All sides of a negotiation are on a spectrum from weak to strong. Sometimes they are called ‘strong hands’ and ‘weak hands’.
Generally strong hands win in negotiations, assuming there is skill involved. Strong hands take from weak hands. This is true in property, business and the financial markets and also in relationships including families, colleagues and workplace or community politics. Negotiations are everywhere. Someone can be a strong hand in commercial transactions whilst also being a pushover (weak hand) at home.
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I made it happen Strong hands are only interested in unusually good deals (that is, finding unusually weak hands). They don’t care if any particular deal works out or not. They think in terms of dozens of deals and this deal might simply be a way for them to get another deal working.
Strong = don’t care if THIS particular deal happens. Happy to wait until get the desired result. Is happy to walk away and won’t change position.
What happened? Weak = don’t want to miss this particular opportunity. Urgent. Strongly want this particular transaction to work out. Worry about ‘losing this deal’. Thinks this deal is special. FOMOFear Of Missing Out. Is tired of the work to get a good deal. This deal will make a difference to their happiness. Think about it regularly. Can’t ‘let it go’. Thinks about the ‘upsides’ and doesn’t carefully review the ‘downsides’. Is attached to the outcome of this deal. Assumes that this deal will ‘make things better’ and permanently increase their happiness. Gets frustrated if the strong hand doesn’t negotiate how the weak hand wants.
Improving at negotiation
Recognising where you are on the weak hand / strong hand spectrum is a great first step. This deal is only one of several negotiations you’ll make just today in your business and family life, with many more to come. Ask if we’re overestimating the importance of this deal on our general happiness. Most importantly however, is to be honest with ourselves. Look at the negatives as well as the positives of the deal. It can be as simple as dividing a piece of paper into two columns and noting all the negatives on one side and all the positives on the other side. Be ruthless with the negatives. Test your assumptions. Prepare a plan B and a plan C if your plan A doesn’t work.
This page is not intended to provide legal advice and does not create a client-lawyer relationship. This post is provided for general information purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. If you need help with legal advice for your particular situation, please contact our office (details below or on ‘Contact’ page) and we’ll be happy to assist you.