Personal Negotiation Experience: Strategies and Concession Making

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About this sample


Words: 2695 |

Pages: 6|

14 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 2695|Pages: 6|14 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Strategies in Personal Negotiation
  3. Deadlocks and Concession Making in Negotiation
  4. Creating Joint Value
  5. Conclusion
  6. References


This paper reflects my personal negotiation experience and behaviour based on the theory and practical applications learnt in this unit. In order to identify the true meaning of negotiation, (Fells 2012) summarised negotiation as a “process between two parties with differences which need to be resolved”. This summary clearly illustrates that the parties have an individual need for something of value. Additionally, each party in the negotiation has individual interests, priorities and strategies (Brett & Thompson 2016).

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Strategies in Personal Negotiation

Strategies in negotiation according to (Kochan 1992) can be divided into distributive which “consists primarily of attempts to influence the counterpart to make concessions by using threats and emotional appeals, and single issue offers” and integrative which primarily consists of “sharing information about interests and priorities and then fashioning trade-offs (logrolling) to generate high joint gains“. Upon personal reflection, I have identified myself as a well-prepared negotiator with a distributive strategy due to my competitive nature linked to my cognitive bias where I attempt to win at all cost, with little regard for the other party nor did I fully understand the negative consequences this can create for myself. This attitude, however, can create situations of distrust resulting in deadlocks and making the concession making process more challenging than it could otherwise be. Most of my negotiations involve disputes in contracts and interpretations of clauses or procedures with clients, which at the onset of negotiations generally places me in a weaker position.

My approach to negotiations by focusing more on content rather than process including discussing more contentious issues early as opposed to dealing with minor issues first could be viewed as an attempt to change the status quo by the higher power party (Kteily et al. 2013) although, an unintentional move on my behalf. When faced with situations where I take a strong position about my personal interpretation about items being negotiated, my ego takes control ultimately creating self-inflicted challenges during the negotiation cycle described by (Robinson & Volkov 1998) as “the stages of problem recognition, participant solicitation & communication, solution selection and implementation”. The question posed, where does this leave me or how do I portrait myself in the areas of getting stuck and concession management.

Deadlocks and Concession Making in Negotiation

Research undertaken by (Weber 2001) supports my personal reflection ”because a tough stance may result in larger early concessions but eventually opponents will discover that they are being treated unfairly and then become tough themselves, leading to deadlocks or break- downs in negotiation” often resulting in outcomes which are worse than my BATNA (created through my own actions), however since the Clients are generally in a far stronger position, they in turn hold the power especially when a “deadlock is a direct consequence of my own deluded expectations (Zartman 2005). Research suggests when the negotiating parties positions become incompatible (Zartman 2005) where according to (Spector 2006) “deadlocked negotiations are the very conflicts that may be ripe for resolution if pushed just a bit further” and provide opportunities to restructure the problem which according to (Sycara 1991) is the process of “dynamically changing the structure of the negotiation problem to achieve movement towards agreement”.

It has also been established that negotiators who are known to reach deadlocks, have a higher likelihood of reaching deadlocks in the future (O'Connor, Arnold & Burris 2005). Personally, apart from preparing for negotiations, my focus needs to shift towards listening and avoid becoming a negotiator who is known to create deadlocks instead placing greater focus on the big picture and opportunities for value generation. The skill of listening is what distinguishes skilled negotiators from average negotiator (Siedel 2014), it may not be a natural skill but one which can be learnt and essential to be a successful negotiator (Baguley 2000). A negotiation which has reached a deadlock does not automatically mean that an agreement is beyond reach rather an opportunity for reflection where both the negotiation process and issues should be reviewed to determine what has led to the deadlock. Providing that one of the parties hasn’t already placed themselves in an alienated position similar to what I have personally discovered In fact, deadlocks should be accepted as a normal stage of negotiations.

Progression can be achieved by the introduction of a new goal which is the mildest form without the abandonment of the goal (Sycara 1991). Research results from international negotiation contexts have concluded that negotiation parties with strong negotiation resilience which (Spector 2006) describes as “the capacity of negotiating parties to recover from actual or anticipated setbacks, stalemates and deadlocks experienced in the negotiation process by finding ways to restart the process” (Spector 2006). Deadlocks should be embraced and used as an opportunity to revisit priorities, review all the options available and consider giving a little; better known as making concessions.

If all else individual assignment fails, negotiating parties may elect to involve a mediator to assist with resolving the deadlock, however this option is not further discussed in this paper. From a personal perspective and upon reflection, I first need to review my own negotiation behaviour in particular my positional approach during the preparation phase. As suggested by (Fells 1996) “the first element of preparation in an emerging deadlock situation should be to consider the process and what negotiation behaviours would be appropriate” further supported by (Brett & Thompson 2016), who established that “negotiators who were instructed to ‘‘minimize their losses” made fewer concessions, reached fewer agreements, and perceived settlements to be less fair than those who were told to ‘‘maximize their gains” I can achieve this by having a script to provide me with a mental model to better manage a variety of situations and to implement strategies learnt in this unit.

As summarised above, displayed behaviour during negotiations has much influence on the negotiation process, therefore to place myself in a much better position, it requires an in depth review not just about what I want to say but more focus needs to be centred on my personal portrayal as (Voss & Raz 2016) rightly points out “When deliberating on a negotiation strategy or approach, people tend to focus all their energies on what to say or do, but it’s how we are (our general demeanour and delivery) that is both the easiest thing to enact and the most immediately effective mode of influence” An eBay study conducted by (Friedman et al. 2004) found that “the angrier the claimant, the angrier the respondent and the less likely the dispute was to settle. This finding has provided me with a very helpful insight that my attitude is limiting my success and that my emotions and biases must be controlled and greater focus needs to be placed on the process. In terms of behaviours displayed, the key to reciprocity is to establish trust in order for myself to manage concessions more successfully due to my strong positional behaviour which is anchoring on minimising my losses. In order to deal with deadlocks, my focus needs to focus on the causes.

Therefore, if my behaviour and positional stance has contributed to the deadlock, it will require a change in my personal approach listening actively, communicating articulately (Roudias 2015) and listening to my backchat. In order to move beyond the deadlock, the negotiation parties, including myself must identify areas of compromise. The first item for me to be aware of that revealing my party’s own reservation point is not recommended as it can be expected that the other party will outright offer my revealed reservation point. Concession-making can come in the forms of patterns described as either unilateral – made by one party or bilateral – made by both parties. According to (Singh 2008) the process of concession-making should consider “the pattern, magnitude and timing of concessions”. It is argued by (Rudd & Lawson 2007) “the rate and timing of concessions can aid the negotiation process or disrupt the process and limit the range of possible outcomes”.

When making concessions negotiators who make smaller and fewer concessions tend to be more effective in getting a larger slice of the pie in contrast to negotiators who make large and frequent concessions (Singh 2008). This point most certainly helps me in future situations as it will make me more strategic in offering concession rather than making them out of desperation. The ultimate goal for making concessions is to come to an agreement which involves trade offs by both parties where both parties walk away with value, hopefully more than they started with and better than each party’s BATNA and to save face. Personally, my key message is that any concessions I am proposing should involve acting in a way where I contribute something of value and not just giving in (Roudias 2015) or be seen as taking a completely competitive stance.

Emotions displayed and received by negotiation parties are also a pivotal decision maker as identified through research by (Van Kleef et al. 2006) “Participants with low power were strongly affected by their opponent’s emotions, whereas those with high power were unaffected” and “negotiators make larger concessions and lower demands when their counterpart displays anger rather than happiness” Putting this into current international context, Donald Trump clearly has some struggles with the Democrats now holding the power in the house and getting the agreement to receive funds for the wall will certainly require some large concession from the Republican party to end this deadlock. From a personal perspective being a contractor, I consider myself the participant with the low power. This research supports my argument that my personal attributes and displayed behaviours strongly affect the other parties’ willingness to offer concessions, effectively stating that when my actions crate anger with the other party, I end up having to make more concessions placing myself in a position can make less demands compared to being seen as more cooperative by the other party. 

Creating Joint Value

Due to my individualistic behaviour, I have missed opportunities to seek values for both parties’ thus not increasing “the pie”, ultimately ending up with less value than may have been possible. Therefore, my focus needs to shift to joint value creation by increasing “the pie”. In order to create joint value, I need to place more focus on understanding the other party’s needs and desires and in turn using this information including the “what” and the “why” to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement (Weingart et al. 2007). The mere fact that both parties are willing to enter the concession making phase is a sign that differences still divide the parties however it is those differences that provide the opportunity to create value for mutual benefit (Sebenius 1992).

Therefore, I will need to change my tactic and place more emphasis on building relationships which will only develop when both parties leave the negotiations satisfied (Wright 2012). For my personal imagery script, I have chosen the topic of travelling by plane. Situation in negotiation process Trigger Image What should be done Both negotiation parties are exchanging information freely “This is going well” All parties are happy and cooperative. There is a strong feeling of trust. Both parties understand each other’s position. Remain in a positive and cooperative position. Continue asking questions and answer questions as they are asked. Keep reflecting on what has been said and suspend any judgements. There hasn’t been any progress for some time, and it appears that the same information is being repeated over and over without any gain. “There is some tension in the room and a break is required” There seems to be some tension and increased competition. Parties should park all current ideas, request a short adjournment. Adjournment time could be used for both parties to reflect on both process and issue and review their respective BATNA.

One of the other party’s negotiators continually rejects any offers and refuses to listen to the “what” and “why”. Outright rejecting any suggestions. “This could get a bit rough. Better sit back and strap in. This could be a rough ride” Other party seems disinterested in exploring for solution, increasing the pie and not focusing on the issues. Restate current position. Try to park current points of discussion. Seek to determine and understand the underlying needs, concerns and fears of the other party. Consider adjournment and off the table discussions. If all else fails, consider enlisting a mediator.

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What should be done? Joint gains and values of negotiation have been identified. “Both parties appear to be cooperating and understanding the value of the negotiation” The parties agree on some common interest worth pursuing further in the journey. Don’t make promises or suggestions of something you can’t keep. Formal discussions have reached an end. Parties have reached an in principle agreement or MOU. “Both parties have reached an agreement and happy to move on to finalise the details” Destination has arrived. Both parties continue their individual journeys. Continue exchanging information. Answer questions as they are being asked. Ask questions if further clarifications are required. Provide feedback to constituent if any are involved. Situation in negotiation process Trigger Image What should be done One of the parties has reversed previous agreements. Now changing the terms of previous agreements and setting ultimatums. “Distrust has developed to a point where there is little or no opportunity to come to an agreement” Power struggles or complete incompatibilities have arisen. Strategies have been reflected on and adjusted without success. Time to jump ship. Stand firm on own position. Review BATNA. Don’t give in to pressure. Listen to backchat and reflect on process. Who needs who the most? Be prepared to walk away. Consider engaging a mediator.


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Personal Negotiation Experience: Strategies and Concession Making. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from
“Personal Negotiation Experience: Strategies and Concession Making.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023,
Personal Negotiation Experience: Strategies and Concession Making. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
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