How to Practice with an ANCHOR

Yesterday saw the International Negotiation Club come together for yet another wonderful practice session with the focus on the implications and use of the phenomena known as an “Anchor”.

This is perhaps one of those “hindsight” opportunities that’s needed to truly appreciate how a position laid out in a negotiation can impact not only the direction of that negotiation but the final results.

I jumped in with a four minute practice negotiating with Rob Squires followed by a wonderful practice negotiation between Alexander Thomassen and Daniel Mikrenski.

***Anchor Situation No 1***

In both cases the use of the (amazing) Negotiation Cards created the first Anchor… That’s because our own information and our own position will often bias our intentions and our expectations.

This is a curious phenomena but it's very simple to understand. 

Lacking any insight into the other parties position and before any statements are made it is truly difficult not to have your expectations skewered by your own position.

The implications in real life negotiations are significant and should never be underestimated particularly for my procurement colleagues!

*** Anchor Situation No 2***

At some point during the negotiation one or both parties will lay down their position. Lacking any further information the question is how effective, or not, does this position act as an Anchor.

Curiously there are several independent elements that come together to determine this effectiveness such as:

  1. is the position acceptable or not.
  2. the subconscious response by the other party.
  3. the confidence by which the position was made.

* Sadly, the information above may sound both interesting and curious but for you… IT'S ABSOLUTELY USELESS… That’s because Rob, Alexander, Daniel and myself are the only ones that experienced it first hand ... when we practised together!

Reading about it is ... NOT ENOUGH!

If you really want to understand the phenomena known as an Anchor then we'd be happy for you to join us at any of the various Negotiation Clubs to practice it for yourself!


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