The Art Of Negotiation: Soviet Or Win-Win Styles


We negotiate practically every day of our lives. Children learn at an early age that parents will negotiate and reward for good behavior.

Have you ever heard, “If you eat your broccoli then you will get ice cream?”

Children also learn that they can negotiate by throwing a tantrum.

Have you ever seen an unwieldy child in a restaurant throwing a tantrum? The child knows the parents may negotiate a dessert to pacify the child so as not to disturb other nearby diners.

While this may be negative negotiation, you may have seen this happen and may have seen it work to the child’s benefit.

Realtors are expected to negotiate for their clients and follow the client’s ethical wishes.

There have been transactions that have fallen apart for items or terms that were immaterial, but both sides of the transaction dug their heels in and refused to budge. When emotion is involved in a negotiation, it becomes an immovable impediment to a successful conclusion.

There are many types of negotiators.

In Herb Cohen’s book, “You Can Negotiate Anything,” he defines the different types. Which type are you?

• Soviet Style — The soviet style is to have an extreme initial position with tough demands or ridiculous offers. They tend to ignore deadlines. Any concession is viewed as a weakness and the concession is usually not reciprocated. They use emotional tactics, raise their voices, and may walk out of a meeting. For those of us old enough, do you recall Khrushchev banging his shoe on the podium at the United Nations?

• King Solomon or Win-Win Style — The King Solomon approach is where every party wins. For example, if two children are arguing over the last piece of pie, King Solomon would tell the children that one child will cut the pie in half and the other child will get first pick of the pieces. Needless, to say, the first child will cut the slice so that both pieces are equal.

Has there ever been a time when you have won a negotiation and weren’t happy? You go to a swap meet and see a vase with a tag for $50. You offer $25 and the vendor without hesitation says, SOLD! You may wonder if you paid too much because of the eagerness to accept what you considered a low-ball offer. You won and still had buyer’s remorse.

Experience shows that the most amenable real estate or any transaction for that matter occurs when both sides are fair, upfront, and reasonable in their negotiation.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.