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19 Questions to enhance the negotiation conversation

You are working for a “win win”  negotiation and the conversation stalls. What can you do to get back on the track? Back in 1998  Vandar Huber posted this link – The original list contained 22 questions.  I have posted my favorites.

Questions to Help Separate
 Positions from Interests

  1. Correct me, if I am wrong…
  2. We appreciate what you’ve done/ are trying to do.
  3. Could I ask you a few questions to determine if my facts are correct?
  4. What’s the principle behind your action/proposal?
  5. Let me see if I understand what you’re saying…
  6. Let me get back to you on that by _______
  7. Let me explain why I have trouble following some of your reasoning…
  8. Is a trial basis/period possible?
  9. If we disagree, the implications are…
  10. What are you trying achieve by…
  11. Could you reword your proposal?
  12. Could you explain what we both can gain by your proposal?
  13. Let me see if I understand your concern…
  14. Would you consider…?
  15. Could you explain what problems you see with my proposal?
  16. How can we decide what is reasonable? what is fair?
  17. Can we break the issue into more manageable parts?
  18. I understand that’s your position, but could you explain what it is you are  concerned about?
  19. Why do you think that proposal/price is reasonable?

Vandra L. Huber

Over coming commitment to Failure

Have you ever escalated your commitment to a losing course of action?  Ever hired the wrong employee?  Have you ever paid more than you should have for an item because you had invested so much time in the negotiation?

Whenever we throw good money after bad we fall into a trap that organizational behavior expert Barry Staw calls escalation of commitment to a losing course of action.  We find it hard to step away  after investing time, energy or resources to a choice that goes bad.

One simple solution is taking time to plan.   Set your goal. Most important is setting the point when you will walk away. Know your alternative to no deal .  Keep your strategy in front of you.  Review it often.

The success or failure of any negotiation depends on how much effort you put into planning and understanding your alternatives.