify. which would be that Bradley would accept his resignation and let him go there and then. Going back to our basic principles. not just vague ideas ➣ Working out what the other side wants and how they are likely to react and proceed ➣ Deciding on a WAO for the various decisions or attitudes the other side might take George had not really thought through his negotiation with Bradley.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS a critical part of the preparation for any negotiation. using skilled trades people when I need them.

For how long? 4. What were the opportunities? ii. electrical rewiring or essential plumbing that would need qualified tradesmen? 3. George and Mary next needed to discuss and investigate their options in more detail. Would living on their capital seriously damage their security? i. Look at the various steps to follow in working out the WAO: ➣ Step 1 – analyze all the possible alternatives George and Mary should have sat down and thought things through in more detail before George handed in his resignation. If George had to take another job for six months: i.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION In the earlier example. What could he have expected to earn? iv. George had probably already positioned himself at Option 6. Would he be better off delaying his resignation until their plans had progressed further? 2. Here are just some of the points which would need to be talked through: 1. Would there be any complicated building work. They needed a clear picture of what they could realistically take as their next step. and he certainly hadn’t considered Option 4 as even a remote possibility. ➣ Step 2 – develop the various alternatives to see exactly what is involved Having done that. in reply to the various responses that the company might make. How much would they need? ii. Most of us can slap on a coat of paint and do basic DIY – but would this have been enough? iii. As for doing the renovation work himself: i. Could George tolerate staying on at work. given the upheaval of the removal and all their long-term plans for the health centre? 131 . He had not considered the possibility of Bradley just showing him the door and giving him the minimum financial entitlement. How realistic was this idea? ii. How realistic were they? iii.

generalized idea of what you might do next – you are no longer in control of your own future. ‘I’m keeping all my options open’ which generally means ‘I haven’t thought about what might happen next. George let his emotions get in the way of his negotiation. He was weary of working for Amethyst Holdings and had decided to quit. what might that mean in financial terms? 4. Would he be sympathetic and supportive to his plans? 3. George needed to ask himself some critical questions: 1.’ The WAO must be a serious alternative and it must be appropriate to a specific response from the other side. It is no good thinking vaguely in terms of ‘I have lots of options’ or the classic get-out clause. Even if you face the worst-case scenario. He was so focused on his new project that he was blind to the 132 . you are in control. It’s all about staying in control And that is the nub of this chapter. So. you stay in control. George and Mary needed to determine their best WAO to match their judgement of the likely position of the other side. Would Bradley react strongly and show him the door? 2. part-time or as a consultant. during the transition in the management of the department? ➣ Step 4 – decide on a definitive option for each possible outcome Finally. Nobody is going to push you into doing something you don’t want. Would Bradley consider letting him reduce his workload and work on a different basis. you already know in some detail what your next step will be. Is there a policy about paying people off and not having them work their notice? If so.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ➣ Step 3 – evaluate the possible attitudes and actions of the other side It is vital to try to determine what the other side’s position is likely to be. When you know exactly what you will do if you don’t get what you want. Unless you do this – if you have only a vague. or into settling for less than you are prepared for.

namely Step 3 of the WAO development process – to evaluate the possible attitudes and actions of the other side. We’ve taken over the old bakery. we’ve decided to downsize our living-space and we’re in the process of moving out to Wolverton. if that would be of interest to George. discussing his long-term plans. However. Well. I’ve been thinking about joining her sometime in the future but first I need to complete my physiotherapy studies.KNOWING AND BELIEVING YOUR WALK-AWAY OPTION opportunities that might exist in the interim. he could have seized George’s resignation as a way of creating a job that would keep Bill in the company. and Mary has a flourishing practice as a homeopath.’ At this stage George has not been negotiating. rather than laying all his cards on the table from the outset. You know we’re both into health and fitness. so Bradley’s options are somewhat limited. Realistically keeping all the options open This leaves all his options open. and we’ve been granted planning approval to turn it into a local health centre. and without a substantial financial settlement. George had made it very easy for Bradley to move quickly and replace him. I thought we should have a chat to see how this might fit in with the development of my role in the company. Under the employment legislation in most countries around the world (though not in the USA). This gives him a chance to do what he was not able to do earlier. By declaring all his intentions. A better course of action for George would have been to have an informal chat with Bradley. what could he have done differently? If Bradley had been desperate not to lose Bill. Given all the facts. Suppose he had said: ‘I wanted to tell you about Mary’s business. without any timescale and without any threatening implications. He is merely floating an idea. 133 . Bradley would find it difficult to terminate an employee of 20 years’ standing with no cause. the knowledge of George’s possible long-term plans does give him an opportunity to discuss with him ways of gradually winding down his involvement in the company.

If you fail to do this. formulate his next steps and work out his walk-away options for any future negotiations about his position in the company. If you do so. ➣ Step 1 – analyze all the possible alternatives ➣ Step 2 – develop the various alternatives to see just what is involved ➣ Step 3 – evaluate the possible attitudes and actions of the other side ➣ Step 4 – decide on a definitive option for each possible outcome SUMMARY OF PART TWO ➣ Know what you want ➣ Know what the other side wants ➣ Know and exploit the power and value of information ➣ Know and agree on how you will measure the outcome ➣ Know what you will do if you can’t achieve what you really want 134 . Summary Knowing your WAO is the single most important element of going into a negotiation.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS George could then go away. He has maintained the most valuable position of any negotiation: he is in control. you can be absolutely confident at every stage of the negotiation. You should spend as much time on determining your WAO alternatives as you should in working out your ideal outcome. you put yourself at the mercy of whatever outcome the negotiation achieves.

PART THREE Doing the deal .


there is no communication. it is about moving towards a common objective. the two parties can then explore possible solutions and evaluate the various options. Having done this.’ Negotiation is all about the to and fro of communication. When one side is playing by one set of rules and the other side is playing by a different set of rules. If it were about playing a game. or doesn’t understand the conventions of the game. It is not about winning a game. 137 .9 Playing games and handling gamesmanship Playing by the rules By this stage you are probably about to ask the inevitable question: ‘But what if the other side hasn’t read the book? What if they just carry on with positional negotiation? I may understand the difference between position and direction but that doesn’t work unless they also understand and will play by the same rules. you would often find that a negotiation is going nowhere because one side is playing football while the other side is playing tennis. no common objective and no result. A negotiation starts with the initial steps of acknowledging the mutual positions of the two parties involved and moving towards identifying mutually desirable outcomes. no game.

TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS When the other side won’t play along with this. You must resist the temptation to argue and just let them have their say. you should encourage the other side to pursue their argument. each attack stimulating an ever fiercer counter-attack. In fact. In sporting terminology. or cry: ‘Foul!’ but as long as they are waving a tennis racquet and you are kicking a football there simply will not be any meaningful communication. This will only lead to a shouting match. the harder they push back. you can try different shots. What then happens is that once the other side has followed the argument through to its logical conclusion. When they strike out. Confrontation builds barriers around the positions and pushes the two parties further away from each other. Taking the wind out of their sails Once you realize that it is going to be difficult to have a mature and reasoned debate. The harder you reject their ideas. you must pull them along rather than rebuff them. and insists on stating a position and then arguing around that position. they and you can both look at the likely outcome. and in the end both parties are squeezed dry – and probably exhausted. There is no point in arguing in circles around their position. 138 . you need to reappraise the situation. What alternative options do you have? You can stop trying to get them to play the game your way. there is not much you can do as long as they insist on doing things their way and ignoring what you are doing and saying from your side. What then happens is that both sides can see where this particular approach is leading and what the outcome is likely to be. with a diminishing hope of ever achieving a negotiated settlement. play soft or firm. People who are set on a particular sum of money or determined to achieve the specific outcome that they personally favour will often be blind to any alternatives. and see how far it is from what you individually want to achieve. and instead you can let them play their own game. You have several options.

Smiling and nodding When it comes to listening. whereas women smile and nod to show they have followed the argument and understand what is being said. looking through holiday brochures and planning their summer vacation: ‘I really think the Algarve in Portugal looks great. This then yields the scope to discuss what might be mutually acceptable. When you are letting the other side develop their argument around their position.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP Often the other side will come to see that their proposal does not in fact achieve their objectives. It may be contrary to your instinctive nature to bite your lip and let them put their case. you must be careful to remain impassive. there is a fundamental gender difference throughout Europe and North America in what people mean as they smile and nod when listening to the other person’s argument. especially across cultural. They are relaxing one evening.’ 139 . men see smiling and nodding as a gesture of agreement to what is being said. but it propels them towards elaborating their ideas and talking these through to the logical conclusion. Let them elaborate their ideas and draw them out. age and gender boundaries. Of course you want to argue but this is not the right moment. our forty-something couple with no children and a comfortable level of income. Generally. As always in negotiations and all forms of communication. so you do not give the impression that you are agreeing as the debate progresses. there’s good food and wine. In other words. and plenty of things to see and do. when women listen and nod it does not necessarily mean they are agreeing to what the other party is proposing. it is important to avoid giving out the wrong signals. Ask for clarification so they know you have been listening and that they have been heard. ‘The climate is excellent. Let’s return to George and Mary. and to understand the meaning behind the signals you are receiving.’ says George.

TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Mary is studying a brochure of Provence. George decides to try this approach: ‘I don’t understand. What is so appealing about Avignon?’ Mary thinks she is making progress. no! This hotel looks superb. just look at all the facilities!’ ‘But the Hotel Europe in Avignon is famous. and encourages the other to expand on their proposal. Don’t you think the Algarve is. with all those wonderful restaurants. It’s so sophisticated. and perks up. ‘There’s so much to do. endlessly arguing from their positions.’ ‘OK. and there’s a lot to do in and around Avignon.’ Now George has established that what is behind Mary’s preference for Avignon is not the scenery or culture but the shopping. a bit rural?’ ‘Good Lord. We can fly to the south and pick up a car. but what would you do that you couldn’t do in the Algarve?’ ‘Well. well. even just in the town itself. George has no interest in haut couture.’ George and Mary are going to carry on. Smart little bars to sit and enjoy a drink and watch the world go by. It would make a wonderful base for touring around. Then I thought we might drive down to Marseilles one day so I can look at the big department stores. admiring the pictures of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. and has some very reasonable packages. There are wonderful little boutiques with all the famous names at much better prices than here at home. he has his own reasons for preferring Portugal: 140 . ‘But surely France would be more enjoyable. This is why she prefers the idea of France as compared to Portugal. until one of them adopts the directional strategy I am proposing. and the shopping is wonderful in France. I want to buy some winter clothes. a traditional market and lots of picturesque backstreets where you could do your photography.

it’s the golf. combined with a superb climate and top class hotels. My dream was to play the top golf courses around the world and your dream was to afford to be dressed in the finest fashions. In a more formal 141 .’ Mary chuckled. So it looks as if we’re both set on things we want from the holiday. Before he can pursue his discussion Mary draws him out into revealing his motivation … ‘Anyway. and I don’t appreciate your need to constantly change your wardrobe. I want sunshine after the awful winter we’re having this year.’ For a moment. George is back in his ‘position’. But we both knew this before we were married. More top class golf courses than anywhere else in Europe. One day I really want to play in Scotland. In George and Mary’s case it works because they are used to discussing situations and working out solutions together. ‘I don’t think you’re being fair to Scotland – but you’re right. you don’t appreciate golf. Then he realizes he will not make any progress unless he takes the discussion forward. but I didn’t dare suggest Scotland with rain for climate and haggis and chips for dinner. That’s why I’d prefer Portugal. How can we ensure that we each get what we want out of this vacation?’ This impassive strategy – listening to the other side explain their position – demands a fair degree of restraint and self-discipline.’ ‘OK. I want to be able to shop-till-I-drop for sophisticated European fashion and you want to be out there on the greens hitting a little ball into a hole in the ground. I have enough of city life back here at home.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP ‘But I don’t want to be stuck in a city. why are you so keen on the Algarve? What’s so special about that part of Portugal? Surely Lisbon would have more buzz and life?’ And now you can discover what is behind George’s negotiating position: ‘Well.

000 per unit. 2. Attack any ideas or proposals you put forward. ‘Well. Find out why they are pushing their proposition You can start by following the tactics that both George and Mary used when negotiating about their holiday plans. Let’s look at a rather different example when. They would: 1. who is buying equipment for a new production line at her factory. at a price of 15. When Fisher. they concluded that the other side would probably use three tactics when they negotiated with you. so you are familiar with its performance and reliability. Alice. They can match your specification right down to the last detail. Ury and Patton outlined this situation in their seminal work Getting to Yes. However. as you request. That really is our best price. heard and understood where they are coming from.’ ‘I tracked down this dynamic new Mexican company.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS negotiation it is less easy for you to stand back and listen to something you find totally unacceptable. The best way of responding to these tactics is to start by getting to the bottom of things. 3. which is the unit you have on your other production lines. in the second half of August. back at JK Engineering. Forcefully assert their position and point of view. For a bulk order of ten we could deliver them to you.950 and you know I’ve guaranteed the delivery date.’ ‘You know our list price is 17. Launch a personal attack on you.000 is too expensive. you are never going to make any progress until the other party believes they have had the opportunity to put their full proposal. Alice. it seems as if we’re still going round in circles and not making much progress. You have asked for the XK150. and that you have listened. You’ve seen our offer. It’s no good 142 . including shipping. I can get these from Mexico for 12.000. That’s a 20 per cent saving.’ ‘The specifications are right but 15. Robert is negotiating with a client.

and see where that leads. everything competitive is either too big or too small. What I’m offering you is a very fair price and I cannot discount any more than we have done already. so he re-opens the conversation: 143 . and now you don’t know how to handle it!’ Alice is getting angry and her attack is increasingly personal.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP sitting there complacently. since they have always had a good business relationship. standard specifications. We need to get this production line up and running straight after the summer break. Let’s have another look at the project. and I can only go this low because you are a valued long-term customer and we’d like to keep working with you. Robert needs the answers to some questions.’ This negotiation is going nowhere. helping us to build our business. In particular. There is nothing else in the market in that niche. and we need a more competitive price. He needs more information from Alice. Robert pauses for a moment to let things settle before replying: ‘I want to find a way to help you to get that new production line up on time and running profitably. You’re typical of the local companies: you just churn out the products and wait for someone like me to come along and pay your high prices. You’ve never had competition before. If the Mexican company is so good. why is she still talking to him? What’s stopping her from ordering from Mexico? Robert looks back at the quotation his company has offered and considers the key features of his proposition: the XK150. There’s no way I can go any lower on price. Robert will have to start suggesting alternatives. We’ll be making a minimal margin. why has Alice decided to look for a new supplier? Why is Alice insisting on such a big price reduction? JK Engineering are market leaders for quality and value and Alice has never demanded major price reductions in the past. I want you to stop making fat margins and work with medium-sized manufacturers like us.

‘On the one hand. You see the problem. And apart from the capital cost. You remember the new Explorer product range we previewed at the International Trade Fair? It’s easier for us to produce. which is why we have been looking at alternative sources. The Explorer is a volume market product at a budget price. and it’s much cheaper to 144 . and we need to keep the production costs down. so the running costs of those machines in energy alone will be a major element in the unit costings right across our Explorer product range.000 and have it fully operational in August.’ ‘I hear what you’re saying. it’s much cheaper than our existing ranges and it’s getting a fantastic response from the trade.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘What’s going on here.’ ‘You are quite right. your XK150 is pretty heavy on power. Do the sums and you’ll see why we’re concerned about the costs with ten units all working long shifts. Suppose we could come up with a way to reduce the energy costs. On the other hand I am looking at the difference between a total capital cost of 120. I must work to a very tight capital budget. Have I understood you correctly?’ ‘There is no way we can stretch to 150.000 and your price of 150. Now. let me get this straight: you need to equip the production line for the new Explorer range within a capital budget of around 120. but keep your production level the same?’ ‘That would be great! But you know the energy consumption of the XK150.000. We have to get into volume production much faster than we anticipated. Alice? We’ve always enjoyed an excellent business relationship. The timing is critical if we are to catch the winter sales. Alice. and I understand you need to control costs. But my point is that the Explorer production line doesn’t need the XK150! You’ll have more than enough output if you take the XK135. so that you can get the production running to meet the winter sales season. what can you do for us?’ ‘So.000.’ ‘Let me explain the situation. we would like to continue dealing with someone we know and trust.

’ The power of listening Alice had been arguing about the price of the XK150.’ ‘What about delivery? That’s the other big issue. and our quote was naturally based on your traditional manufacturing process and the old product range – which simply wasn’t cheap to produce. Robert’s tactic was to practise Active Listening. so you can get the production running to meet the winter sales season. she became angry and frustrated. When we discussed this you were talking about setting up a new production line. so she knew he understood her point of view: ‘So let me get this straight: you need to equip the production line for the new Explorer range within a capital budget of around 120. I can bring the Mexican machines in under budget but delivery is as critical as price on this whole project.’ 145 . I am sure we can give you an attractive package. When Alice saw that Robert was inflexible about the price. within a fixed budget. on time. He did this by feeding back her own argument to her. Does that give you what you’re looking for? ‘Put it all in writing. then you can go through it with your technical people. It looks as if we can do business. He had to draw out the argument and let Alice know she had been heard before he could effectively respond and make a fresh proposal.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP run. You know what it’s like. If you set up the new production line based on the XK135 you can make energy savings with no loss of capacity. Let me put some figures together and get a detailed specification to you this afternoon.’ ‘We can deliver ten machines as early in August as you can take them. As far as your budget is concerned. I think we might have the outline of a realistic deal.000 and have it fully operational in August. when her real objective was to set up the new production line for the new product range. We can also look into putting one of our engineers on a placement with you. dealing with a new supplier: you’re adding an unknown into the equation. to work with your people on the installation.

he can produce a detailed proposal incorporating added value. that would meet Alice’s concerns about working within the restraints of her capital budget. Any parent will vouch for just how demoralizing this can be when children become ‘difficult’.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS He shows that he wants to understand her position by then asking her: ‘Have I understood you correctly?’ By doing this. he is no longer in opposition to Alice. such as technical assistance during the start-up period for the new production line. identifying with a common objective. letting them have their say and making it clear that you have heard. ➣ The first rule of not playing their game Don’t try to attack a position by maintaining your own position. Try to find out what is behind the opponents’ position by drawing them on. you can start to identify their underlying aims and respond with a proposal which addresses these specific objectives. Robert is able to come up with a win-win solution. it can be every bit as frustrating. and joined alongside her. at a lower capital cost and cheaper to run. such as a leasing deal. In the example here. Of course. In commercial negotiations. Find out how deeply-felt or realistic their objections are The next tactic you are likely to see from the other side is that they will attack any ideas or proposals you have put forward. You may find yourself in a situation in which both parties 146 . but (metaphorically speaking) he has moved around the negotiating table. Once you know WHY they are so adamant about their position. On the other hand. he might have been able to be creative in his response by suggesting some other financing arrangement. Now that he knows both her budget and her delivery requirements. He can offer Alice a unit that is more than adequate for this particular operation. he might have had to apologize and admit defeat if there were no way he could provide the right equipment in the right timescale at the right price.

we quickly learned how snobbish some of them can be. George and Mary’s discussion could have gone rather differently: ‘I really fancy France. Apart from the undeniable fact that France is full of French people. reasoned debate. they are forced to clarify their thinking and produce solid.’ ‘Just a minute – what have you got against France? Tell me why my idea is so wrong. But you can. You have to dismantle your defence and let the opponents try to destroy your argument. Everyone knows the French can be very individualistic. and the people are very different outside the big cities.’ ‘Yes. But there’s so much more to France than Paris. when we went to Paris back then. But if we’re staying at the Hotel Europe you’ve got to remember it has a Michelin star and the standard is going to be much higher than the sort of roadside motel we stay at when we’re up north visiting your 147 . I love the idea of Provence at that time of year. what other objections do you have?’ ‘France is so expensive. And it doesn’t seem to make any difference how hard you try to speak their language – they’ll either pretend not to understand or just talk back to you in English.’ ‘But Portugal would be so much better and cheaper.’ ‘You’re quite right: once you land in France it feels very foreign. it would be more expensive than Portugal. And I agree. France is full of the French! Remember that weekend in Paris? The French are rude. and they hate foreigners. be far more effective if you take a very different approach and encourage the attack. When you invite more criticism and push the other side to expand on their objections. you instinctively want to defend your position and argue right back. in fact.’ ‘For a start.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP feel unable to say anything to which the other side will give any credence! In this type of negotiation. arrogant.

I don’t want to spend all my days in the grounds of an hotel. I think it’s worth being extravagant. You know you’d enjoy that!’ ‘Well. that is rather appealing. You couldn’t ask for more to see and do.’ 148 . different places to dine out. As for a car. I want to be out and about. What I like about the idea of Avignon is that we can walk everywhere in the town. all within an hour’s drive of our hotel. but that’s not all. Hotels can be very dull places in the evenings. and it’s about time we spent some serious money on a holiday! The Euro is a strong currency so we’re going to find continental Europe pricey – but we will get superb service. We’re not back-packers any longer. I suppose you’re right about prices across Europe. Do you think we should be roughing it? Don’t you think we deserve a little luxury?’ ‘Well. maybe a nightclub. You’re talking about staying in Avignon and frankly. lying on a sun-bed by a pool eating over-priced club-sandwiches for lunch. George. and in the evenings we want some sophistication. But it’s good to have a comfortable base to come home to. I am going to have to get in the car to go and do it!’ ‘I’m like you. Of course we want to tour around.’ ‘I agree with you. but it still seems that if I am going to do the things I want to do. You’ve always wanted a convertible and we’ve always said we didn’t have the weather for it at home. Back home. There’s a lovely coupé available at a very reasonable price if we book it all as a package with the flight and hotel.’ ‘But that’s the point! If I want to do anything.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS parents. I thought it would be rather fun to pick up a convertible at the airport rather than a boring ordinary saloon car. I don’t like the idea of being stuck in a town. I am going to have to spend a lot of time driving around. I hate driving. gourmet food and beautiful accommodation. and Provence is the perfect base. or the cinema. I spend too much of my life in the city and I like to get out and about.

’ He also had some specific complaints about Avignon: ‘If I want to do anything. she agrees with him: ‘You’re quite right: once you land in France it feels very foreign.’ Mary does nothing to counter these arguments. We can have a wonderful hotel with superb facilities at an excellent package price.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP ‘So. what is it you particularly want to do? I just don’t see what you’re getting at. we quickly learned how snobbish some of them can be … ‘Yes. He has never mentioned this – but he has made two sweeping generalizations: ‘The French are rude. when we went to Paris back then. In fact. and they hate foreigners. What is wrong with that idea? What more could you ask for?’ ‘Well.’ Mary’s strategy drew out his objections and she kept asking him for his opinion: ‘Tell me why my idea is so wrong? 149 . ‘I agree with you. arrogant. Mary’s persistence pays off and George reveals that what he really wants is a golfing holiday. sophisticated town with all the attractions the region offers. golf. Back home.’ Eventually. I want to be out and about. I hate driving. actually. in a beautiful. And I agree. it would be more expensive than Portugal … The Euro is a strong currency so we’re going to find continental Europe pricey … ‘I’m like you. I don’t want to spend all my days in the grounds of an hotel. I am going to have to get in the car to go and do it! ‘I spend too much of my life in the city and I like to get out and about. ‘France is so expensive. er.

Ultimately. Don’t try to argue with them. Should the discussion get personal. you will uncover the real reason behind their objections. In the initial phases of the negotiation it looked as if George was immovable. Keep asking them for clarification. Switch their personal attack back to the problem In the last example. Mary let George have his say and spell out all the reasons why he didn’t fancy her idea for their summer vacation. the same strategy works equally well. ➣ The second rule of not playing their game Support and encourage the opposing party to spell out their objections. As a result. she found the one piece of persuasive evidence she needed to clinch her argument. she constantly agreed with him and encouraged him to come up with new objections. Do you think we should be roughing it? Don’t you think we deserve a little luxury? ‘You’ve always wanted a convertible and we’ve always said we didn’t have the weather for it at home. let the other side be angry and get it off 150 . she could then uncover what was behind his argument … a desire for a golfing holiday.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘I think it’s worth being extravagant. she could defuse the debate and lead him to the realization that: ➣ He would actually enjoy staying in a good hotel ➣ He would appreciate a degree of luxury ➣ It would be pleasant to have the sophistication of a stylish town to wander around in the evenings ➣ He would relish driving a sports car in the sunshine Later. Wouldn’t you enjoy that? ‘What more could you ask for?’ Throughout the conversation. Once Mary had let George have his say and often agreed with him in much of what he said. Her master stroke was a leaflet she downloaded from the French Tourist Board: Golf Pass Provence – enjoy the freedom of our 15 fine golf courses. Don’t defend yourself. and agree whenever you can.

We have to get into volume production much faster than we anticipated … and we need to keep the production costs down.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP their chest. You have to ignore the personal insults and forget them as fast as they come. the first important rule is to keep cool.. I must work to a very tight capital budget. Now take another look at Robert’s negotiation with Alice. The power of silence Faced with an angry and vindictive opponent. 151 . which is why we have been looking at alternative sources. Alice comes back to discuss the problem in a less personal way: ‘Let me explain the situation . Consequently he deflected her comments: ‘I want to find a way to help you to get that new production line up on time and running profitably … Let’s have another look at the project. tangible representation of the problem … you. Alice liked dealing with JK Engineering and that this anger was frustration arising from the complexity and challenges of setting up the new production line. Alice was frustrated and started to insult Robert and his company: ‘It’s no good sitting there complacently … You’re typical of the local companies … you’ve never had competition before.’ The reality of the situation was that Alice wasn’t really upset with Robert and his company. She was overwhelmed by the scale of the project she was working on and the budget constraints she had to work to.’ Having vented her frustration. he believed that. and now you don’t know how to handle it!’ Robert said nothing by way of self defence. What is really happening is that they are frustrated about the situation and are taking it out on the only visible. deep down.. where we saw a good example of this.

expand on their reasoning and justify their response. By keeping quiet after asking a question. See any negatives as the other side’s frustration about the issues and not as criticism of you or your colleagues. In general the facilitator is seen as an expert. ➣ The third rule of not playing their game Don’t take anything personally. Use silence to move the discussion along. Another way of resolving a negotiation is by raising and exploring the issues through the involvement of a third party facilitator. you force the other side to give a detailed answer. you can pause and use silence to let the temperature drop. expanding on their argument in more detail which. Suppose George and Mary had started their vacation plans by calling in to consult Shirley. The facilitator’s role is rarely proposed as that of a mediator. their local travel agent: 152 . This is important as both parties need to feel that the facilitator has their individual personal interests at heart. as you have seen in the previous examples. and has been engaged to help them get what they want. The other party may use your pause to repeat themselves or become even more worked up – but you can just give them time to say what they want to say. Understand the other side’s frustration. silence is a very powerful way of forcing the other side to keep talking. who is engaged to find a solution which meets the objectives and criteria of all parties. gives you more information about their position and gives you time to formulate your response. and pause. While silence may appear to be a stalemate it is in fact a dynamic and pressured phase of a negotiation. Breaking the deadlock In all the examples of this chapter you have been encouraging the other side and not delaying the process with argument. They will carry on.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS At the same time. Silence is not passive.

establishing travel dates and some broad categories of holiday: ‘Were you thinking of a beach holiday. a business consultant. and I would like to play some different courses while we’re away. around which the parties can negotiate.’ ‘We’ve got as far as agreeing that it will be two weeks and it will be in continental Europe.’ In this situation we are developing an independent solution.’ ‘And I guess you’d like some sunshine. what can I do for you today?’ ‘We’re starting to think about our summer holiday. You have seen several examples of people building their own ideas together to create their own fixed position. an interior designer or a travel agent – you don’t have two diverse positions to debate. The specialist creates these choices based on the requirements of the two parties. that’s everything from the Arctic Circle to the Greek Islands! Let’s start with one or two details. a touring holiday.’ Shirley now sets out some of the parameters.’ ‘I enjoy my games of golf. lakes and mountains.’ ‘I would like to be surrounded by lots to do. cultural sights …?’ ‘I like to have a base so I don’t feel I am living out of a suitcase. too? Give me a couple of hours while you do your shopping and I should have some ideas if you call back this afternoon. and then each arguing around and about. And I do like to buy clothes when I’m abroad. When you use a professional to perform a specialist function – such as an architect.’ ‘Well. or a shortlist of possible solutions.’ ‘I think we both agree we’re old enough to enjoy a bit of luxury and sophistication.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP ‘Hello there. you have a single source of options. At the 153 . a wedding planner.

In both situations. At each stage the parties look at the specialist’s ideas in terms of the extent to which their own personal objectives are met. and in a sense the use of a thirdparty specialist invokes similar principles. sophistication and shopping. 154 . ➣ The fourth rule of not playing their game Avoid conflict and argument by appointing an expert who will produce an independent solution. Shirley is not doing her job properly unless she is able to show how her proposals meet both of these criteria. When George and Mary return to continue their discussions with Shirley. Keep the initial brief as broad as possible to avoid stunting the specialist’s creativity and be open to exploring new ideas in the course of the consultations. You have also seen how you can progress the negotiation by letting the other side attack your proposal with no defence from you. You have seen how you can progress the negotiation by letting the other side fully develop their argument without your interruptions. Summary In this chapter you have considered how to deal with an opponent who wants to play a different game. and are open to being persuaded that their interests are being acknowledged and incorporated into the single solution. you have seen how this serves to clarify the other side’s position and gives you scope to explore alternatives and compromises. that can be modified in discussion to take account of the individual criteria of the two parties.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS same time the specialist performs the role of being a third-party facilitator between the opposing parties. In an earlier chapter you looked at the need to establish independent criteria for judging an outcome. George is looking for golf courses and Mary is looking for comfort. Both parties see the specialist as able to represent their individual interests in an objective way.

Appoint a professional specialist to work on an independent single solution which takes account of the criteria of both parties. You need to realize that such insults stem from frustration at the complexity of the problem. Another way of exploring the issues and options is to appoint a specialist who is briefed by both parties on what they want to achieve. 1. This specialist is effectively a mediator who has to come up with an independent solution which will satisfy both parties. 2. 3. Support and encourage them to attack your case. within set parameters.PLAYING GAMES AND HANDLING GAMESMANSHIP You then saw that it is important to separate the personalities from the problem and not take personal attacks as serious accusations. 4. and that your best response is to deflect the attack from yourself and on to the basic issues of the negotiation. Let them argue their case and don’t interrupt them. In all these cases. the common element has been to encourage the other party to expand on and clarify the key points of their argument – whether proposing their own ideas or attacking yours. Don’t defend yourself if they attack you personally – but do redirect this attack from yourself and on to the problem. Here are the four principal courses of action which work when you cannot persuade the other party to move from Positional Negotiation to Directional Negotiation. 155 .

10 Handling personalities and working as a team People are different There is something of a fashion in the twenty-first century to treat people as if they were all the same. The consequence is that there are sweeping generalizations about what people expect and these overlook essential differences in human personalities. society is moving towards offering equal opportunity of employment and advancement to everyone. individual preferences are often overlooked and there is a move towards total standardization in the way things are done. The public environment is designed with convenient access for everyone. 156 . Part of this is the result of major changes in social organization. discrimination and practices of past centuries. race or creed. Society has gone to great lengths to undo the injustices of discrimination. Everyone has their own perspective. regardless of gender. and this viewpoint is the result of an accumulation of factors and influences. regardless of any physical disability or impairment. The fundamental basis of all interpersonal communication and negotiation is that people are different. This is a huge development from the unjust legislation. In the attempt to be just and fair. But people are different. And increasingly.


Are you Head, Heart or Gut?
There are many classifications of personality type and just as many
books that attempt to categorize behaviour patterns. This chapter
will focus on just three basic types, following a principle that is some
5,000 years old. It can be seen in many ancient religions and is still
practised today in the traditional teachings of Ayurvedic medicine.
This is a very simple demarcation, according to whether people are
principally motivated by their logic, their emotions or their instinct,
and which I shall refer to as Head, Heart and Gut people.
Head people are the logical, methodical thinkers, who love detail,
facts, and analysis. Typically they are accountants, engineers, surveyors, scientists: people who deal with factual information and who
need to know all the background and statistics before they can come
to a decision.
Heart people are always influenced by human considerations; they
are people-people. Typically they are teachers, nurses, human
resource executives and social workers. They tend to base their
decisions on the human factors and social impact of any negotiated changes.
Gut people want action. They are get-up-and-go people who want
to get on with the job. Often they are in positions of authority in
society – such as Police or the Armed Forces. Or they may have sales
and marketing jobs where they are measured by their results. They
like challenges, they move quickly to reach a decision and they
expect instant action. They dislike delays and hate having to attend
to detail.

The author confesses
Nobody is a pure, 100 per cent Head, Heart or Gut person. Most of
us are predominantly one type, with elements of one or both of the
other types.
Personally, I am very much a Gut person. I tend to be impetuous
and often charge into projects without thinking through the



consequences in the way a Head person would; or considering the
full effect my actions would have on others, which is what a Heart
person would do. I am far from methodical in my daily routine, and
by nature very untidy.
In contrast to this, when it comes to holidays, I will spend weeks
reading and planning with maps and guide books with all the dedication of the most devoted Head person.
So, while nobody is purely one particular type, you do have your
essential personality traits to the extent that your friends and colleagues will have some initial expectation of how you will react to
any given set of circumstances.
At this moment you can probably categorize people with whom you
come into contact every day. You probably find it much easier to fit
neighbours and colleagues into a category than you do to categorize
yourself. When you do decide, you will probably tend to consider
that your own type is the ‘right’ one.
However, there are no rights and wrongs in this, no better or worse
categories. Everyone has their own particular strengths, and everyone contributes in some way to the overall mix that makes
team-working effective. What is important is to learn to identify the
core characteristics in others. What motivates them? What is important to them? What principles govern their decisions?

Know your enemy
When negotiating, you will achieve your objectives more easily if you
can identify the core personality type of the other party and play to
this. If the other party is a Head person, they will want facts and
figures, logical analysis and a cautious approach to changing the
status quo.
A Gut person will want action, and will be keen to see an outcome
which offers a quick solution so everyone can move on. A Heart person’s main consideration will be the human impact of the outcome.



Identifying the personality type, even in this simple form, is an effective way of seeing things from the other person’s perspective rather
than your own. This means you can construct your negotiation
around the sort of things that are important to the other side. Of
course, you may not be able to offer all that they are hoping to
achieve – but at least you can empathize with their prime motivation. Take the example of Tork and Grunt again.
In a further attempt to achieve local harmony and bring the tribes
together, Tork and Grunt have teamed up with Chat and Wizpa and
are planning to make their case to a mass meeting of the local inhabitants. The four of them meet up in advance to discuss tactics under
the leadership of Tork. See if you can decide whether each of them
can best be described as a Gut, Head or Heart person.
Tork starts things off by saying:
‘I called this meeting after my discussions with my friend, Grunt,
because I know we all share a common belief that we can build a
better future for ourselves and our children if we come together as
one large community – including those of us who live up on the
hill, those of us who live down in the valley, and those of us who
live on the other side of the mountain and by the lake. Do I have
your broad agreement that we want to create a wider community
embracing all these territories?’
Tork looks around the group who are all nodding in approval.
Chat says:
‘It’s the only logical way forward. We can either hide away on
opposite sides of the mountain, worrying about people on the
other side whom we consider foreigners, or we can come together
and cooperate. Each community has one or more skills it can
share; that’s what Wizpa and I found out. We can teach each
other, but more importantly we could start to trade our specializations.’



‘You mean you want to steal our hunting secrets! That doesn’t
seem such a good idea. My people have learned their skills over
generations. I just want to avoid anything that gets in the way of
getting on with day-to-day life.’
‘It’s not a matter of stealing. It’s all about sharing for the greater
common good. I can’t see my people wanting to dig pits and
spear mammoths. Please! That’s gross! What we’re talking about
is basic economics. If we share, we all benefit.’
‘I don’t see it that way at all, either of you. What I see is a better
life for our children. I don’t want them to grow up frightened of
the people on this side of the mountain. I want them to be able to
play anywhere without us mothers worrying that strangers might
capture them to be used as servants and slaves. I want my
daughters to choose their own husbands, not be carried off by a
band of hunters.’
‘Now, just a minute, let’s not get heated about this. Why don’t
we take this one step at a time? I want to finish all this talking
and get back to more important things.’
‘I know you do, Tork. So, let’s follow a proper negotiating procedure:
➣ What is the present situation?
➣ What are the issues?
➣ What do we want to achieve?
➣ What options are available to us?
➣ How do we measure the outcome?’


Tork is a Gut person. Grunt and Chat are both Head people. Different personalities – but they all want the same outcome. each arguing for their own particular interests.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM The tribes seek a solution that serves everyone In this example. while Wizpa is a Heart person. In the examples of negotiation you have looked at. But in business and diplomacy. But how can you continue to adopt this strategy if you are working in a team? You may be only one party amongst several competing interests. negotiations are frequently undertaken between teams and may involve three or more parties. Let’s look at how multi-party negotiations operate in practice. the conclusion has been that the ideal way to progress and resolve an issue is through Directional Negotiation. who wants to get on with hunting. So far you have looked at negotiations in one-on-one scenarios. concerned about the children of the tribe. 161 . both wanting to be logical and methodical.

and the local council (planning officials. 162 . as well as pharmaceutical companies and scientific research companies on the other ➣ A nightclub and casino in a mainly residential area could attract the attention of religious groups who object to gambling on the grounds of religion. trades unions or pressure groups with particular social concerns such as environmental or conservation groups. so they can develop a basic proposition that covers all of their interests. If the project is for you to construct a garage beside your house. as in a building development project. the environmental lobby and other competing commercial interests – together with local residents. etc). your neighbours. It is important that each team initially prepares its own position amongst themselves. There are examples when there will be more than two teams. Where this is a commercial project. local government. building inspectors. there will not be many interests other than those of yourself. That’s why there is a negotiation.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Multi-party negotiations Major negotiations generally represent a number of interests on each side. Local residents might also object at the prospect of late night noise disturbing the peace of a residential area ➣ A marina and holiday resort development on the site of coastal marshland would arouse objections from naturalists wanting to maintain the wildlife habitat of the wetlands and the resident bird population The importance of being prepared All negotiations involve proposals for change and objections to change. the negotiation could involve a commercial developer. Here are some examples of projects that could be highly controversial and are likely to involve a number of other parties in negotiations: ➣ A medical research establishment testing drugs on animals would immediately attract the attention of animal rights activists and local residents on the one hand.

so that you are prepared in advance to deal with issues raised. At the end of the hearing. as well as identifying individual interests. As a result. The Chair’s role is to consider the arguments of each party and help to find common ground.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM Projects that are going to make fundamental changes to how you live or to your environment. Team play This book deals primarily with a negotiation between two parties. The team will comprise various team 163 . will attract objections from pressure groups. In a multi-party negotiation there is limited opportunity for interaction. the tactic comes down to producing a detailed proposition that is sufficiently comprehensive to persuade the thirdparty arbitrator of the appropriateness of one particular solution. he or she will analyze all the arguments that have been put forward and make recommendations to whatever authority is responsible for making a ruling and reaching a final decision. Much of the analysis and examination lies in the hands of the independent chairperson. you must do your best to explore every possible area of objection the other side – or other parties – might come up with. In your preparation. In many two-party negotiations you are also concerned with a team of negotiators rather than just two individuals. Each team will have a leader who attempts to coordinate all of its interests into one proposition. The Chair will have to consider all the arguments and the impact of alternative outcomes. In a major negotiation. In a multi-party negotiation – which in government matters can develop into a Public Inquiry lasting weeks or months – the main difference from other formats of negotiation is that the discussion forum is largely removed. each side will be represented by a team. or which involve behaviour that is contrary to some people’s personal ethical beliefs. Nothing in a negotiation is more important than being prepared for the unexpected. So. let us now consider the whole subject of how to negotiate as two teams confronting one another.

should the team all follow the same process? Or should they adopt different approaches in order to achieve the best result? The united front Just imagine for a moment that you are facing a united front of a team of four negotiators. In every old Hollywood cowboy film. What are the general tactics of negotiating as a team? How does directional negotiation work when your case is being presented by a team of two or more? Should the tactic be to rally all the team towards the common objective and present a united front? Given the difficulties of establishing an outcome which is acceptable to all parties. within your own negotiating team you 164 .TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS members who can each represent a particular interest which is at stake. you should allocate different roles and functions to different team members. there are two different roles these two people should adopt: the ‘Good Guy’ and the ‘Bad Guy’ or. Black hat – white hat When you operate as a negotiating team. all saying the same thing in the same way. In a tough negotiation you probably start off by thinking of yourself in white hats and the other side in black hats. Even if there are only two members in your team. White Hat and Black Hat. to use Hollywood terminology. with the result that the bigger picture – the need to achieve a workable and lasting settlement – is pushed to one side. The leader must always be aware that without strong leadership there is the possibility that the negotiations could break down into a number of petty disputes over special interests. the ‘good guys’ wore white hats while the ‘bad guys’ wore black hats. do you think it would be easy for either team to arrive at a mutually acceptable outcome? I doubt it! Flexibility is essential if there is to be a mutually acceptable outcome and the constructive approach is to acknowledge and appreciate differences so that ultimately you can find common ground and the foundation for a solution. However.

He will speak less than the other team members but is in a position to pull the negotiation back on course if it starts going back over ground that has already been covered. more than the other team members. It will not always be the most senior member of the team – but it will be the person who. as a director. and try to identify most closely with the ideas that the other side puts forward. 165 . Leader This is the person who has the prime responsibility for contact with the other side. Black Hat The person who ‘wears the black hat’ will play rough and tough and argue in a positional style. The sales director might also be a team member since.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM should allocate different strategic roles to team members. Scribe The Scribe is the person who takes notes and keeps a record of the various points raised in the course of the negotiation. White Hat The person ‘wearing the white hat’ will argue soft and sweet. White Hat will be constantly positive about the negotiation. he or she will take the ultimate responsibility on behalf of the company. But he or she should allow the manager to lead the discussions. while Black Hat will often appear difficult and unwilling to cooperate. will have to live with the outcome and make it work. It could be a sales manager. always stressing the side’s point of view and arguing against any concessions which the other side may try to win. and the Black Hat and the White Hat are just two of the key roles that need to be cast in your team.

He or she will open the negotiation but will leave much of the discussion to White Hat and Black Hat. Unexpectedly. incorporating other roles as needed.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Boffin The Boffin is the technical expert who can bring in technical considerations that may expand or limit the discussion. If there are just two on each team. Members of the negotiating team each have their own roles Switching roles The Leader’s role is to find common ground and identify the sticking points. the other side may find that Black Hat is sympathetic to their proposal. they ‘change hats’ and swap roles. a legal or financial expert. or even in 166 . A good time to do this would be when the other side introduces a new idea or element into the discussion. Black Hat and White Hat are the roles they should adopt. equally. This person could be a scientist or. at least once in the course of the negotiation. These two key members can be most effective if.


agreement. At the same time White Hat starts to find reasons to
object. The other team has no sooner found a friend and ally than it
finds it has a new adversary.
The benefit of this tactic is that the other team has established a
trusting relationship with the person who was previously White Hat
and it is therefore predisposed to listen to this person, even though
he or she is now Black Hat.
As for the former Black Hat, with whom they had been having some
difficulties, the other team is now obliged to reconsider its opinion
since this person is in the role of White Hat, and is now listening to
new ideas with a positive attitude.
Jack and Jill demonstrate this when it comes down to the nitty-gritty
of negotiating to sell their antique long-case clock:
‘This was my grandfather’s; he bought it after the First World War
from a second-hand furniture store. We were wondering what you
would give us for it.’
Charles Jackson, the dealer, glances at the clock but does not want to
appear too interested,
‘It’s not an antique, probably early twentieth century.’
Jill is currently in the role of Leader. She initiated the negotiation and
is ultimately the person most affected by the outcome. She had done
her research but she decides to play her cards close to her chest for
the moment:
‘I know it’s not particularly old, because if you look carefully you
can see the date: 1901. It’s an heirloom, and I hate to sell it, but
we’ve decided it won’t fit in our new home.’
Charles is confident that he can press his advantage, and tries to see
whether he can get Jill to set the price:
‘You’re absolutely right; this sort of piece won’t fit in with modern
décor. What were you expecting to get for it?’
Jill isn’t yet going to reveal that she knows what it was worth.



‘Well, you’re the local expert; you must know what you could
expect to sell it for. What would you say it would be worth to a
‘Well, I am a dealer, not a collector, and I need a fair mark-up if I
am to pay you and then keep it in store. I must admit it’s in good
condition, and I am prepared to offer you 400. I’m sure you
weren’t expecting that sort of sum, were you?’
At his point, Jack steps in, wearing the White Hat,
‘Well, that’s a tidy price for an old clock, Jill, and 400 will come in
very useful at the new house.’
Charles now feels he has an ally in Jack, but he hasn’t reckoned that
Jill would have spent an evening on the Internet researching longcase clocks.
Jill pauses for a moment, and puts on the Black Hat:
‘I don’t know who you are trying to fool, Mr Jackson. I thought
you were an expert. You can see this is a Winterhalder &
Hofmeier, so I think you’ve a nerve offering me 400. You do follow the local auction prices, don’t you? And you know that a
similar clock went for almost 4,000 at auction in the city just
three months ago. So let’s stop messing around. Either you clearly
don’t know your business or else you’re trying to rip me off! Which
is it?’
Jack then steps in, discarding his White Hat and also becoming a
Black Hat:
‘That’s terrible! I had no idea this was so valuable. How dare you
make such an insulting offer?’
Charles has only one option; he has to plead ignorance.
‘Let me have a closer look. I had no idea it was a Winterhalder &
Hofmeier. I do apologize for not being more professional. Yes, I
can see the signature, and you’re quite right. My apologies to
both of you.’



Jill now grasps the White Hat role, not wanting to have both her husband and herself adopting an adversarial position which would only
lead to confrontation:
‘Well, I must admit, it took me some time to find the markings.
But given the design, the timekeeping movement, and the signature, you can see that it does all tie up, doesn’t it? Don’t you think
it’s a rather fine specimen? I’m sure you know collectors who
would be interested, and if you take it off our hands it will save us
the delays and frustrations of the auction house.’
In this brief negotiation, the Black Hat – White Hat strategy quickly
established that Jack and Jill were not going to be put at a disadvantage and Charles was forced to make an apology.
You can also see the benefit of preparation, since Jill’s research paid
off when she was able to show not only that she knew the clock was
an antique – but also that she knew the market price, thus establishing independent criteria on the basis of which the negotiation could
be assessed.

Who sits where?
Chapter Two recounted the negotiations at the end of the Vietnam
War, when procedures were subjected to a lengthy delay because of
a lack of agreement over the shape of the table around which delegates would sit for the formal sessions. Even in a less formal meeting,
the decision as to who sits where is tactically important.
If there are five in each team, this should be the seating plan:
White Hat


Black Hat



While you cannot dictate where the other side sit, it is probable that
the other side’s Leader will sit opposite the Leader of the home team.
Black Hat and White Hat should be separated, with White Hat sitting
next to the leader and the Scribe sitting at the other side of
the Leader.

The negotiating team in position and ready for the kick-off

This looks like a soccer formation with a solid, positive ‘centre’ formation to the team, and the attacks likely to come from the wings.
The leader will ‘kick off’, supported initially by White Hat with the
Scribe keeping the proceedings on course. As the negotiation develops, both Boffin and Black Hat will join the play.
While the essential strategies remain the same as in a one-on-one
negotiation, the main difference comes from the formality of a team


You can achieve this by taking the initiative: start the conversation with social small-talk and establish a friendly context. 171 . The Leaders should make the first move and introduce their teams. they should play their roles convincingly and be difficult. Rehearsals In a major negotiation you will have thoroughly prepared your team and know what it is that you want to achieve. Often you can discover aspects of the situation that you had been blind to when you were totally involved in your own arguments and seeing things only from your own perspective. visiting the other side on their ‘home ground’. You will have in mind a number of key issues you want to cover and you will know your WAO. it is important not to allow the home team any advantage. you want to start the negotiation from a position of strength. truculent – perhaps losing their temper or being totally unreasonable at times – so the whole team can work out how they might handle a number of different situations. Alternatively. Whether you are at home or away. countering the Leader’s arguments as they hear them from the perspective of the other side. It’s a good idea to rehearse some of the possible scenarios in advance. To enable the team to make the most of a rehearsal. you can politely decline their hospitality and suggest that you get straight down to business. with your Leader on one side of the table and the rest of the team on the other.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM negotiation. and make a genuine attempt to find fault with the Leader’s proposals. The ‘home’ side should offer appropriate hospitality and start the conversation with polite social chat. It is useful if all team members stay ‘in character’ during this exercise. The Leader will then present his case and the other team members will role-play in opposition. if you foresee a hostile negotiation. This breaks the ice and sets the mood for more serious matters. When you are the ‘away’ team.

In the rehearsal process. 172 . and decide whether they need to amend their own proposal. it is also very important to be aware of how effectively you are communicating. it is not merely a matter of rehearsing what you want to say. An additional benefit of rehearsal is the opportunity to assess all the communicating messages you are transmitting. Paralanguage Paralanguage is human language that is not conventional verbal language. almost hectoring the audience rather than conversing with them. It includes gesticulation. This brings us to the subject of paralanguage.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Once the role play ends. Much of this is centred on NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming – which was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the early 1970s from what they called ‘modelling’. In the finals of the 2003 World Public Speaking Championships. However. They can also discuss whether they need to adopt specific tactics if the opposition should decide to follow a particular line of argument. As a public speaker I can be too forceful in my delivery. and probably cost me a place in the top three. both verbal and non-verbal. the team should discuss and analyze what they have learned. Understanding and using paralanguage is a useful additional communication tool which you can incorporate as part of your strategy. facial expression and. about the importance of paralanguage. There is a lot of discussion around the importance of paralanguage. intonation. and come across as being dogmatic. this distanced me from my audience when I should have been relating more closely with them. I know I personally have a tendency to look too stern and not smile much. body language. and to ensure that your paralanguage sends out the same messages as your verbal language. I did walk away having learned a lesson I will never forget. in particular.

like NLP. you should smile back. 173 . with gesticulation and expression to accentuate these modes and hence increase effective communication. Modelling – the art of copycat communication To achieve a rapport with someone. you should cross your legs. is a vast subject and one on which there are many books all claiming various degrees of scientific authenticity. Understanding body language Body language. you can improve your communication by modelling or mirroring their behaviour. visually through seeing. When they lean forward. than focusing too intensely on making all the right physical movements to accompany your message. or kinaesthetically through physical experience. To communicate most effectively with people. I find excessive gesticulation distracting. and you will find that communication does become easier. either aurally through hearing. or yawning when someone else yawns. At the heart of NLP is the principle of modelling and this is a technique which is easy to learn and can be incorporated into your communication tactics in any negotiation. Other modelling is easily learnt once you overcome your initial embarrassment. I would recommend concentrating more on the words you use. Some of these are things you do instinctively from an early age. such as laughing when someone else laughs. When they cross their legs.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM The central premise is that people learn and communicate in different ways. The first time you try this. you will probably feel rather self-conscious but it will soon become a habit. There is however one simple rule I believe is worth remembering. and avoid trying to match all my words with appropriate gestures. Personally. and is easy to incorporate into the way you hold yourself in a negotiation. you should lean forward and if they smile. Body language can be used. you need to use all three modes.

you can easily identify openness or a lack of receptiveness from their posture. if you appear scruffy or unkempt will the bank manager see this as being disrespectful? Every aspect of a negotiation contributes to setting the scene and will ultimately influence how you are heard.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Whether you are talking or listening. will the bank manager think you are living an over-extravagant lifestyle? On the other hand. Where there is a choice of location. 174 . Without a word being spoken by them. It is rarely to your advantage to come to the table with an aggressive and uncooperative attitude. and needs to be evaluated in terms of the messages it sends out. In every detail of the way you conduct yourself. And when you see them turn to one side. or fold their arms. Making it an occasion … or not! Every detail of the negotiation is communicating something. you encourage openness in your own manner and project this openness towards the other party. you generally want to appear to be open. as a student looking for a loan. you dress too smartly. when you are deep in thought. which closes up your posture and makes you look unreceptive. even if he or she is not involved in the actual negotiation? Most of us will at some time have been to see our bank manager about raising money. should the meeting be in a modest meeting room or in the company boardroom? Should the coffee come from a beverage machine or be freshly brewed? Should the team be ‘suited and booted’ or more casually dressed? Would it be appropriate for a senior executive to welcome the visitors. with the shoulders back and the head upright. When you maintain an ‘open’ posture. Sometimes. The psychology of this meeting can be quite complex. you know they are avoiding what you are saying or resisting your proposition. you will hunch your shoulders and look down. you are projecting a degree of willingness to negotiate openly and a desire to reach a mutually acceptable outcome. When you look across the table to the other party. they have already given you a response to which you can reply confidently. If. This is certainly not the message you usually want to put across.

You will have to draw together every aspect of your argument and proposal into a formal case. representing the nice guy and nasty guy. In this situation. So.HANDLING PERSONALITIES AND WORKING AS A TEAM However. When a negotiation involves a number of parties. but also their non-verbal communication. each with specific roles that give a balance to the team’s presentation. you can develop your argument to relate to that trait. The team should be aware of 175 . described here as Head. Everybody has one dominant personality trait. you will probably not have an interactive opportunity to discuss your proposition. Heart or Gut. detailed preparation is of the highest importance since there is little if any opportunity to debate the issues at a later stage. Additional roles in a larger team can include Leader. The two basic roles are White Hat and Black Hat. which you will probably have to present to an independent assessor. In the next chapter we shall look at how you can deal with a difficult adversary who is determined to drive a hard bargain – to the extent of using what you might consider ‘dirty tricks’. the same may not be true of the other side. this does not make them any better or worse than you are. It is the assessor’s job to evaluate all the interests and submissions and draw up recommendations to the authority responsible for taking the final decision. not only the words they propose to use. When you can identify the key trait in your adversary. In a two-party negotiation. In doing this they should practise. where more than one person is representing each side. Just because they are different. a summary of the key points about personalities and team negotiations: Summary People are different. different team members should adopt different roles. or soft and hard approaches. Scribe and Boffin. Rehearsals give a team an opportunity to act out their proposals and to gauge the possible reactions from the other side.

it is essential to remember that every detail of preparation has some impact on the negotiation and should be carefully considered. 176 . from the room.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS and practise some of the basic principles of modelling and body language and should. in general. present an open and willing demeanour. Finally. hospitality and protocol right down to whether business or casual dress is appropriate on this occasion.

11 Strategies. and others you can adopt in the course of a negotiation. tactics and handling foul play Starting on the right foot There are many tactics you can adopt to gain an initial advantage. Visible goodwill is the strongest negotiation strategy. High moral ground When you are negotiating you want the other side to concede – either because you know your cause to be just and that what you are asking for is fair and reasonable. it is logical to appear utterly reasonable and levelheaded in the way you start to present your case. S. Before you look at handling how you should deal with a difficult opponent. let’s first consider your initial stance in any negotiation. SUNREI – SONY CORP. Given this basis. 177 . to ensure that you are not pushed into an unsatisfactory result. Don’t let somebody else determine your behaviour. or because you want to give yourself an advantage you do not currently have. DR.U.

Establishing an advantage Robert has a meeting with Alice to negotiate the details of the contract discussed in Chapter Nine. I’m calling about our meeting on Friday. By doing this. to ensure that Alice does not have too great an advantage from being the ‘home team’. and if she decides to be flanked at board level he can always bring more senior people to support him. Then.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Even if you are entering into a negotiation in which the other side has initially appeared difficult. Robert continues: ‘One other thing: here at JK we relax the dress code at the end of the week and have a ‘dress-down Friday’– although we don’t allow jeans or shorts. Alice. ‘Can you email me to let me know who’ll be there on your side?’ Robert has set the scene and made sure there won’t be any surprises. what’s the rule at your offices? I’d hate to arrive in a sweater and find you and your colleagues all in suits!’ 178 . He will see from Alice’s email whether she is fielding a heavyweight team. on a friendly and ‘grown-up’ basis. you take the high moral ground and project a perceived intention to be fair. and one of our finance guys who’s been re-costing everything to take account of both the modifications and the high value of the order. ‘Hello. I was wondering. there will be four of us. you should ignore this and start afresh. Have you got a minute to go through a couple of things? ‘Fine! Firstly. he makes a phone call in advance to sort out some details. I’m bringing along someone from the research department who has been designing the modifications you asked for. and this will be looked at later in the chapter. At a later stage you may need to be more brusque in your style. my director will be in tow – just to make sure I don’t sell the family jewels. The meeting is to be at Alice’s offices and so.

I’m sure it would be really useful to familiarize my colleagues with your operation.’ 179 . How would it be if we arrived at nine-thirty and had a quick look round before the meeting? That way they will be able to put things into context and have a better picture of exactly what the contract entails. I think we’ve agreed ten o’clock till twelve. Robert. I’d also like Bruce. we had thought we would bring in some sandwiches and carry on through lunch. Alice is upping the stakes in her attempt to appear generous and reasonable. he would have started with a disadvantage. after lunch we would rather like to show you the factory and how the new machinery will fit into the production flow. and it would be very convenient if we could be away from your offices by twelve fifteen. the generous hospitality could make it hard to get the best deal. to see how you’re expanding. now. Alice reassures him that they too opt for casual wear on Fridays. On the other hand. He knows that boardroom lunches at Alice’s office are usually more than ‘sending out for sandwiches’ and generally include beer and wine – especially on a Friday afternoon. If his team had arrived dressed formally and found that Alice’s offices also had a ‘dress-down Friday’ policy.’ Robert has a problem. Robert is pre-empting the possibility of being made to feel uncomfortable. while I’ve come to know your factory quite well over the years. but I’m afraid we have a rather heavy agenda for our meeting back here. But Alice has other ideas: ‘Well. If the negotiation is tough. and she knows full well that alcohol could lubricate the negotiating machinery in her favour. Does that present any problems?’ Robert is making sure he is not caught out by Alice dragging the meeting on through the lunch break and into Friday afternoon. my director. Then. By offering hospitality. ‘That would be a great way to end the week. Is this still OK with you? We have a management meeting back here at one.STRATEGIES. TACTICS AND HANDLING FOUL PLAY Again. ‘Just one other point.

Robert finds the following email in his inbox: Hi Robert. Like Robert. Let me check up and get back to you. Alice Robert is surprised at Alice’s response and curious as to whether the relationship is cooling off. Below-the-belt tactics from the other side are designed to put you at a disadvantage. Robert may be faced with a difficult opponent. He makes a mental note and decides to take no further action until the meeting on Friday. Her initial plan to soften up JK Engineering with generous hospitality has been unavoidably thwarted by Robert’s other commitments and so she decides to try other tactics to retain the upper hand. Maybe there will be an opportunity at a later date. 3. Meanwhile. Finally. psychological pres- 180 . take a step back from the subject of the negotiation and re-establish the rules of procedure if the other side starts to play tough. However. 4. Resist the temptation to respond in kind. The old saying is that ‘attack is the best form of defence’. When the other side is confronted by a cool and calm negotiator. 2.’ Next morning. she now decides to wait until Friday before taking any other action. and in this situation he will need to follow a four-step process: 1. They include physical factors. Alice is taking a hard line. or start using dishonest tactics in order to try to undermine the other side’s position. Challenge the other side about their actions. Realize what is going on and identify the tactic. Regret we cannot do an earlier start. Robert has now set a fixed timescale for the meeting. some opponents will disregard decorum and will attack and become aggressive.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘I understand. she has one or two other ideas to try. to force Robert’s hand. For one thing. She knows that being the ‘home team’ is not always an advantage.

You must be alert to any signs that the other side are breaking the rules of the game – and the first thing you have to do is identify exactly what’s going on. At the same time. The general rule for dealing with all types of foul play is to address it quickly. you project a lack of self-confidence. right at the outset. Look at the alternative outcomes in the above example about the seating in the meeting room. Don’t take it personally! When you react to a tactic by responding personally. squeezed between the table and the central heating radiator on the wall.STRATEGIES. and to establish a fixed time-frame for the meeting. TACTICS AND HANDLING FOUL PLAY sure. What’s going on? When you find that your team is seated uncomfortably. While Alice will know whether she is being tactical. Robert has to work out what she and her team are up to. or whether you are being manipulated. especially when you are on the receiving end. This comes back to the importance of separating the personalities from the problems. rather than start the meeting feeling uncomfortable. Robert took steps in advance to pre-empt Alice gaining an advantage in respect of who would be at the meeting. if you are unjustifiably over-sensitive it will reflect badly on you. Robert could have taken the matter personally and said: 181 . and in doing so you cancel out the effect of the other side’s tactics. factual inaccuracies and personal attack. if the table can be moved over. or if there is an alternative meeting room. It is perfectly reasonable to ask. you should immediately ask yourself whether this is just the unfortunate layout of the room. which applies just as much to the subject under discussion as it does to the process of the negotiation. The effect of raising the issue straightaway is to cancel out any advantage the other side might believe they have achieved by this tactic. You cannot pre-empt everything without appearing unreasonably controlling but you can take swift action when you suspect you are being manoeuvred. or pre-empt it if possible. This is not an easy game to play.

and at the same time he has cancelled out any advantage Alice might have hoped to achieve if she was.’ Robert is being polite and practical in his suggestion. Robert could take polite but decisive action: ‘Since all your other meeting rooms are booked this morning. On the other hand. then I suggest we jump in our cars and go down the road to the Black Horse Hotel and have our meeting there. Do you think we could shift it over a foot or two? There seems to be plenty of room over on your side. I know the manager and I’m sure he’ll let us have one of the small private dining rooms. pushing us up against the radiator?’ Alice might then become angry. He sends out a discreet message to Alice that he and his team are not going to be manipulated. poisoning the atmosphere. it has been noticed. Her annoyance or even anger will then gnaw away throughout the meeting. In an extreme case. Robert could say: ‘We’re a bit cramped over this side of the table. At the same time. his comment: ‘There seems to be plenty of room over on your side. 182 . Alice. and this means there isn’t anywhere here where we can meet comfortably. We often use them for business meetings. If Alice has been trying an underhand tactic to make Robert’s team uncomfortable. especially if she has struggled to find a meeting-room available and has not had time to check the layout. if there was a genuine shortage of meeting-room space at Alice’s offices. If not.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘Look. Furthermore.’ communicates to Alice in the gentlest possible way that if this was a deliberate ploy.’ This response makes no accusations. Robert has come to the rescue. provided Robert chooses his tone of voice very carefully. the effect is neutralized. Alice. being tactical. are you trying to roast us here. no harm is done by Robert’s words and the situation is resolved so that Robert and his team are comfortable. in fact.

The language of estate agents is often joked about and can offer us many examples of partial truth and misleading language: Bijou Cosy Homely Deceptively spacious Scope for improvement Development potential Small Cramped Cramped and cluttered Looks cramped Needs renovating Derelict The whole truth and nothing but the truth? In negotiations you are not obliged to be so honest and open that you put yourself at a disadvantage. where a statement is designed to imply more than it actually says. The old Latin maxim of caveat emptor (‘let the buyer beware!’) applies in negotiations. However. the need for a lasting outcome: if you are to continue in a relationship of some sort with the other party you should not create ill will by being deliberately misleading. This is another example in which you need to follow the principle of watching the process carefully. TACTICS AND HANDLING FOUL PLAY Being economical with the truth It is usually easy to spot lies.STRATEGIES. This is shown in these examples.’ And Rosemary immediately sought to clarify the information: ‘Was that a complete re-wiring or just part of the house?’ 183 . Jill made a bald statement: ‘The rewiring set us back 1.000. to be quite sure you see and understand what is going on. you must remember one of the basic rules. going back to Jack and Jill in Chapter One. just as in all buying and selling transactions. you must ask for clarification. When a statement appears incomplete. or else to verify whether or not a bald statement is true or false. selling their house to Robert and Rosemary. It is less easy to spot partial truths.

I’ve come out of my way to see you Salesmen who make home visits have a standard way of negotiating. Jill is talking about the kitchen: ‘The kitchen fixtures and fittings are all included. Having established that. You may be deceived into thinking that the other side is empowered to make a final agreement. pressing consumers into making high value purchases like kitchen renovations or other types of major home improvement in the course of one visit. it is your responsibility to make sure both parties have the same understanding of what has been said. when in fact they need higher authorization or might insist on more time to consider their proposal. once again. The technique is legal but high-pressure. Later. Any response should be a polite request for clarification. Another part of the negotiation process that needs delicate handling is to know when you are going to have final agreement.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Rosemary verifies the extent of the renovations. You should never assume that the other side is being deliberately misleading. It is not easy to establish this at the outset of a negotiation without appearing to be pressurizing the other side – but it is critical to establish this in your own mind so you do not reach your final position while the other side intends to carry on negotiating. Is it included?’ When any factual statement is made. not an accusation of attempted deception. If there is attempted deception. starting with an advance telephone confirmation that both husband and wife will be available for the appointment. but what about the dishwasher? That’s not built-in. Time is important throughout the negotiation and it is critical in determining the conclusion of the process.’ And again Rosemary makes sure the information is precise: ‘Obviously that includes the built-in appliances like the hob and twin ovens. the technique is to start early in the negotiation with the question: 184 . you will have pre-empted it.

or if they say they intend to see other potential suppliers. Then I’ve brought Jack from engineering and Naomi from finance along with me. we’re finally getting down to the details. are you willing to make a decision tonight?’ The salesman then refuses to start discussions until he has their agreement – so the first part of the negotiation is determine the process of the negotiation itself. You’ve met my sales director. TACTICS AND HANDLING FOUL PLAY ‘If I can answer all your questions so you are completely satisfied with my answers. in a way that is neither forceful nor offensive. After all.’ In essence. However. how can you possibly want to delay finalizing your purchase?’ I am certainly not advocating that you should handle a serious business negotiation in this highly pressurized way. if I meet all your objections. Also. Robert is saying exactly the same thing as the homeimprovements salesman. He can even go one stage further: 185 . Alice. If they say they want time to think things over. the principle is valid.STRATEGIES. I can give you a substantial discount on our list price – but only if you keep your side of the bargain and sign up tonight. Let me run through what I see as the agenda for this meeting. Colin. This is Julian who joined us recently from Harvard Business School. He is establishing all the points that need covering in order to clinch the deal. so we can iron out all the details and ensure we get the new machinery manufactured and commissioned to suit your production schedule. and then I’d be grateful if you would see if I’ve left out anything we need to cover. but saying it in a more acceptable way. as you can see when you observe how Robert opens his negotiation with Alice: ‘Well. he will probably respond along these lines: ‘I’ve come out of my way to see you this evening and it’s not worth my while to spend the evening explaining to you how we can offer you the best products at the best prices if you’re not prepared to come to a decision once I have answered all your questions to your complete satisfaction.

Does that fit with your plans?’ While he cannot prevent Alice from going away to think about it. Alice. he can judge to some extent how far he should go in making concessions if he has a clear idea as to what Alice wants to cover and how final Alice perceives the day’s meeting is going to be. If you ignore it. You might be kept waiting.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘I am hoping we can finalize and agree everything with you and your team today. and then choose a calculated response. The walk-out In tense negotiations. the same golden rule applies as in all tactical fouls: you must notice it and you must ensure that the other side knows it has been noticed. They might gather up their papers and get up 186 . it will have no effect whatsoever. You might find that the other side treats you as inferior or ignorant. negotiations will be less restrained than in others. In some discussions. You are in control of how you react. When you are driving in traffic and another motorist yells at you or gesticulates obscenely. it will only be an effective tactic for the opposition if you are seen to be affected by it. Accept that something may be said in the heat of the moment or as a deliberate ploy. All human communication relies on some degree of reciprocity. In every case where there is some sort of discourtesy. such as divorce proceedings or trades unions’ negotiations. Insults and tantrums In some cultures. or distracted by deliberate interruptions. and you can choose how you respond. When it comes to heated emotions and flare-ups of temper. not an emotional one. But you don’t need to let it have any impact. the other side might call your bluff and call a halt to negotiations. emotions may run high. it will only have an effect if you react to the insult.

STRATEGIES. 187 . you need to pull them back from the brink and debate the benefits of the broad outcome you are both hoping to achieve. Perhaps they need to see your outline proposals in more detail. you always have your WAO. you need to see whether the current process of negotiation needs to be reappraised. they are trying to extend it on their terms. How can you rescue the process if the other side threatens to end everything? Firstly. or to change your position significantly – or both. But this can never be more than a short term hiatus in the process of resolving the unsatisfactory situation which drove the parties to the negotiating table in the first place. it is a deliberate tactic. They are not trying to end the negotiation. Just be aware of what is going on and make sure not only that you know what they are up to. and you need to explore alternative options which might break the present impasse. you should ensure you have definitive ways of objectively measuring the outcome. Having established this key principle. TACTICS AND HANDLING FOUL PLAY from the table. or that both sides need more information from each other. Everything you will say must be based on the premise that both sides want to reach an acceptable outcome. Even when you are told to take it or leave it. and both parties prefer to return to the status quo. possibly submitted in writing so they can go away and study them further. and you always have the final choice. perhaps there is no scope for a mutually acceptable outcome. you must realize that this is not a declaration of an actual decision. but also that they know you know and understand their game. In particular. Perhaps they need to consult further with their colleagues. It may be that you need an independent arbitrator. You must reassure them that you are committed to reaching a solution which satisfies everyone. It will rapidly become clear to the other party that they cannot get the outcome they want if negotiations are discontinued. They are ignoring the process and trying to get you either to change the process. At the end of the day. Secondly.

your WAOs. Back on the hillside. you will occupy the moral high ground. You should confront tactics with tactics: ➣ Realize what is going on Identify the tactic. if they are hitting below the belt. be on your guard and notice what is going on. ➣ Call timeout When the other side starts to play tough. ➣ Blow the whistle on foul play Firmly but politely. and for this reason you must couch your words carefully. At the same time. 188 . Take a step back from the subject of the negotiation and re-establish the rules of procedure. If you descend to the level of the other side. Tork and Grunt are talking to their grandchildren. to avoid fencing-in the other side and making unjust accusations. you will lose this advantage. you need to make sure they know you have spotted their ruse. you must get the negotiations back on course. When you reach the negotiating table you may be confronted with foul play. challenge the other side about their actions. ➣ Resist the temptation to respond in kind While you keep your cool and are fully prepared. It’s possible you are being over-sensitive. and things have come to a head. the details of the process to be followed and the basis for evaluating the final outcome – the less scope there is for surprise tactics when the parties meet.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS Summary All negotiations are tactical. 20 years on. The more work you do before the actual negotiation – by way of preparation of your arguments.

PART FOUR Summarizing the process .


Grunt. a new way of working together. Chat and all the members of the enlarged tribe are meeting on the hillside. and there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. So it is that I choose to talk to you about the time when Grunt and I first met. we fight for our people. All the families are present for this community meeting. Wizpa. We argued for what we wanted. we might find a way that we could both be happy with the outcome of our negotiation. for our families and for the sake of the next generation. ‘When we first met. sharing the spoils of our hunting and foraging and sharing our knowledge and skills. But when Grunt and I met – just as when Wizpa and Chat first met – we could not see that if we understood what each other wanted. and how we came to live not as separate tribes but as a common group. Tork stands to address them formally: ‘I have been invited by our noble chief. laughing and squealing. I have chosen to take this opportunity to highlight learning from which the tribe might benefit. When we face our enemies from across the water. Alto to start our gathering and address you today. We developed what we called our Mammoth Strategy. The toddlers are running around playing tag. 191 . and the youngsters are playing games with pebbles and sticks or racing beetles across rocks. The teenagers are teasing and flirting. we saw things only from our own point of view. sharing the work.12 Tork and Grunt pass it on The meeting of the elders Tork.

talking when you are faced with an enemy. and are ready to proceed. and this is what I want to share with you at this time: ‘Discussion starts when someone’s got something you want. You agree what you want and you start to talk about what the options are. When you do. Surely the important thing is to protect your own 192 . a fine young hunter with a reputation for being hot-headed.’ Chukka. you keep respect for each other.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘We learned some things that have been very useful to us over the years. Most importantly. ‘All the time. and does this help? ➣ Is this the right time and place for both of you? ➣ At the end of the day. then you can talk about it. the proposals you put forward must be Sensible : Straightforward : Sustaining : Satisfying. but into the future. talking. are you both looking for similar outcomes? ‘Once you’re clear about this. He is clearly confused and wants to make his point: ‘Mr Tork and honoured elders! I cannot understand how you can spend so much time talking. If you can understand each other. ‘When you start talking. ‘You need to think about the person you’re dealing with: ➣ Are you similar. you agree on how you will measure the options and the outcomes. ‘Once all the parties have agreed about how they are going to negotiate – and that can be quite a complicated process – then you can get down to the serious business of working out a solution. It’s no good if you have a different view of how things will turn out. jumps up and seizes the talking post that any speaker steps up to when they wish to address the group. You respect each other and acknowledge your differences. you need to make sure that whatever you agree is going to work. you need to set the scene. not just there and then. That’s how we have managed to resolve our differences and all sit down here together today.

without all this talk. sure of sight and steady with my hunting spear. attack before you are attacked. swift of foot. It is Grunt who steps forward to respond. That scar on your shoulder is an honourable mark for your fight to defend your honour last year – but remember that your attacker. look after your own people and loved ones. 193 . How can you insist on all this soft talk?’ Tork smiles wryly and glances across to Grunt. I too wanted to settle differences quickly.’ Chukka nods. Like you. I remember when I was your age. But what we elders have all learned is that there is often a way for all parties to have what they want without giving up what they value and wish to protect. misunderstood what you were doing when he saw you holding his wife in your arms.TORK AND GRUNT PASS IT ON Chukka demands action interests. Jellus from across the valley. ‘Young Chukka.

talk. Jellus jumped to the wrong conclusion. the better equipped we are to argue. Speek. Maybe the other side are not telling the whole story. ‘Thank you. It’s his wife. perhaps they have a hidden agenda. we would plan to integrate our families and our way of life on a permanent basis. As it happens.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS ‘You’re right. we then all decided that the air was cooler up here on the mountain. The more we know about the background to the negotiation. and I’ll say it again: Information is Power. she had fallen and hurt her leg.’ A voice booms out from the row behind him. You have given us a fine example of just why it is so important to establish understanding before we enter any discussion or precipitate any drastic action. 194 .’ Tork turns to respond: ‘And the reason Jellus jumped to the wrong conclusion was because there hadn’t been any of what you call “talk. if after two moons we were finding life easier and food more plentiful. ‘Information is power. Keep asking questions. Remember. If we hadn’t had those criteria then we might have started arguing about whether or not we wanted to continue. And of course.’ He smiles and pauses: ‘When we start to negotiate. when you set these criteria. the power of our action does not come from shouting or threatening. keep checking what they say and don’t automatically reveal everything you know. you have to make sure you’re not letting self-interest get in the way of your objectivity. we agreed that. ‘Another important point is that you have to agree on how you measure the result of the negotiation. Chukka. I was running back home so that Wizpa and the other women could attend to her injury. talk”. There are stronger weapons than these. Everyone agreed on that. When we first moved down into the valley to live with Grunt’s people. and when Wizpa found the springs up here in the forest there was fresh clean water for everyone.

There’s the Leader. Sometimes we can be swept away by enthusiasm and rush into doing the wrong deal at the wrong time. dear wife. so let me show you how we line up. Let me hand over to my dear friend. ‘Thank you. Grunt. It can be tedious – but you’re in a stronger position.’ He pauses for a moment. ‘I’m going to give you all roles in this play. ‘When there’s a team of you negotiating. Sometimes you’ll need a whole list of WAOs to cover all sorts of possible eventualities.’ Grunt picks out five children from the front row and lines them up facing the assembled group. and there’s the Black Hat who is difficult and argumentative.TORK AND GRUNT PASS IT ON ‘Timing! Don’t forget timing! You’ve forgotten how you and Grunt rushed into things in the first place. ‘I’ve talked enough.’ Grunt rises.’ For a moment Tork almost loses his composure. I was about to say that it’s extremely important not to let Urgency overcome Importance. He decides to add a touch of humour and reaches for a large sack he has brought with him. it’s all a bit of a game. to say something about group negotiations. the more you prepare. Then there’s the White Hat. He forces a smile. who is very nice and polite. Now. And I’ll need some help from some of you youngsters. when the elders come to negotiate with the elders of another tribe. leading a round of appreciative applause for his colleague. We all know what we’ll do if we get what we want from a negotiation – but it is very important indeed to be confident about what we’ll do if things don’t go the way we would like them to. ‘Another vital part of any negotiation is the What if? It’s what Grunt and I call our WAO: our Walk-away Option. and blushes from ear to ear at his wife’s interruption. You decide who’s going to play which part in the negotiations. He has lost his train of thought but quickly remembers what he wants to say next. who wants to be who?’ 195 . the Boffin and the Scribe.

It’s very professional and ever since we adopted this system we’ve had no problems with border disputes or any other disagreements with the neighbouring tribes.’ Grunt gives a broad smile and lets the children take a bow. friendly and supportive. Then on one end we have the Boffin. The children demonstrate the process 196 . The White Hat sits on his left. And at the other end we have the Black Hat who can liven things up if they get stuck. and Grunt finally allocates the roles and lines them up again with their hats. He then hands the stage back to Tork. ‘The Leader takes the centre seat in our line-up with the Scribe on his right. This arrangement always works because each person takes care of a particular aspect of the negotiation. to keep a record of everything.TORK & GRUNT’S GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE NEGOTIATIONS The children shout and squeal. ready to answer any tricky technical points.

and I am proud of what we have all achieved. when we negotiate. ‘That’s all I ever wanted in my life. When this happens. Don’t take it personally. Tork has taught you everything you need to know about communication and negotiation. Timing.’ 197 . ‘Sometimes the other side can be very argumentative and not play by the rules. find an independent specialist you both respect and let him or her come in with an objective assessment. ‘These are the lessons we have learned as we came together to form our community. Since most people are focused only on what they want. make sure you keep the argument strictly about the issue and don’t be tempted to let personalities be dragged into it. and summarized it in five words: Understanding. If you can’t resolve it between yourselves. Information. Just encourage them so they get it all off their chest. Respect. ‘We have learned that you get what you want in life by giving other people what they want. In the famous words of John F. debate and negotiate on any issue. and always know we are secure in having a future we are happy to live with. Timing. Respect. We have never been afraid to negotiate. Negotiation is the pathway to making changes for the better. But it’s not always quite that easy. Patience. let them. no matter how powerful the other side might be. But let us never fear to negotiate.TORK AND GRUNT PASS IT ON ‘That really sums up everything from our side. Throughout this book. then takes his place with his fellow-elders. Patience. One day we may need to make concessions – but we know that as long as we have our WAO we can discuss. this strategy has enabled us to achieve what we want without anybody making any major sacrifices or concessions.’ Tork dabs his eyes as the emotion wells up. ‘Understanding. Information. Kennedy: ‘Let us never negotiate out of fear.

embraced the concept with enthusiasm and has brought the characters to life just as I intended. (http://schoolofchannelling. My cartoonist. the ways in which we so often misunderstand both others and ourselves. I was fascinated by the research I did at that time into the Harvard Negotiation Project and I have drawn extensively on Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In written by Roger Fisher and William L. joint founders of the international More to Life project (http://www.Acknowledgements First thanks must go to my publisher. most importantly. I would also like to credit the work of W. Roy Whitten and the late K. Ury with Bruce Patton as editor.moretolife. on leadership. Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Great Presentations looks at effective communications in presentations and speeches and more titles will follow. published globally by Penguin Books. The Book Cooks. my thanks go to Eric Yang. successful strategies for life and other areas of communication. who first told me that I could. and has led me to be become a tutor in this field and start to pass this on to others. Their training programmes have taught me a great deal about the way people interact and. Bradford This book started when I was working as a coach with a CEO. The second book. In particular. Martin Liu at Cyan. David Finally. who saw and liked the idea of Tork and Grunt as a vehicle for a series of books on different areas of modern business skills. who first asked me if I could write a book and Fi who taught me how to access personal creativity in a way that has made writing a pleasure and a joy. tackling issues around inter-personal communication skills. 198 . my gratitude to Tony Neate of the School of Channelling. This book would never have been completed without the support and encouragement of many friends along the way. Lesley Morrissey and Jo Parfitt and my editor Fiona Cowan contributed tremendous professional support and many friends have at different times read parts of the manuscript and kept my writing on track.

to help businesses get their message across and has worked with many of the world’s largest corporations in developing their corporate communications. Today.bobharvey. He set up his company. Bob graduated with an honours degree in Economics and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. scripting and delivering all types of corporate please visit www.About the author Bob Harvey is the author of two highly entertaining and informative books on cutting-edge communication techniques: Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Effective Negotiations Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Great Presentations. Bob specializes in and For those readers wishing to explore Tork and Grunt’s world. He also runs extremely popular and successful workshops on communication techniques and personal management skills. In the past. His career has encompassed brand management. Messages into Words. writing for magazine columns and broadcasting.TorkandGrunt. he has held the title of UK Public Speaking Champion together with the title for Impromptu Speaking. Bob can be contacted via his company’s websites: 199 . sales.

In this book you’ll discover: ➣ Content is the key to an outstanding presentation ➣ The risks of speaking are really great opportunities ➣ How to engage the audience in conversation. With Tork’s guidance.99 Paperback . You win by pointing the audience clearly in the right direction. he learns how to structure and deliver his electioneering presentations and speeches. not bullets. not by hitting them with random and confusing ‘bullet point’ statements. not bore them with commentary ➣ The fundamental structures of the Goldilocks Principle and the Beethoven Imperative ➣ How to develop a theme and tell a story ➣ The ten commandments for using PowerPoint or Keynote with dramatic effect ➣ The difference between ‘audience support’ and ‘speaker support’ ➣ Techniques for overcoming stress and creating your comfort zone ➣ The basics of stagecraft and projecting personal charisma You win with arrows.ALSO BY BOB HARVEY Tork & Grunt’s Guide to Great Presentations is a story told through the lives of Tork and Grunt and their fellow cave-people where Grunt is standing for election as the new chief. as well as modern-day examples. Using stories from their Stone Age life. ISBN 978-0-462-09924-8 / £9. from scripting to delivery. this practical and engaging book explores many aspects of speaking in public. including the use of PowerPoint and Keynote.