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Cal State University Northridge Factors Influencing Negotiation Essay

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Stone & Patton’s Guide to Discussing
What Matters Most
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
California State University Northridge
© 2015
1. Am I smart, competent, knowledgeable, informed?
2. Am I a good person?
3. Am I worthy of love?
▪Challenges to our identity is threatening. We often respond with denial and
▪We cling to “all or nothing” thinking falacies.
▪Or, we exaggerate – being harder on ourselves as if we are defined by one act or
one person’s observation. We become deflated and defeated.
▪Identify your identity issues – what’s your trigger? Observe your behavior when you
feel attacked on this characteristic.
▪Recognize that “no one is always anything.” Adopt the “and” stance.
▪You will make mistakes. Everyone does. Acknowledging them (1) makes you calmer,
(2) reduces the costs to others of identifying mistakes, (3) projects maturity and
leadership, and (4) gives you an opportunity to improve. Recognize that their
identity may also be at stake.
▪Maintain your balance by (1) avoiding an attempt to control others, (2) preparing
(without alarmism) for their response, (3) visualizing the future, and, if need be, (4)
taking a break. Distance helps regain equanimity.
Stone & Patton’s Guide to Discussing
What Matters Most
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
California State University Northridge
© 2015
▪We avoid discussing feelings
▪We hide feelings conversations inside (what we think are) more objective
▪The hardest skills: discussing feelings and listening
▪We avoid feelings conversations sometimes because we don’t want to jeopardize
relationships; yet the feelings keep bleeding out in other ways
We convert our feelings to:

Judgments (“if you cared about me you would have called me today.”)
Attributions (“he’s such a jerk.”)
Characterizations (“you always ignore me.”)
Problem-solving (“you should stop criticizing me.”)
▪Feelings are based on perceptions and perceptions can change. Therefore our feelings can
▪Feelings can be described and discussed; try a thoughtful (and unemotional) discussion of
▪Reduce the cost of having others raise feelings conversations
▪Feelings are neither right nor wrong; no apology is necessary or helpful. Instead, discuss
feelings without blame, attribution, or judgment.
▪Start a sentence with “I feel…”
▪Acknowledge one another’s feelings – demonstrate listening skills. Avoid interruptions,
“talking over” and contradicting.
▪Sometimes feelings are the entire problem.
Stone & Patton’s Guide to Discussing
What Matters Most
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
California State University Northridge
© 2015
When we feel vulnerable
When our self-esteem is at stake
When we care deeply about the outcome of the conversation
The problem with avoidance: the issue probably won’t disappear and we’re
depriving ourselves and others of a chance to improve things
The problem with confrontation: we may harm things so that they’re even worse
The solution: Learn how to manage difficult conversations
Caveat: It’s work. You have to change the way you do things, rather than simply
expecting others to change.
Benefits: It’s worth it. You’ll have reduced fear, improved relations with others,
greater self-confidence and inner peace, a greater sense of freedom
Keep your expectations realistic:
▪No matter how much you improve, you’ll always have difficult conversations (about
big and small things) all of your life
▪You’ll never completely eliminate your dread or fear of difficult conversations. You
can, however, reduce your anxiety significantly.
▪Start here: Shift from a “delivery” stance to a “learning” stance
1. What Happened?: Many difficult conversations are about what happened or
what should happen. The problem: we assume we know everything (“WYSATI”:
Kahneman’s “what you see is all there is” fallacy).
2. The Feelings Conversation: Should I feel this way? Should I speak up about my
feelings or keep them out of the conversation? The problem: instead of
managing our feelings, we sometimes hide our feelings or let them blow up.
3. The Identity Conversation: The conversation we have without ourselves about
what the situation means to us. The problem: We act as if the conversation has
nothing to do with ourselves (the other person must change; we, on the other
hand, are fine) – therefore never acknowledging that the topic challenges our
Difficult conversations are difficult because they are about feelings.
▪We may focus on logic; ignoring feelings
▪We may avoid speaking directly
▪We may feel confused or vulnerable
▪When should we bring up our feelings?
This conversation is the one we have with ourselves: Are we good enough? Are we
smart? Are we competent? Are we worth being loved?
 We have internal debates about what the event says about us
 This debate impacts our self-image
 This struggle may mean that we feel threatened or uncertain
The “what happened” conversation is often grounded in what we assume about the
other’s intentions
The problem:
 We assume we know their intentions
 We fail to understand that intentions may be mixed
 We fail to understand that the intention may not be related to us
More problems with the “what happened?” conversation: we assign blame.
The problem?
 It generates denial, defensiveness and argument
 It can trigger injured senses of justice
 It brings little learning; we avoid exploring what went wrong and how, in the future, we can do
The “feelings” conversation can make us feel vulnerable. We can do better when we
 Understand,
 Know when to discuss, and
 How to manage our feelings
Stone & Patton’s Guide to Discussing
What Matters Most
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
California State University Northridge
© 2015
Problem 1: I am right; you are wrong.
 Most difficult conversations are not about verifying the facts, rather their significance
 Our perceptions differ: we see different things, we see them in different context, we put different values on
them, and we act upon them differently (Myers-Briggs).
Problem 2: We know others’ intentions.
 Intentions are invisible.
 We create stories to explain others’ behavior.
 Intentions can be mixed, they can be unrelated to us, or they may be irrelevant (e.g. intentions can be good
yet still hurtful)
Problem 3: We focus on blame: they’re selfish, controlling, naïve, irrational
 The urge to assign blame creates defensiveness and little learning.
 They think we’re to blame
 Focus on the people distracts us from focusing on the problem.
▪Arguing inhibits uncovering our respective stories. Instead, we “trade conclusions.”
▪Arguing is often unpersuasive. People rarely change unless they think that the other
person has understood them.
▪Uncovering our stories lets us see that:
▪ We don’t have all of the information (battle Kahneman’s “all you see is all there is” observation).
▪ We observe different things (Myers-Briggs).
▪ Our different life experiences lead us to different conclusions.
▪ We apply different “life” rules to what we see.
▪ We put different values on the things we observe (Myers-Briggs).
▪ We are driven by self-interest (e.g. endowment bias, Raiffa).
Changing from “message delivery” to the learning conversation means inviting the
other person to help us figure things out.
 Move away from the “truth assumption.” Rather than convincing others you’re right, the focus is on
understanding others’ perceptions, exploring options, understanding the complexity of problems,
giving everyone “ownership” of solutions
 Rather than delivering information or solutions, focus on interpretations and values.
 It “invites” others to help us solve problems
▪Avoid the “but” stance; adopt the “and” position:
▪Understanding someone else’s story doesn’t require that you:
▪ agree with it or
▪ abandon your own story.
▪Understanding someone else’s story does allow you to:
▪ Be curious and be clear
▪ Gain credibility
▪ Gain buy-in
▪Two big problems: Our intentions and their intentions.
▪With others, we assume that if we are hurt, they had bad intentions. We ascribe
bad intentions, therefore, to bad results. This fosters alienation and suspicion. Our
opinion is often based only on the impact of their conduct on us.
▪But with ourselves, we’re more charitable. If we hurt others, we claim that we had
good intentions (cf. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development). The negative
consequences of our behavior are sanitized by our intentions.
▪ Our defense (“I didn’t mean to hurt you”) stops us from hearing their story. The focus on intention
stalls any greater understanding or solution.
1. Verify what the person did or said. Include only what you truly know – not
gossip, not guesses.
2. Identify its impact on you.
3. Identify your assumption about what the other person intended.
4. Hold that assumption as a hypothesis; it’s not yet truth. This helps you remain
open to new information and to abandon your assumption more easily if it later
seems incorrect. “Don’t pretend that you don’t have a hypothesis.”
5. Tell the other about the impact on you. Consider asking about their intentions.
▪ is about judging
▪ looks to the past
▪ doesn’t solve problems
▪ alienates one another and gets people entrenched in their stories
▪ looks to the future
▪ avoids getting us locked in positions
▪ encourages sharing information
▪ encourages problem solving
▪ demonstrates maturity and leadership
▪ is an easier conversation to initiate; leading to increased discussions and understanding
Best practices, business
etiquette, impression
Professor Williams
© 2013
Not to be transmitted. For class use only.

Identifying the scope of the project helps
manage expectations
Keeping key players informed of progress
and glitches
Creating timelines
Task allocation
Backup plans with deadlines
Getting agreement from the outset:
Project analysis

Solicit ideas
Review progress, with check-ins
Written notes, with “to do” lists
Reflective listening
Recognizing accomplishment
Techniques for getting the best
work from others
Entertaining alternative hypotheses
 Identifying the information you don’t
 Post mortem: creating a safe place for
project review
 CRM: “See it, say it, do something” –
creating an environment for respectfully
questioning authority, decisions,

Growth & improvement:
overcoming the certainty bias

Takes initiative
Takes responsibility
Works well with others
Understands our concerns
Solves problems
Strong communication skills
What employers & clients say they
Why first impressions matter
 How to manage the impression you make

◦ What do you reveal by saying…
 “What does your company do?”
 “What does your compeny do?”
 “Do I have to finish the project by the deadline?”
 “But it’s not my fault.”
 “Do I put the period before or after the quotation
 “Can I have another copy? I wasn’t here.”
Impression management

What do you reveal by saying…
◦ (at the outset)…”We weren’t able to do x
◦ “We could have done a better job if we had
more time (or information, or resources).”
◦ “We can’t make a recommendation because…”
Client management

Manage yourself
◦ Solicit advice
◦ Thank those who give you constructive
◦ What did you do well? What would you do
◦ Behave professionally
◦ Act as if you were the next person up the
management chain
The secret: You are a work in
progress. So is everyone else.
Getting to Yes, ch. 2
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge

Negotiators are people
◦ Cognitive biases
◦ Partisan perceptions, illogic, blind spots
◦ Problem: Misunderstanding reinforces
prejudice. Purpose mutates to
 Scoring points
 Confirming negative impressions
 Blame
Separate people from the problem

When ongoing relationships become
entangled with the problem
Lack of ongoing relationships encourage “last
inning” behavior
◦ Egos become entangled with substantive positions
◦ People draw unfounded inferences, which we treat
as facts about that person’s intentions and attitudes

Positional bargaining puts relationship and
substance in conflict
Cf: Relationship & problem

Base relationship on
 Mutually understood perceptions
 Clear, two-way communication
 Express emotions without blame
 Forward-looking, purposeful outlook
Disentangle the relationship from
the substance; deal directly with
the people problem

Deal with people problems by changing how you
treat them, not substantive concessions
Change how you treat people

To deal with psychological problems, use
psychological techniques
◦ Test assumptions
◦ Education
◦ Place them in three categories
 Perception
 Emotion
 Communication
Psychological problems
 Perception: Truth is simply one more
argument (good or not) for dealing with
◦ Cognitive biases: affirmation – the selection and
focus on facts that confirm prior perceptions and
disregard or misinterpret others
◦ Understand another’s point of view without agreeing
to it (“I’m sorry”)
◦ Don’t deduce their intentions from your fears –
People assume whatever they fear is what the other
party intends to do

Emotions cloud perception
◦ Don’t blame the other party for your problem –
it’s usually counterproductive – puts other
party on defensive
◦ Distinguish problem from the person you’re
talking to

Discuss each other’s perceptions
◦ Voicing their perception is powerful – and
don’t miss an opportunity to treat a subject
as important simply because it is unimportant
to you (e.g. tech. transfer at Law of Sea
◦ Look for ways to send messages different
from their perception

Get participation early – give them a
stake in the outcome – agreement is
easier if both parties have ownership
◦ Get involvement early
◦ Give credit generously
◦ Face-saving involves reconciling agreement
with principle and with self-image of
◦ Fear breeds anger
◦ Anger breeds fear
◦ Pay attention to core concerns: autonomy,

appreciation, affiliation, role and status
Identity: negative emotion can be driven from
perceived threat to identity – one’s self-image or
Make emotions explicit and acknowledge as
Allow others to recount their grievances to an
attentive audience, NB danger of fueling the fire
Don’t react to emotional outbursts
Use symbolic gestures (they’re usually low cost but
high impact)
Emotions: Feelings may matter
more than talk

Communication: Whatever you say, the
other party will often hear something
◦ Sometimes they’re not talking to each other
but instead enlisting others as partisan
◦ Sometimes they’re not listening to you –
 They’re busy thinking about what they’ll say next
 They’re resisting your message

◦ Listen actively to what is being said – the
cheapest concession you can make to the other
side is for them to know they’ve been heard
◦ Understanding is not agreeing
◦ Speak to be understood – blaming the other
party, name calling, etc. reduce the chance
that they will hear you
◦ Speak about yourself, not about them

Prevention works best
◦ Build a working relationship (The Ben
Franklin example, but note that it’s not just
that it’s comfortable knowing that someone
else owes you a favor but also there’s an
investment bias)
◦ Face the problem, not the people –side-byside approach to a mutual problem – shared
Getting to Yes, ch. 3
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge
Agreement is often possible precisely
because the interests differ – therefore
there’s an opportunity for gains from
 Identify their interests
 Don’t assume that each party on the
other side has the same interests
 Most power interests are basic human
needs: security, money, a sense of
belonging, recognition, control

Focus on interests, not positions

Talk about interests
 Make the other side understand how
important and legitimate your interests are –
be specific
 Acknowledge their interests as part of the
problem – demonstrate that you appreciate
their interests
 Put the problem before your answer
 Look forward, not back. Reviewing old
grievances becomes a cycle, ritual, that is
unhelpful in creating agreement
Focus on interests, not positions…

Be hard on the problem; soft on the
◦ Otherwise, they may get defensive and
refuse to listen
◦ Give positive support to the others equal in
vigor to the way you emphasize the problem
◦ Cognitive dissonance (they will attempt to
eliminate their confusion – they may
dissociate from the problem in order to join
you in finding a solution)
Focus on interests….
Stone & Patton’s Guide to Discussing
What Matters Most
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
California State University Northridge
© 2015
What is your purpose in having a difficult conversation? Does it make sense to start
the conversation?
It doesn’t if:
▪ The conversation is internal to you. Avoid externalizing the consequences of your behavior.
▪ There’s a better way to solve the problem than talking about it.
▪ The problem or person is transitory or intractable. Recognize that a lot of unhappiness is generated
by trying to change others.
▪ You’d generate a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Play the long game.
▪ It’s not truly important. Remember your goals and your values.
▪“It’s not my responsibility to make things better; it’s my responsibility to do my
▪This conflict does not define me; it’s not who I am.
▪Others have shortcomings as well.
▪Letting go doesn’t mean you don’t care. It is sometimes the most caring thing you
can do.
▪“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy,
practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
▪Strategies that work:
▪ Learn their story. Shift from certainty to curiosity.
▪ Express your observations, views or feelings. Start with “I” (e.g. I feel, I wonder, I didn’t understand)
rather than “you” (e.g. you forgot, you don’t care, you blew it.)
▪ Articulate “the third story.” How would an objective observer describe the situation?
▪ Engage in joint problem solving. Invite, don’t impose. Make them a partner, not an adversary.
▪Practice reflective listening: If you had to summarize to someone else, without
editorializing, what this person is saying, what would it sound like? Say it.
▪Practice listening without judging or problem solving.
▪Acknowledging is not the same as agreeing.
▪Ask questions to clarify and understand. Avoid argumentative questions or
statements masquerading as questions.
▪Avoid leading questions.
▪Ask for examples or concrete information.
▪Make it safe for them not to answer.
▪Silence does not protect you; speak with clarity and power
▪Identify what matters most to you. Don’t necessarily accept their framing of the
▪Don’t assume they know what you’re thinking.
▪Speak directly; avoid passive aggressive or “coded” speaking.
▪More speaking directly: avoid “easing in.”
1. “Don’t present your conclusions as the truth.”
2. Explain how you reached your conclusions.
3. Don’t exaggerate. “Always” and “never” are usually overstatements.
4. Your goal is to present your concerns in ways that invite new ways of behaving.
Avoid cutting people off, presenting ultimatums, or making solutions emotionally
5. Assume that you both want to solve the problem: what more information do you
need? What developments would have to happen? What solutions can they
propose? Invent options.
Gas Station1
You and those in your group own gas stations. There is another gas station across the street. The two
stations get most of the business in the area. Some people are very loyal to one or the other of the two
stations, however most customers make their decisions based on price. You post your prices on large
signs in front of the station and pay attention to the price charged by the other station. Most of the
time, the prices are the same. However, if one station sells for less than the other, the lower-priced
station gets much more business.
Here are the profit consequences: If both stations keep the prices the same, each station will make
$1,000 per week. If you cut your price but the other station doesn’t, you can make $1,500 that week
while your competitor will make only $300. The same is true for them: If they cut their prices but you
don’t cut yours, they will make $1,500 per week and you will make only $300. If both of you cut your
prices at the same time, you will each make $600 that week.
They choose to…
You choose to…
Keep constant
Cut prices
Keep constant
Cut prices
Both stations will make a secret, simultaneous choice for the following week: keep or cut your prices.
Your goal is to maximize profits.
Adapted from J. Keith Murnighan, Rules of the Game
Getting to Yes, ch. 1
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge
Copyright 2011
Negotiation seen as successively taking
and giving up positions
 Fisher, Ury & Patton’s Getting to Yes
changed the orientation

You become invested in the position
 Your ego becomes identified with the
 The more attention to positions, the less
attention to underlying concerns

Arguing over positions is unwise

It creates incentives that stall agreements
or settlements
Arguing over positions is
It risks endangering ongoing relationships
 Positional bargaining is more difficult with
multiple parties – leads to the formation
of coalitions whose shared interests are
often more symbolic than substantive; it
becomes difficult to create common

Arguing over positions is
Within families or friends (where it is
common) it’s efficient (n terms of
reaching resolution) but often with less
than optimal results
 If your response to “hard bargaining” is
“soft bargaining” you’ll generally be the

But soft bargaining is no answer
Separate people from the problem
2. Focus on interests, not positions
3. Create multiple options aiming for
mutual gains. NB: having a lot at stake
inhibits creativity.
4. Insist that the result be based on some
objective standard
The alternative: Change the game

Analysis: Diagnose the situation, gather
information, reflect on problems of partisan
perceptions, hostile emotions, unclear
Planning: Deal with the four elements of the
Discussion: Discussing the four elements,
examine differences in perception, feelings of
frustration and anger, difficulties in
communication. Each side should try to
understand the other’s interests
The stages of negotiation
Melanie Stallings Williams © 2018
The Quiz: Agree or disagree
1. Academic success is mostly a result of one’s background and opportunities.
2. Intelligence is a given; it cannot be significantly changed.
3. When I do well on an exam, it probably means the exam was too easy.
4. When I don’t do well on an exam, it’s probably because the professor was unfair.
5. Personality is largely determined by heredity.
6. If you set realistic goals, you can usually be successful.
7. I get routine health screenings.
8. If I’m not successful, it’s probably because I didn’t try hard enough.
9. If I study hard enough, I can do well on an exam.
10. I can overcome negative first impressions I have made of others.
More quiz questions…
11. One can overcome painful memories and diminish their impact on our thinking and
12. If I am successful, it is because I’m smart and work hard; luck has little to do with it.
13. We can reduce the effects of global warming if we collectively set our minds to it.
14. Many bad things that happen in life are the result of bad luck.
15. You’ll get promoted in your job only if your boss likes you.
16. I have the ability to be successful.
17. I cannot control whether other people like me or want to work with me.
18. My vote makes a difference.
19. Health is determined by one’s genes.
…and more…
20. I don’t give up on projects.
21. If you did poorly in a class, it’s probably because the professor didn’t like you.
22. I blame others for my problems.
23. When I make plans, I can almost certainly make them work.
24. Most people don’t understand the extent to which their lives are affected by
accidental happenings.
25. In the long run, people get the respect they deserve.
26. No matter how hard you try, some people just don’t like you.
27. Que sera sera: What will happen will happen.
28. Trusting to luck has never turned out as well for me as planning for the future.
29. Being successfully is mainly being in the right time and the right place.
Measuring locus of control
◦ Locus of control refers to where we believe power resides in our lives
◦ External locus of control: Luck, chance, and external forces control our lives. Our
successes or failures are the result of circumstance.
◦ Internal locus of control: Our success is a result of our efforts. Hard work, self-awareness
and our efforts create our circumstances.
◦ Children registering a high internal locus of control and re-examined at 30 showed that
they were:
◦ less likely to be overweight,
◦ less likely to describe their health as poor, and
◦ less likely to show high levels of psychological stress.
◦ These results held even when correcting for other factors, including childhood IQ, education
and family income (von Stumm et al., 2009).
◦ One of the study’s authors noted that, “(A) major explanation why children with a more internal
locus of control behave more healthily as adults is that they have greater confidence in their
ability to influence outcomes through their own actions” (Gale, 2008).
◦ An internal locus of control builds resilience; an external locus of control is associated
with poor coping abilities and with self-defeating personality styles (Schill & Beyler, 1992).
Some explanations
◦ When we think we are in control, we are more likely to take action.
◦ It becomes self-reinforcing: The more efforts we take, the more successes we generate,
even when the rate of success doesn’t increase, the incidence of success does. (Or,
“you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” Gretzky).
◦ But caution: There is a value in recognizing that we do not control all of the events in
our lives:
◦ Understanding chance and circumstance may make us more empathetic with others.
◦ Highly controlling behavior leads to greater anxiety and hinders cooperation.
Quiz 2
You are late to a meeting.
1. Give an explanation that shows an external locus of control.
2. Give an explanation that shows an internal locus of control.
You were just awarded a prize for your outstanding performance.
1. Give an explanation that shows an external locus of control.
2. Give an explanation that shows an internal locus of control.
◦ We often show in internal locus of control with our successes; an external locus of
control with our failures
◦ Flipping this instinct can
1. Give us greater humility and gratitude about our successes, and
2. Give us greater agency to change our course of action after setbacks
◦ Caution: A high internal locus of control coupled with a lack of success is associated
with increased frequency of depression.
The value in teaching ethics and
◦ While the concept is new to most people, it is intuitively grasped.
◦ There is evidence that while there is an inborn personality trait, it can be shaped by
childhood experiences, particularly when parents encouraged independence and
reflection on the relation between conduct and consequences.
◦ It provides a tool one can use to engage in meaningful reflection and in considering
changes in behavior.
Getting to Yes, ch. 5
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge © 2012

Avoid “positional” bargaining
◦ It’s the default stance of many bargainers
◦ It generates confrontation and combativeness
◦ It’s costly:
 It fails to reveal shared interests
 It fails to get “buy in” from participants
 it may harm relationships
Bargain on the basis of objective
“Be open to reason, closed to threats”
 Principled negotiation – standards of
fairness, efficiency, science, precedent,
community practice

Developing objective criteria

Fair standards

Fair procedures, including neutral
Insist on objective criteria

“Frame each issue as a joint search for
objective criteria”

Reason and be open to reason as to
appropriateness of standards: Behave like
a judge; predisposed to one side
perhaps, but open to persuasion

“Never yield to pressure; only to
Negotiating with objective criteria
Getting to Yes, ch. 6
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge © 2012
Develop your BATNA

Developing your bottom line is useful,
but normally set too high and sometimes
limits creativity – less likely to question
others. Instead of ruling out alternatives
that fall beneath your bottom line,
measure it against your BATNA

A common error: seeing alternatives
in the cumulative
What if they’re more powerful?

Formulate a trip wire: an early warning
that an agreement may go wrong
◦ Leave some margin in reserve
The trip wire

Making the most of your assets
◦ The better your BATNA, the greater your
power. The “greater your willingness to break
off negotiations” the stronger your position
◦ Develop your BATNA
 Develop more (and more attractive)
◦ Create a list of alternative actions you might take if
no agreement is reached
◦ Improve some of them, converting them to practical
◦ Tentatively select the best alternative
Develop your BATNA

Consider the other side’s BATNA
 The better you know their alternatives, the
better you can negotiate
 If their alternatives appear unrealistic, try
lowering their expectations

What if the other side is more powerful?
By all means, avoid a negotiation over positions;
you’ll lose. Instead, developing a good BATNA
helps you negotiation on the merits; not power.
The other side’s BATNA
“The more easily and happily you can walk
away from a negotiation, the greater your
capacity to affect its outcome.”
BATNA: Bottom line
Getting to Yes, ch. 7
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge © 2012

Getting the other party to focus on the
◦ What you can do: Focus on interests, not
positions. “You can change the game simply by
starting to play a new one.”
◦ What they can do: Negotiation jujitsu, the
subject of this chapter
◦ What a third party can do
What if they won’t play:
Negotiation Jujitsu

The problem: if the other side criticizes you
or your proposal, you get defensive
◦ Distracts from the real problem
◦ Causes you to lock in on your proposal or position

The solution: Do not push back
◦ When they make a proposal, don’t criticize it
◦ When they attack you or your proposal, don’t
defend yourself or your ideas
◦ Sidestep the attack and deflect it against the
Negotiation jujitsu

Typical attacks: the other side asserts
their position forcefully; attacks your
ideas; attacks you (NB: you’re unlikely to
see this last tactic in our class exercises,
but recognize that in real life it is
Attacks and….
Attack 1: They assert their position forcefully.
 Your response: Don’t attack their position, look
behind it. What interests does their position
reflect? What principles? What could you ways
could you improve it?
 Assume good will on their part; treat it as if
you’re assuming that it is a genuine attempt to
address genuine concerns
 Explore the principles underlying their proposals
Attack 2: They attack your ideas
 Your response: “Don’t defend your ideas,
invite criticism and advice”
 Examine their ideas to determine their
underlying concerns and to frame a
response that addresses their concerns
more fully.
 If you can get them to offer advice, they
sometimes become invested in a solution
…more solutions
Attack 3: They attack you
Your response: Don’t get defensive. Recast an attack on you
as an attack on your ideas, and follow that path.
 Ask questions. Pause. “Statements generate resistance,
whereas questions generate answers.” (Puts ball in their
court, ensures that they feel heard, forces the hand since
most people are uncomfortable with silence.)
 The “one text” solution: Keep incorporating concerns,
changes, additions into a single text. It limits choice,
prevents parties from becoming locked in, and is the only
way practicable in many multi-party, complex negotiations.
 You don’t need anyone’s permission to start: just generate
the first draft.
 Remain open to facts and principles.
…and more solutions
Getting to Yes, ch. 4
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge;© 2012

◦ Avoid premature judgments – it’s destructive to
pounce on drawbacks of a new idea
◦ Avoid searching for a single answer
◦ Avoid assuming the pie is fixed
◦ Avoid thinking that solving their problem is
their problem: develop a solution that appeals
to their self-interest. Emotional involvement
makes it difficult to get the detachment
necessary to think of ways to meet the needs
of both
Invent options for mutual gain
For successful brainstorming, define your
purpose, limit participants, change the
environment, choose a facilitator and secretary
 During brainstorming: seat participants side by
side, clarify ground rules, including the nopremature-criticism rule, record ideas in plain
view (solicit corrections, changes)
 After brainstorming: star the most promising
ideas, invent improvements for the most
promising ideas, set up a time to evaluate and
decide. Consider brainstorming with the other

Separate inventing from deciding
◦ Look through the eyes of different experts
◦ Agreements can be partial
◦ Look for mutual gain. Rarely is the pie fixed; if
nothing else, both parties could end off worse
◦ Identify shared interests
 Shared interests are latent in every negotiation
 Shared interests are opportunities. Make the shared
interest explicit and formulate it as a shared goal – i.e.
make it concrete and future-oriented
 Makes the negotiation more amicable. Dovetail
interests: look for items that are low cost to you but
high benefit to them and vice versa
Broaden the options

Make their decision easy – pick one person
and consider their perspective
 Are you asking for words or performance?
 Consider the difficulties in performing the agreement –
easier to refrain from doing something than in stopping
it part way. Few things facilitate a decision as much for
precedent – look for it
 Test: can you write out the option as a “yesable
 Make their decision easy
Make their decision easy
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair, Department of Business Law, CSUN © 2012
Anchoring in time
• Once we make a decision, even momentary, we anchor future
decisions to the original decision, e.g.:
• Investments: If we make a decision based on the emotion of the
moment (conservative; risky) we revert to that decision as if it
were the legitimate default.
• We remember the decision more than the transient emotion.
• Purchases: the price we first paid or heard becomes our default.
• …therefore, a transient change in mindset can have a
significant, long-term effect.
Complexity overwhelms us
6 jams
24 jams
Iyengar & Lepper, 2000
• Choice architecture: We believe that we are in control of our
choices, but in fact they’re often driven by the presentation of
the choice. We are often overwhelmed by decisions, and
therefore take the easiest path, e.g. choosing defaults (for
retirement investments).
• We take the easiest path especially when deviating from the
default is more complex
…defaults become more
Because we are easily overwhelmed by a glut of choices, the
default becomes even more important
Ways to make you less likely to invest in retirement:
• Create: (a) many choices or (b) few choices
• Require that parties: (a) opt-in, or (b) opt out?
• Make the choices: (a) easy to understand, or (b) complex
• Stress that the decision is: (a) important, or (b) routine
The more reasons we need to
..the less likely we are to be able to supply
Compare the following:
1. Give me three things you like about your job.
2. Give me twenty things you like about your job.
Because you have trouble coming up with twenty things, you are
less likely to say that you like your job.
Implications for negotiation….
Choice sets and relativity
Our decisions are “anchored” by other
information. For example:
How often do you floss per day?
source: Ariely, 2013
How often do you floss per month?
• We view our answers on a scale – on the left and we are
below the norm; on the right and we are above the
norm. Our perceptions become “anchored” because of
this placement
The decoy effect
• When presented with a “decoy” it draws our attention to a
particular choice. The comparison drives our decision, thus:
• Ice cream:
1 scoop = $1
2 scoops = $2
3 scoops = $3
1 scoop = $1
2 scoops = $2
3 scoops = $2
• It is hard for us to know our preferences
• Our decisions are affected by the “choice sets”
• The implication for negotiation: create advantageous choice
• We watch others to determine what choices we make
• We self-herd: We tend to follow our original decisions in the
future. Therefore future decisions are often a result of past
• The “story model”: we create stories to string together events
and make sense of them. We do this, historically, with our
own decisions.
• The social security number example: arbitrary numbers affect
our decisions. It becomes an anchor for subsequent decisions.
We are poor at assessing our
own understanding
Students were asked to take tests and then to indicate how well
they thought they had done on the test.
• How do you think that students in the bottom 12% of the class
assessed their own performance?
• Top 42%
• How do you think that students in the top 10% saw
• Top 25%
Dunning & Kruger (1999)
The fool doth think he is wise, but the
wise man knows himself to be a fool.
• Dunning & Kruger: “If you’re incompetent, you can’t know
you’re incompetent.… [T]he skills you need to produce a right
answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a
right answer is.”
How to get better at assessing
our shortcomings?
People were asked how well they did compared with their
▪ Which profession ranked themselves the highest?
▪ Clergy
▪ Which profession ranked themselves the most modestly?
▪ Professional athletes
▪ The goal: Encourage others to give you feedback, both positive
and negative.
Power: The ability to
influence others
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D., Professor & Chair
California State University, Northridge

Our perception of power determines how
we view others.
◦ Participants primed to feel powerful
underestimated the physical size of others.
◦ Participants primed to feel powerless
overestimated the physical size of others (Yap,
◦ There are predictable ways people react to
Power causes brain changes
Size is important in our perception. CEOs
are larger than average. Each additional
inch in height = $789 additional
 People can be made to feel more powerful
by striking a power pose (e.g. the winning

Size matters

Our perception of our power is determined
relative to our perception of others’ power

Those who are given more power perceive
greater choice (Magee, 2013). Powerful
◦ Downplay risk
◦ See more choices
◦ Think more abstractly, seeing the big picture
rather than small or immediate consequences
◦ Act more quickly
Powerful people often discount the
perceptions and concerns of others
 They feel more removed from social
constraints and become more of who they
are, whether it’s self-centered or socially
 They feel entitled and that they cannot be

Does power corrupt?
Realize that your sense of power comes
from your perception relative to your
perception of others
 That you should prime yourself to see the
power you have; you will be more
resourceful, creative and “thinking long”
 That you should remind yourself of your
humility to avoid arrogance and

The moral…
Melanie Stallings Williams, J.D.
Professor & Chair
Department of Business Law
California State University, Northridge
Adapted from Cory & Bradley, The systems thinker, vol. 9, no. 4,
• The coachee already has the knowledge within himself to

make a decision
We want to support the coachee’s success in reaching
We want the coachee to solve problems in a way that he
can “own”
We do not need to be a savior or hero to our coachee
Empathy isn’t a useful tool if it stops the coachee from
coping with reality
…more assumptions
• We learn best through our own discoveries and
• We learn best when we are supported and feel safe;
• where our differences are honored
• We work best when we think that our coach is on our side
• The person who does the work does the learning
• We all have an internal critical dialog that can obstruct
progress. We work best when we reduce our inner critic
and stay focused on the current situation and what we
can currently observe.
• A coach and a good process can help us do that.
• A leader is the one who holds the vision when everyone
else has forgotten.
• Feedback is given after the coachee has had time to
reflect on what is working, what is not working, and what
she is considering doing.
• Feedback is done to support the coachee and increase
their self-awareness
• Feedback is given with permission from the coachee
The four step process
• Set the goal: What do you want (to happen, change, talk
• Assess the current reality: What is happening now?
What is getting in the way?
• Brainstorm options: What might you do?
• Decide next steps: What will you do?
Questions that keep the focus on the
• What do you think about it?
• What would be an example of that?
• Help me understand who (what, etc.)…
• How would I know that if I were in the room?
• What does that look like (e.g. anger, bitter, etc.)?
• What do you think happened?
• What would make that work for you?
• What about that doesn’t work for you?
Questions that support coaching
• What would you like to talk about?
• What is happening now? What have you observed?
• What have you tried?
• What is your long-term goal?
• What would start you on that journey?
• How would you know if things were getting better?
• What are some options?
• What is the most powerful next step?
• What will it take for you to make that step?
• If you were your friend, what would you advise?
• What can a coach do that is helpful?
Self-coaching questions
• What is happening right now?
• Where is my coachee’s focus?
• How much interference is s/he experiencing? Where is it
coming from?
• What happened to her body language (when I said that)?
• What cues does he give me to sit silently and let him
• What judgments appeared in my thinking?
After engaging with an exercise, debrief:
• Where/when could I use partnership coaching?
• With what parts of the process am I most
comfortable? Least comfortable?
• How can I strengthen my skills?
• How will I know if I’m improving?
Myers-Briggs Type Inventory:
Types in Organizations
Uses for the MBTI
 Better understand your own and others’ behavior at
 Develop a language for talking about individual
differences in an objective manner.
 Understand how individuals’ different ways of
approaching problems can improve team
First letter: Energizing
 Extroversion
 energized by outside world
 Introversion
 energized by inside, internal world
Second letter: Attending
 Sensing
 noticing what is actual
 attention to rules, data
 iNtuition
 noticing what might be
 attention to big picture, theory
Third letter: Deciding
 Thinking
 deciding in a logical, objective manner
 Feeling
 deciding based on a personal values orientation
Fourth letter: Living
 Judging
 Prefer planned, organized life
 Perceiving
 Prefer spontaneous, flexible life
Estimates for General Population
 E
 I
 S
 N
 T
60% men
35% women
 F
65% women
40 % men
 J
 P
Discussion Questions
 How does your profile correspond with how you see
 Do you think it corresponds with how others see you
at work?
 To what degree does the description of your type
reflect how you behave at work?
 Do you see a relationship between your occupational
choice and your type?


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