In the wild beads, trinkets, hats, colorful scarves, and extra equipment can all be inexpensive commodities to be traded for items of great value; like your life.
One error a negotiator can make is to focus too narrowly on the basic commodities of a dispute, the issues readily identified by the parties. To do so ignores other factors that potentially hold the key to a far better resolution. Even though they appear to be ancillary issues they may have value in creating value through the negotiating process.
This “whole pie” approach to negotiations is the concept of expanding the focus of the discussion to include every possible issue that may have impact on the settlement. Time should be spent determining all factors that may have an impact on the situation. By doing this the value or importance of the core issue might be diluted it. Also, the ancillary issues, if they can be resolved, pave the way for the parties to psychologically become comfortable with broaching the final agreement.
When considering the ancillary issues you most likely will discover that some of them are of minimal value to you but are valued more highly by the other person, or the reverse. Knowing what you have to offer and the intrinsic value of each to you allows you to negotiate their highest return. Making good deals on these ancillary issues may allow you to offer more to resolve the core issue by averaging the aggregate cost and benefit to you.
Assets and commodities are not only tangible items of worth but also include such intangible things as:
-Respect for the other person.
-Acknowledgement that the other person was right about something.
-A hug in a personal situation.
-A simple ‘thank you’.
-A helping hand to do something unrelated to the issue at hand.
-An endorsement of the other person to a third party.
-Temporary use of something you have when you aren’t going to be using it.
Expanding the arena of negotiations allows you to add issues that may have a low intrinsic worth to you. This can serve to mitigate the actual cost of the acquiring the primary objective making an otherwise untenable agreement viable.
In Seven Secrets to WINNING Without Losing a Friend, I discuss the concept of Whole Pie negotiations.