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Art of Negotiation: proscription of True or Moral words

posted Oct 21, 2009, 1:51 AM by Jeremie Poutrin   [ updated Nov 29, 2009, 9:36 AM ]
In day to day’s life, you are all the time negotiating:  When you want to buy a car,  get a new job, present your conclusion to your boss...

For centuries now, negotiation has been analyzed to extract what is called good behaviors and practices. As Agile methodologies, it’s an empirical science.

Practicing negotiation as a “science” influence you beliefs. When the other party does not share your beliefs, you may be tempted to convince it.

Let’s take an example, and talk about Asymmetry:
Asymmetry is the fact that you are playing a game with a different or advantageous set of cards compare to your “opponent”.
The counter-party you are dealing with may behave differently from what you believe to be the “Best way”.
It will result in Asymmetries. You get good information but interactions remains limited, for instance.
This Asymmetry even as good for you as it can be (you create an advantage), might never be good enough to highlight the best mutual-gain solution(ultimate goal of a good negotiation). In your point of view, the result of the negotiation may be discouraging.
Being discouraged, you can be tempted to take shortcuts, telling the other party how he should behave.

Telling for instance:
  • You should be more transparent to highlight a better solution.
  • You should not try to be too competitive at this stage of the negotiation.

This might be perceived as:  This person thinks he’s superior in a pretentious way or think you are stupid.

The other party might react doing:

  • Denial
  • Mockery

For you it might result in:
  • blindness (you do not consider the other party enough. Therefor you are going to miss some of his deep motivation/interest and reasons of his behavior.)


Always staying patient is difficult. We believe in what we do and it is natural to try to convince people around us. The frustration and emotion can be strong while negotiating.
If you want to convince people to accept your method, do it apart of any negotiation process. It has been proven to be more efficient.

The following lines are inspired by negotiation techniques from the book “Methodes de Negotiation by Alain Pekar Lempereur and Aurelien Colson - Dunod - p246/247” (language: French).
Mutual Gain : Getting To Yes Negotiating Agreement without giving in, Second Edition by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton - Penguin books  - p56

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Program of Negotiation: