Gestate Give and Take Goal Setting Good Intentions Greed Group/Groups


Watching a pearl develop may be tedious, but beauty is not created over night. It is worth the wait.

The 21st century is a fast-paced culture where immediacy is the norm. Everything happens swiftly. Thanks to nano-speed technology time is contracted in negotiations. Unless you manage time properly it can be used against you.

Some things just take time. Like pregnancy. There is no way computer technology will be able to reduce gestation time of mammals. It takes time to do some things right.

Negotiations have a natural pace rather than a required gestation period. The advent of technology in the form of the telephone, fax, computer and Internet make it possible to accelerate the process dramatically. Rushing through any negotiation jeopardizes the potential value added by negotiating. Take the time to properly address identify the issues, seek non-traditional solutions that add value, and do not sacrifice quality for speed.

The timing of responses may signal the position of the respondent on the subject. Requesting a response or responding to a proposal too soon indicates one is anxious to make the deal. Presented with an offer let it ferment in your mind while you do something else. Frequently you will have an epiphany of something that needs changing while you are doing something totally unrelated to the negotiation. Our minds work in this fashion.

Do not feel pressured into responding until you have considered the proposal and decided how best to react to it.

Gestation Tactics:

-Intentionally delay a response to make the other person nervous. The longer you wait the more he will become concerned you don't like the offer.

-Intentionally delay a response to enable you to consider it thoroughly.

-Ask for clarification on terms to gain additional time to consider the offer. Make these requests in writing to gain even more time.

-Always try to gain control of the documentation. Being the drafter allows you to speed up or slow the transaction timing.

-Take the weekend to ponder your strategy and how best to react. There is nothing worse than being forced into a mistake. Simply say, 'No, I need more time.'

-Allow time for your brain to reflect on the issues while you are focus on another matter, project or endeavor.

Allow a dispute to gestate until it is ready to be resolved. For family disputes, it is important to remember that people require different timeframes to cool off after a fight. Respect your partner's need for more or less time that you require. Understand how each of us is wired determines the length of the cooling off period. Pushing for resolution before the other person is ready may lead to another, bigger conflict.



A pack of wolves is a communal family. They live together with unwritten but well-established rules. Each member knows when it is their time to dine and when they should be standing watch. When hunting, they work together to isolate, tire and overcome their prey. This sharing of responsibilities enables the pack to work together and overcome far larger, more dangerous animals.

Give and take is part of any dispute resolution. Tactics relating to giving up something to get something else are useful in removing roadblocks to the settlement process. To garner concessions from the other person or to establish a better working relationship with the other person you need to entice them to act. Before entering settlement discussions thoroughly assess the potential value of what you are offering from the other person's perspective. They may place a far greater value on the commodity than you do. Capturing that value is how negotiations add value to simple bartering.

Concession Concepts:

-Pre-planning give and take strategies will improve your skills as a negotiator.

-Escalating concessions to establish a pattern of agreement is a tactic used by mediators and negotiators to build momentum toward the ultimate agreement.

-Leveraging assets for higher value assets adds dimensional value to a negotiation.

Just because you are offered cash does not mean you have to respond in kind. Non-cash assets can have far greater value to the other person than their intrinsic cash value to you. Find out why the other person is interested in what you have to offer. It takes time to add value to a negotiation. But doing so often leads the way to a viable accord.



If you goal is to outrun a wolf pack, consider wolves can travel from 50 to 125 miles a day. They are able to trot indefinitely at 10 miles per hour and can sprint at speeds of up to 45 miles an hour.

The difference between the goals of mediators and negotiators is clear. A mediator focuses on resolving the dispute with little or no interest in the terms. A negotiator enters the arena with the need to achieve specific goals and objectives.

Managing the negotiating process marks the difference between an excellent negotiator or mediator and one who is simply getting the job done. Managing means knowing where you want to be before there is an accord. For the mediator, it is easy. His ultimate goal is to have the parties reach a lasting agreement. The negotiator, however, needs to understand the variables of the situation and set a course and direction that will yield the results he needs to proceed.

Much as an engineer creates a Pert Chart to plan the development of a project or the building of a aircraft, effective negotiators plan and chart the negotiating process. Most do not simply walk into a situation and 'handle' it. That is what gunslingers do; most die early.

Dispute resolution deserves more than a gunslinger's approach. Respect what you are doing. Value the importance of your efforts. Set time aside to go through traditional goal setting exercises to prepare.

Goal Setting Tips:

-Respect what you are doing and allocate adequate time to prepare.

-On a global perspective, identify your primary need. This will define what your goal or goals should be.

-Do not fall prey to what you want when goal setting. Wants are nice benefits to gain from a negotiation but should not define your minimum position.

-Understand your goal, consider if it is realistic. Deciding to fly to Pluto and back in your lifetime is not achievable.

-Identify other subservient factors that, collectively, will you help achieve your goal and establish them as objectives. While the goal may seem too much of a challenge, the individual objectives will likely be easier to tackle.

-Attack each objective with the same vigor as though it were your primary goal. When you have achieved a number of the objectives you will be well on you way to achieving the goal.

Consider yourself a process manager and address a negotiation with a plan and direction. Employ proven management techniques to direct and guide those involved toward the result you want. Do not be afraid to use leadership skills to motivate others to help you achieve your goal. Whether you are managing people, resolving a divorce dispute or negotiating with a landlord, all human interaction is conflict based. Conflict, like people, can be managed through effective management.



The 500 pound gorilla crushing you like so many twigs doesn't mean to hurt you, he's just being friendly.

A wife who works outside the house bargains with her husband to share the household chores. To achieve her goal, she needs to invest time in training even if he agrees to do more. In spite of his willingness during the discussion, AKA argument or quarrel, to do more his attempts to perform, as feeble as men can be around the home, may result in more work for her. For him to meet the terms of the agreement he needs to be able to perform.

Failure of one party to perform can quickly change a negotiated settlement into a massive conflict; especially if the other person has already delivered consideration. Innocent or not, failure to perform is not what one of the parties bargained for during the negotiation and is a real and tangible breach of good faith and the agreement.

A key aspect of any negotiation is to predetermine the capabilities of the other party. Make sure he is able and willing to do what he is offering to do. Anyone can make a promise. A few of those can do everything they promise. The experienced negotiator separates those who would from those who could. Do not be frustrated because you relied on a non-performer. Qualify their ability to perform before reaching an agreement. Then you won't be frustrated.



Animals kill to eat or defend their young. Men can kill to accumulate wealth, wreak revenge, or for the sport of killing. Offering a hungry bear your credit card is wasted effort. He is only interested in his next meal; you!

Greed is a crippling characteristic in a negotiator. Even if you have absolute power in a situation, others will not always do what you want simply out of fear. If the cost in financial or ego terms is too great, they will either walk away or seek retribution. If you are seeking more than you need, and you need to make this happen, your greed at the very least will have slowed the process.

When setting your goals don't let greed make you over-reach risking failure. Stretching above what you need is normal in any negotiation. That makes the process a challenge. Make sure not to become so embroiled in getting more than you need that you lose sight of your real goal.

Attorneys often fight over words and language far more than necessary to document an agreement. This zealous desire to always win can become counter-productive and threaten an otherwise healthy transaction. The time lost over-documenting an agreement can kill jeopardize the accord. Make sure your attorney, if one is used, stays focused on your goals and not on building his ego.

Doing your research and understanding what the other person is able to do will help you not over-reach. If the other person is unable to meet your minimum needs, do not invest the time seeking to satisfy your wants too. While you are at it, take the time to listen to their needs and wants. Separate the two and see if you can meet their needs while satisfying yours; to get some of your wants is the icing on the cake.



When wolves howl it is to communicate with other wolves, not at the moon. They are calling their "pack" together. A wolf is usually a member of his pack for life. When a new "pup" is born, it is a community affair. Each member of the pack will take turns bringing food, "baby-sitting" and playing with the littlest member.

Group negotiations or mediations are difficult to manage. Instead of there being two sets of goals and objectives at odds to an accord there now are a myriad of needs and wants that intervene. Group sessions also increase the disputes to be resolved between the various factions at the table. Something as simple as ordering coffee becomes a major effort in the group dynamic.

The first thing a mediator should do in a group setting is ask everyone to clearly and concisely state why they are at the table and what they expect to gain from participating. During break-out sessions with each person, the mediator will delve deeper into the unique needs and wants of each party. Sometimes breaking the aligned parties further into subgroups or even one-on-one meetings is required to source all of the diverse interests.

The mediator needs to understand why each person is present at the table before he can effectively begin the resolution process.

If you are negotiating in a group, assume that everyone around the table on both sides has a unique personal agenda based on individual needs. The more you learn about each individual, including your teammates, the better you will be able to lead the group as a whole toward a resolution.

Your team needs to have a common vision. If you find your teammates have goals that differ from yours or form each other, you will need to negotiate with them before tackling the other side.

The aggregate group of participants will also need a common goal at the end of the session to keep the process moving forward or to cement an accord. Leadership is required to meld the diverse interests to a common goal. This group dynamic is the every core of good management practice. Take the initiative to close each meeting with a brief recap of the next steps and the individuals responsible for each action item. Use 'we', 'our' and 'together' a lot to telegraph the collective will to move forward together.

Negotiating with Your Own Team:

-It is always helpful before entering a negotiation to quickly ask each of your teammates what the of the session goal is. This validates everyone is on the same page. If not, find out where the problem is and resolve it.

-Establish roles for each of your teammates to play.

-Verify that everyone is comfortable with their assigned role.

-BEWARE: Seek team negotiators who will tell you what they feel, not what they think you want to hear. They will be listening at the table and their feedback will be invaluable when assessing what the other side is doing. This input is only of value if it is a reflection of what was actually said and not what you want to hear.

Group dynamics are challenging in a dispute as the issues tend to escalate geometrically. Key to getting to an accord is to get the respective parties to predetermine what their goals and objectives are before starting the formal settlement process.


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