Is Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation

One of the primary tenets of Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to Yes” is that negotiations should focus on interests not positions, i.e., avoid positional bargaining.  Positional bargaining takes place when each side takes a position, argues for that position, and reluctantly makes concessions from the opening position.  Fisher & Ury instead contend that wiser and more efficient …

Bob MeynardieIs Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

Amazing Face Reading

Bob Meynardie Negotiation

At a recent meeting of a trade group, the lunch time speaker was Mac Fulfer, a lawyer and professional face reader. So what is a face reader and why am I talking about it in a blog about negotiation skills. Mr. Fulfer contends that there are about 150 facial characteristics that can be read to learn useful insights about a …

Bob MeynardieAmazing Face Reading

Power in Negotiation

Bob Meynardie Negotiation

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that “Necessity never made a good bargain!” In his wonderful book, Practical Negotiating, Tom Gosselin contends that “In negotiating, power is a function of alternatives.”   Gosselin is right, of course, and hopefully a discussion of alternatives brings to mind Ury & Fisher’s BATNA (Best Alternative to  a Negotiated Agreement) concept.  Gosselin goes further …

Bob MeynardiePower in Negotiation

Getting to Yes: Separate the People from the Problem

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation

The first tenet of what Fisher & Ury call “The Method” is to separate the people from the problem. Although I think I understood their point when I first read the book, over time what stuck with me was the title not the underlying principal. As an advocate and mediator dealing primarily with business disputes, it is tempting to try …

Bob MeynardieGetting to Yes: Separate the People from the Problem

Back To The Basics

Bob Meynardie Mediation Theory, Negotiation

I have recently been reading a number of relatively new books with claims of a revolutionary new way to approach negotiation. Without exception and without naming names, each new source has been insightful and a new perspective on the negotiation process that every one of us is involved in every day. Almost without exception, however, each new source compares itself …

Bob MeynardieBack To The Basics

Different Strokes

Bob Meynardie Mediation Experiences, Negotiation

At one mediation I heard counsel accuse the plaintiffs of lying and engaging in “litigation lottery,” hoping for a big payoff. This mediation was over before it began. At another mediation, counsel for one party repeatedly accused the other party of lying under oath. That mediation resulted in a settlement favorable to the party making the accusation. So, what’s the …

Bob MeynardieDifferent Strokes

Decision-Making In The Face Of Uncertainty

Bob Meynardie Negotiation

It is the rare successful mediation that does not lead one party or both to wonder whether they could have gotten more or given up less. What makes mediated settlement conferences so interesting (and difficult) is the need to make important decisions in a confined period of time without knowing what the other side is willing to accept or give …

Bob MeynardieDecision-Making In The Face Of Uncertainty