The Negotiator Magazine

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Ask The Negotiator

John Baker

This month launches a column designed to afford our readers with the opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of negotiations and provide them with answers from experienced negotiators in future editions of the magazine. Your questions are most welcome. We hope you will find this new feature both helpful and interesting.

Please direct your questions to John Baker at [email protected]. We will only publish your first name or the nom de plume you suggest along with your country when your question is published. Your question will be answered either by John Baker or by a member of The Negotiator Magazine’s growing list of outside negotiation resources.

John Baker has well over thirty years of active negotiating experience in educational, (USA) Fortune 100 corporations and small business companies. He has negotiated collective bargaining agreements both for unions and for management. Dr. Baker’s experience includes agreements across a broad range of negotiation areas, including marketing alliances, purchase and sales contracts, acquisitions, joint ventures, non-profit and government services agreements and even the peaceful conclusion of student protest sit-ins on more than one occasion. He holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University (USA).

And now, our first letter…

Preparing to Handle Dirty Tricks

From: Barbara, USA

Dear Negotiator:

I had a difficult negotiating experience a year ago, and I fear I am going to be faced with the same problem again now. The situation was I was negotiating a contract with a group of three men. Early on, one of the men walked out and never returned. Later, the second man became angry during the negotiations and stormed out. I was left to negotiate with just the remaining individual, who responded to every proposal with "I’ll have to consult with my partners" who had refused to return to the bargaining table. Then, he would come back with "My partners say they don’t go along with the proposal."

We finally were able to reach an agreement, but I didn’t feel I had done well given these circumstances.

Now, a year later, the contract is up for renewal and I will have to negotiate with the same team again. Can you give me some advice as to how I can better handle the situation and do a better job as a negotiator for my company?

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