#65 Lack Of Trust: A Threat To Collaborative Negotiation And How To Get Past It

This is the second in a series of blogs exploring factors that can threaten collaborative negotiation. The previous blog examined tricks and power grabs; this one looks at lack of trust. In Getting to Yes, Fisher and Ury suggest that one can proceed in negotiation independent of trust. Counter-intuitively, they … Continue reading

#64 Reciprocity: Use It As A Guide In Responding To Manipulation

Reciprocity: Us It As A Guide In Responding To Manipulation

This blog owes its central theme of using reciprocity in negotiation to Gordon Sloan’s take on a passage in Fisher and Ury’s Getting to Yes. Negotiation should be reciprocal communication, that is, each party should be able to participate in negotiation in an equivalent manner. Therefore, if only one party … Continue reading

#63 Use A Tripwire If You Feel Vulnerable In Negotiation


The notion of a ‘tripwire’ is a highly practical concept supplemental to the BATNA that Fisher and Ury wrote about in Getting to Yes. If you are concerned about being influenced to accept – in the heat of the moment – an agreement you will later regret, use a ‘tripwire.’ … Continue reading

#62 Quantifying Intangible Interests In Negotiation

Intangible Interests: image of a fairy

Intangible interests are subjective interests that are difficult to quantify, for example privacy, reputation, and honour. It is difficult to weigh one option against another when you know they are relevant but have trouble determining the extent of their value. Below are three examples. In every case, one can estimate … Continue reading

#61 Ranking Options In Cases Of Confounded Interests

#61 Ranking Options In Cases Of Confounded Interests

This blog outlines a way of ranking options when each option satisfies a set of confounded interests in different ways. The method is described in The Manager as Negotiator by Lax and Sebenius. My advice is to apply it as an aid in decision-making, but not to be wedded to … Continue reading

#60 Intangible Interests – Why They Are Important And How To Identify Them

Photo of hand representing intangible interests

The interests of negotiators can be divided into substantive interests such as low cost, a strong product, or a flexible contract; and intangible interests, which tend to be more subjective and psychological in nature, such as an interest in honest communication.

#59 The Cost Of Negotiating May Not Be A Cost At All

#59 cost of negotiating

  In this blog I address the value and cost of negotiating in relation to the benefit of an agreement. You can ask yourself: Is the benefit of a potential agreement worth the cost of negotiating, i.e. your time, effort, and possible financial outlay? In other words, the benefit of … Continue reading

#58 Is Negotiation What You Think It Is?

Is Negotiation What You Think It Is?

For many people the term ‘negotiation’ conjures up visions of trade deals and collective agreements. For others, ‘negotiation’ broadly includes two co-workers reaching a decision on which coffee shop to meet at. For me, a negotiation occurs when people are seeking an agreement and something is at stake for them. … Continue reading

#57 Building Trust in the Absence of Integrity

Building Trust

This blog further explores the notion introduced in Blog #17 that there are different approaches to trust. There, I initially named these approaches ‘faces of trust,’ and in this blog I am describing them as qualities that we can rely on in someone else to build trust. This blog also … Continue reading

#56 Complexity Tolerance

Complexity Tolerance: image of a raindrop laden cobweb

In order to make sense out of the world, we seek and use simple explanations for complex things. Simple explanations allow us to comprehend easily and act without undue deliberation, but they can also get us into trouble. Complexity can be advantageous. The tension between simplification and greater complexity plays … Continue reading