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Negotiation Tip: Don’t “Fall in love” With Your Position

January 13, 2011

Another visit to the same real estate market analogy that we mentioned in our earlier blog, “Consider The Real Estate Market When Planning Your Next Negotiation”December 22, 2010,  should be useful to you for another negotiation tip:  Don’t fall in love with your position.

California Mediator and mediator trainer, Lee Jay Berman, in his article entitled, “Impasse is a Fallacy”, analogizes a mediating participant (or their counsel) falling in love with their position as similar to when a person sells their beloved home.  They love their own “unique and special” property so much that they simply cannot understand why others might view the same property much more objectively as a buyer.  Eventually, however, they must learn that the value of their property is solely what will be voluntarily paid where other comparable properties are available.

Taking another lesson out of your common knowledge of  the real estate market place, there is thus another point to be learned in your negotiation training from this analogy.   Simply stated, “See things as others see them, not only as you see them.”

The value of your personal position ultimately is only what your particular ultimate trier-of-fact, in their totally objective arena, believes your position is worth.  Or, put in real estate terminology, what a willing (objective) buyer (fact-finder) will evaluate your position to be.

Your Mediator’s role is thus to question  all of your objective basis for your position in an effort to allow you to “see your position, as others see it”.  The questions are not intended to be painful.  They are intended to make you think objectively and to consider what your opposition is considering.

And beware of those too close to you who do not test you but only re-enforce your present  position.  Are they like a real estate agent, who even while honestly trying to be objective to assist you in selling your property, perhaps simply ultimately agrees with you for conscious or even unconscious motives of his/her own?

The next time you find yourself nearing an impasse with your opposition, take a step back and try to determine if you have simply fallen too much in love with your position to consider a more objective view.

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