You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going

You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going
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Deadlocks are a part of negotiating just like speeding tickets are a part of driving. We don’t like them, but just like all of the other negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we have to deal with, they show up every so often and we just have to deal with them. The good news about deadlocks is that they are actually a valuable tool that negotiators can use to move a negotiation towards close and even get a better deal. Do I have your attention now?

Why Deadlocks Are Valuable Tools

As a negotiator, the more tools that you have going into a negotiation, the better you can expect your outcome to be. That’s why a deadlock should be viewed as what it really is – just another negotiating tool.

The reason that a deadlock can be so useful to you is what it can make happen. When a deadlock is looming in a negotiation, it can cause the other side of the table to display their position and at the same time freeze the negotiation. If they are really willing to allow the deadlock to happen and walk away from the negotiations, then their current position is a “hard” position.

If, on the other hand, they are operating under some constraints (like time) and not reaching a deal in the negotiation is not an option for them, then when they are facing the possibility of a deadlock occurring, they may be willing to give you compromises that they were not willing to give earlier in the negotiations.

How To Cause A Deadlock To Occur

Just as a deadlock is an important negotiating tool, how you cause a deadlock to occur is just as important. What you need to keep in mind is that the deadlock is not really the end of the negotiations. Rather it is just a stopping point. Your goal is to make sure that you’ll be able to restart the negotiations later on.

Whenever the negotiations reach a deadlock, put on your pleasant face. Inform the other side that you’re not going to be able to do what they are asking for. By doing this, you are leaving the door open to continue the negotiations later on.

Make sure that you never burn your bridges when you are dealing with a deadlock. Don’t tell the other side that since you’ve reached a deadlock, you’d never be willing to do a deal with them ever again. Instead, tell them to give you a call if anything changes. This will make it easy for both of you to restart the discussions.

What All Of This Means For You

All too often, negotiators fear a deadlock happening in their principled negotiation . In many cases, this is viewed as a failure on the part of the negotiator. It turns out that this is not the case. Deadlocks are just another negotiating tool that we have available to us.

As negotiators we need to learn how to use deadlocks to get what we want out of our next negotiation. When used properly, a deadlock can force the other side of the table to display their position and freeze the negotiations. Your strategy for implementing a deadlock must always be to remain pleasant and keep the door open so that we can break the deadlock when we need to.

In order to be able to walk away from your next negotiation with the deal that you want, you need to learn how to use deadlocks to your advantage. Take the time to study what we’ve talked about and you’ll go into your next negotiation with one more tool that you can use to get the best deal possible.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If a deadlock happens, how long should you wait until you try to break it?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When you enter into a negotiation, often times things don’t seem fair. Specifically, sometimes you view yourself as being “the little guy”. When this happens, it’s often easy to believe that you don’t stand a chance – no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques you use the other side is going to get what they want and that’s all there is to it. However, it turns out that you have a secret weapon that you can use – the deadlock.

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5 Ways To Use A Deadlock To Your Advantage

by drjim on August 15, 2014

You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going

You can use deadlocks to your advantage to get where you are going
Image Credit

In a negotiation, reaching a deadlock is something that we all fear, right? Everyone views a deadlock, which is when both sides can’t agree on something that is being discussed, as a form of failure. We don’t want to fail, so we use all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we know to try to avoid deadlocks at any cost. However, it turns out that the clever negotiator knows that deadlocks are something that they can use to their advantage if they know how to go about doing it correctly.

5 Ways To Make A Deadlock Work For You

Don’t fear the deadlock! Instead, look for ways to make a deadlock work for you. The good news about deadlocks is that they can always be broken – there is always a way to reopen the discussions. If you know and realize this, then you won’t fear them. If you understand this, then you can look for ways to use a deadlock to your advantage the next time one occurs. Here are 5 reasons that you might initiate a deadlock in your next negotiation:

  1. Determination: Your willingness to allow a deadlock to occur will show the other side that you are determined to get your way and that you have confidence in the position that you are taking.
  2. Testing: When you are willing to allow a deadlock to occur, it gives you the ability to test the other side. Will they allow the deadlock to occur – can they allow it? Do they have the same determination and confidence in their position that you do?
  3. More Concessions?: When the other side is facing a deadlock, this just might be what it takes to get them to make those last few concessions that you had been trying to get out of them.
  4. Done: When you show that you are willing to allow a deadlock to occur, this can be a message to the other members of your team that in your opinion, the end of the negotiation has been reached and you don’t think that there is anything else that you can get out of the negotiations.
  5. Change It Up: When you show that you are willing to allow a deadlock to occur, this can change the pace of the negotiation. All of a sudden you may find yourself in control of the flow of the negotiations.

What All Of This Means For You

Inexperienced negotiators fear their principled negotiation reaching a deadlock. They view this as meaning that they’ve failed and the negotiations are over and that no deal can be reached. However, experienced negotiators view deadlocks as simply another tool that they have in their bag of tricks.

A deadlock can be used to show the other side your determination. Likewise, you can use a deadlock to test the determination of the other side. Deadlocks can be used to get concessions out of the other side and communicate that the end of the negotiations has been reached.

Deadlocks are simply a part of the negotiating game. They should not be feared, instead we need to use them as the tools that they are. Study the 5 deadlock techniques that we’ve discussed and use them in your next negotiation. You just might be surprised at how powerful a deadlock can be for you!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If you reach a deadlock, do you think that you should reopen negotiations or wait for the other side to do so?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Deadlocks are a part of negotiating just like speeding tickets are a part of driving. We don’t like them, but just like all of the other negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we have to deal with, they show up every so often and we just have to deal with them. The good news about deadlocks is that they are actually a valuable tool that negotiators can use to move a negotiation towards close and even get a better deal. Do I have your attention now?

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