Negotiator’s Quiz – Would You Say These Statements Are Right or Wrong?

Take the quiz by answering these seven questions about how to best negotiate.

1. It’s best not to connect with the other party before a negotiation, because it will make it harder for you to be strong and forceful in the negotiation and they may try to use the relationship to manipulate you.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. The best prepared negotiators are most likely to be successful, and an basic part of this preparation is understanding the other party. You will never be able to reach a successful, sustainable agreement unless it meets the other side’s interests, satisfies their stakeholders and fits their system. The more you can learn about these, the better your chance of designing an offer which has the maximum perceived value to them. You need a strong relationship based on mutual respect that will allow you to be assertive without aggression and respond appropriately to any attempts at manipulation and if you can start building this relationship before you get to the negotiating table, you increase your chances of success.

2. Good negotiators emphasise their assertiveness with aggressive demands and unexpected revelations to put other party ‘on the back foot’.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. It has been shown that if you ‘come on strong’ the reaction of the other party is likely to be:

• They will proportion less information with you

• They will be inclined to concede less

Of course, this is going to limit the negotiation.

3. It is preferable to put your offers on the table as soon as possible so you see where each other stands.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. Research shows that late offers generate better agreements than early offers. The discussion you have before putting your offer is crucial. It allows you to check the assumptions on which your planned offer is based. You may already glean some information from them about their priorities which causes you to change your opening offer. Once one side makes an offer, the other side counters and the bargaining starts. The trouble is, once bargaining starts, information sharing stops.

4. It is best to get the other side to put their offer first; because you can understand their position and ensure you don’t accidentally offer too much.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. In slightly more than half the situations studied, the side making the first offer did better because of ‘anchoring’ – the first figure mentioned influences all later offers. Of course, you need to be prepared for both options; but don’t let mistaken priorities cause you to give them the upper hand.

5. A clever negotiator uses their debating and bargaining skills to get the other party to commit more than they planned.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. If I out-negotiate you, it will likely cause resentment which will poison any future relationship. As much as 75% of agreements fail in their implementation; and one of the main causes is the relationship was damaged in the negotiation. You cannot aggressively extract a deal from someone and then expect them to form a healthy working relationship with you.

6. The most efficient way to reach agreement is to separate the issues and reach agreement on each one individually.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. While this may seem a sensible and simple procedure, it will compromise the value for each side. Integrating issues together will make the discussions more complicate, but is most likely to consequence in the greatest satisfaction for both sides.

7. Once an agreement is reached, it is best to end the discussion as soon as possible.

–Right –Wrong

Wrong. An agreement is not the end of your working relationship – it is the start of it. The late Professor Howard Raiffa from Harvard produced the concept of a post-settlement settlement because he found that once negotiating parties had relieved the tension by reaching a basic agreement they were often able to add more value to the deal for each other in later discussions.

Be a smart negotiator and don’t fall for these seven negotiation mistakes.

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