The 5 Fundamentals About Managing Impasse You Didn't Learn in School

As much as we would like to reach an agreement in a negotiation, there may be times that we find ourselves stuck in an impasse.

Here are the 5 fundamentals about managing impasse that you didn't learn in school:

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1. Take a break

When tempers flare, negotiations can go downhill quickly. A good strategy is to introduce a caucus or take a break. It may be an hour, an entire day or a month. This helps everyone to take a step back and gather their thoughts before resuming discussion.

 2. Introduce new information

Finding something new to throw into the equation may help tip the scales towards making a deal.

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 3. Ask “What If”

We may become stuck in a certain mode of thinking during the process of negotiation. “What if we did it this way?” By exploring alternative solutions, you may open their minds to possibilities that were previously not considered or thought of.

 4. Provide minor concessions

Some negotiators need to feel as if they have won something in the negotiation. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as they think that they have convinced you to give something up. In such circumstances, offering minor concessions that means something to them more than you can help break the impasse.

 5. Switch from win-lose to win-win mindset

Sometimes, negotiations fail because the focus is on winning. This may create negative vibes and preclude an agreement that would be in the interest of both parties. Show the other party that you understand their concerns and that you are committed to finding a solution that can leave both parties satisfied.


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