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Don’t just ‘talk-the-talk’

You have to ‘walk-the’walk’

Practicing "Panda" moments at Club Night?

club night Mar 03, 2023

What do Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria, the USA and the UK have in common?

They each had someone trying their negotiation skills at The Negotiation Club practice meeting last night.

But just prior to the meeting myself and a few of the other club members had listened to the live podcast by Shane and Jean-Nicolas with their fantastic guest Remi Smolinski.

[I'd recommend a chance to listen to their recording if you can.]

However, there was quite the discussion about Anchoring, first proposals and... "Panda's".

I did like Shane's comment about hitting the "Piss-Off-Point" (my take on going to far with an initial offer). Unfortunately, I've done this in real world negotiations big time with nasty consequences... so it does happen.

A great deal of thought can go into your first offer:

▶︎ How far should you go?
▶︎ When do you suggest it?
▶︎ Should we go first?
▶︎ What would be our next move?
▶︎ Where is the BATNA?

These are all very good points but they lack one fundamental concern:

▶︎ What reaction are we looking for?

That ability to truly observe is a FUNDAMENTAL KEY skill and not one you can learn from listening to others; which is why last night we put it into practice.

NEGOTIATION 1 - Outside the ZOPA

In the first negotiation, aside from other tactics being practiced, one key moment was how the initial proposals were made. In this negotiation both parties made proposals sitting squarely OUTSIDE what the other party could agree and the results...

▶︎ Immediate rejections
▶︎ A "cooling" of the discussions
▶︎ A "tightening" of body language.
▶︎ Speedy response.

These are some key "indicators" often reflecting the positions of the offer but the majority of negotiators fail to notice them and often move to their next step of 'counter offer'.

NEGOTIATION 2 - Inside the ZOPA 

In the second negotiation I suggested to one party to pitch a position we felt would definitely be INSIDE the ZOPA.

Again, aside from the other tactics being practiced, when that key moment occurred and the offer was made we watched carefully for the response and the results...

▶︎ A request to confirm the proposal.
▶︎ No rejection
▶︎ A clarification Questions
▶︎ A "warm" discussion
▶︎ No sign of stressed body language.


I've seen this play out time and time again which is why I often suggest to negotiators to make the proposal moment into a game.... A game of "Guess the Rejection"

There are SEVERAL types of rejection and they include:

1️⃣ A rejection when they CAN NOT accept (Outside their ZOPA)
2️⃣ A rejection when they CAN accept... but want more.
3️⃣ A rejection when they don't know their own ZOPA position.

The third one is a very interesting one because the other party is on more of a "fishing trip" than a negotiation.

The point...

"Theory is Good... Practice is Better"

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If you've never had an opportunity to practice your negotiation skills then you are very welcome to try it at our next TNC Taster session...

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