What type of negotiator are you?

1. Your aim in a negotiation is …

a) to find the greatest area of agreement in the joint interests of both parties.

b) to win and to make the other side lose.

c) to find the best deal for your side.

2. When the other side is talking, you …

a) use the information you are hearing to identify weaknesses in the other party.

b) plans what you are going to say next.

c) listen with maximum attention.

3. You think that …

a) part of the available time must be spent socialising and getting to know the other side.

b) goodwill is important but the speed of the meeting should be quick and businesslike.

c) the meeting should get down to business as soon as possible and reach quick decision.

4. When you speak in a negotiation you…

a) make bold and forced statements, possibly banging the table.

b) make carefully-considered statements in a calm, controlled voice.

c) are occasionally forceful and inflexible.

5. If the other side disagree with you, you…

a) try hard to find a creative position by modifying your position.

b) repeat your demands and will not concede – your objective is to make the other side give in.

c) reshape your offer without fundamental changes.

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6. If the other side state an opinion you disagree with, you …

a) tentatively suggest an alternative.

b) ask for clarification and explanation.

c) ridicule it with sarcasm.

To see which kind of negotiator you are, calculate your total:

answer questions

Your score ___________

If your score: 15 or more you are a creative negotiator
11-14 negotiate to independent advantage
7-10 are a fighter!
less 7 should get a gun license!

Exercise 2. Complete the following questionnaire.

This short questionnaire draws attention to some of the key attitudes and behaviours that are important for negotiating to be successful.

Students’ answers here will enable them to identify what they need to improve in order to become a better negotiator.


1 = strongly disagree 10 = strongly agree

  1. I can stay cool when I am in the middle of a conflict.
  2. I am willing to compromise when I have to.
  3. I realise that others have needs.
  4. I am very patient.
  5. I can identify the most important issues quickly.
  6. If necessary, I can remain calm when I am being personally attacked.
  7. I am willing to research and analyse issues carefully.
  8. I believe in and work towards situations where both sides can win.
  9. I can deal with stressful situations.
  10. I am a good listener.

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If your total score: 80 or above you are aware of most of the important issues in negotiation and have the makings of a good negotiator.
between 60 –79 will make a good negotiator but there are some areas that you need to improve.
below 60 may want to rethink some of your attitude about negotiation and get some additional training.

Exercise 11. Match the following skills with the ten questions from the questionnaire above.

  a) Self-control is a key quantity – you should be careful not to let emotional reactions influence your judgment.
  b) Reaching calmly to criticism will help to increase the chances of a successful outcome.
  c) Being able to reach a compromise is a critical ingredient and it is important to understand that you may have to make concessions.
  d) Being able to deal with stress will enable you to remain composed during a negotiation.
  e) Looking for a solution that can benefit both parties is the key to win-win negotiating.
  f) Understanding the position of the other side is essential if you are going to reach an agreement.
  g) Doing the background research before entering a negotiation means that you will be able to anticipate problems that may arise and the positions people will adopt on certain issues.
  h). Distinguishing what is important from what is not helps to focus on the main issues.
  i) Listening carefully to what people have to say is essential in order to understand exactly what they are expecting from you and to seek clarification where necessary.
  j) Allowing time for arguments to be developed and not making hasty decisions are two important qualities.

UNIT 14.




Exercise 1. What is «confrontation»?

Read the following information to find out the answer to this question.

Sometimes one side is in stronger position that the other: they have more baigaining power. For example, during a recent strike at Lamda Inc., the company was in financial difficulty and the public was on the workers’ side, so Landa was negotiating from weakness. The strikers’ union new this: they were negotiating from strengh.

The union made demands: objectives that were so important that they were unwilling to change them. They wanted a 15 per cent pay increase. Later they moderated these demands, and said they would accept ten per cent. However, their demand for a week’s extra holiday was non-negotiable: they would not accept less. Lamda said they were being forced to accept something that did not want. They accused the union of making them negotiate under duress.

Eventually Lamda conceded to most of the union’s demands and gave them what they wanted. The media said that Lamda had backed down, climbed down andgive in.

The feelings had been very strong on each side: the dispute was bitter, and the negotiations were confrontational and adversarial.

Exercise 2. Read the following words and phrases (they are all from the text above) and do the translation.

1. bargaining power  
2. to negotiate from weakness  
3. to negotiate from strength  
4. demands  
5. to moderate the demands  
6. to be non-negotiable  
7. to negotiate under duress  
8. to concede  
9. to back down  
10. to climb down  
11. to give in  
12. the dispute was bitter  
13. confrontational and adversarial  

Unit 14


Exercise 1. Before reading the information on negotiating tactics, use your dictionary to find out the meaning of the following words:

1. treat  
2. final offers  
3. ultimatums  
4. bluff  
5. to call someone’s bluff  
6. common ground  
7. to reassure  
8. to compromise  
9. obstacles and sticking points  
10. to postpone  

Although using tricks isn’t recommended, there are negotiators who:

a) issue threats, final offers or ultimatums: they say that the other side must accept something, with very bad consequences for them if they refuse.

b) lie and bluff: they threaten to do something that they do not intend to do, or are not able to do.

Of course, you can always call someone’s bluff: pretend to believe them, when you know they are bluffing.

Dealing with problems.

When negotiations get stuck, and don’t progress, there are a number of things you can do.

c) Underline common ground: the areas where agreement has been reached.

d) Reassure: the other side on the points that have been decided: confirm that you have not changed your mind.

e) Be willing to compromise on your original objectives: be ready to accept less than you wanted in exchange for compromises from the other side.

f) Identify the exact obstacles or sticking points: the problems that are causing negotiations to become difficult.

g) Postponediscussions until later so that each side can reconsider its position.

Exercise 2.What causes conflicts in a negotiation? Make a list of your ideas about it. Then discuss your ideas in the classroom.

My list of conflicts:


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Exercise 3. Read the text below. Then do the following tasks:

Answer the question: «How many ways are suggested in the text to reduce conflict in a negotiation?»

Match each of the following to a phrase in the text with a similar meaning:

a) highlight the disadvantages of failing to reach a deal ..………………………….….

b) think of new benefits for both sides .…………………………………………….….

c) alter parts of what is on offer .…………………………………………………...…..

d) take a break to consider positions .…………………………………………….……

e) have the negotiation in a different place ….…………………………..…………….

f) change the individuals involved ……….……………………………………………

g) ask an independent person to come and help you reach agreement …………….......

h) have an informal meeting to talk things over .……………………………...……….

Conflicts may sometimes be an unavoidable step on the road towards agreement. However, in some cases conflict leads to the breakdown of negotiations as one or both sides realise that agreement is not possible. In many cases this is better than agreeing to something which would be against the interests of the people concerned.

When conflict arises, there are several possible actions which may help to resolve conflict in a negotiation:

1) leave the problem, go to a different topic and return later o the point at issue;

2) summarise progress and areas of agreement;

3) emphasise the benefits available to both sides;

4) emphasise the loss to both sides of not reaching agreement;

5) restate the issue and wait for a response;

6) charge the package;

7) invent new options for mutual gain;

8) offer conditional concessions;

9) adjourn to think and reflect;

10) fix an off-the-record meeting;

11) change location;

12) change negotiator (personal chemistry?);

13) bring in a third party (mediator?);

14) consider walking away.

(From «The Pocket Negotiator», published by Gottschalk Hartley-Brewer.)

Unit 14

Exercise 4. Read the following five different statements. All of these are ways of dealing with conflict. Match each statement with one of the following extracts.

a) Adjourn to think and reflect.

b) Summarise progress and areas of agreement.

c) Leave the problem, discuss something else, come back later to the problem

d) Emphasise the loss to both sides of not reaching agreement.

e) Offer a conditional concession.

Extract 1.

I think we’ve not really making progress. Perhaps it would be better to leave this point for a while and come back to it later. Could we talk about a different aspect to the deal, perhaps the question of delivery?

Extract 2.

I think it is important to think about what could happen if do not reach agreement. The most obvious consequence will be that we will both lose market share. The only winners will be our competitors. It could be serious for both of us.

Extract 3.

There seem to be a number of problems, but I’d like to summarise the positive elements – issues where we have made progress. First, we agree that we have to settle the dispute between us; we understand how important this is. Second, we agree that the terms of our original agreement need to be changed. Third, we also agree that the change will depend on the different market conditions which affect out products. These are important points of progress.

Extract 4.

Can I suggest we take a short break here? I think it will help if we look at some of the issues that are dividing us. Perhaps, we will see areas where we can make a fresh offer.

Extract 5.

The point at issue, Mr Davis, is quite simple. We can offer you extra 5% discount, but only if the order is increased by 20% over the next three years.

Exercise 5. Which of the following are good ways of dealing with conflict in a negotiation?

1. Avoid eye contact. 6. Say «I see what you mean».
2. Smile a lot. 7. Find out why the other side is unhappy.
3. Sit back and appear relaxed. 8. Focus on the issues, not on personalities.
4. Stop the discussion and come back it later. 9. Say something humorous.
5. Say nothing for a long time. 10. Speak calmly and slowly.

Unit 14


Exercise 1. What do you think is the best way to negotiate with someone who has a stronger bargaining position than you? Or with someone who is bigger and richer than yourself? Tick the strategies which you would choose. Then discuss your choices with the rest of the group.

1. Threaten them.

2. Let them see that you are in a weak position.

3. Refer to fair standards and fair procedures.

4. Have a good alternative plan in case you can’t get them to agree.

5. Offer them something that they want or need.

6. Find examples of similar cases where people in your position have won.

7. Get support from another party (such as a mediator or consultant).



In some cultures. People see the world as a battle for power where each individual has to fight to achieve a dominant position. In other cultures, people believe that it is better to cooperate with others in order to find solutions to common problems.

Confrontational Harmonising
People believe they can control things around them by being tough and determined. People don’t believe they can control things outside themselves. They think it is better to accept things the way they are and look for balance and harmony.  
People enjoy arguing with others and winning people over to their way of thinking. People don’t like to argue or confront others. They listen to other people’s viewpoints and try to be flexible.  
Negotiations are about winning or losing. If you get what you want you win: if you don’t, you lose.   Negotiations are about finding a good solution that everyone can be happy with.



Exercise 1. Read the information given below, and then with a partner discuss whether the countries and regions below are L (low-context) or H (high-context) cultures.

Unit 14

  Low-context cultures High-context cultures
Focus of negotiations problem-solving, deadlines are important relationship-building, time is flexible
Communication style direct, verbal, few non- verbal signals indirect, dislike conflict, avoid saying «no»
Business organization individuals more important then the group group harmony more important than individuals.-
China   USA   Australia   N Europe  
Middle East   Latin America   UK   Japan  

Exercise 2. Read three negotiation extracts. What went wrong in each case? Think about high- and low-context cultures, as well as the actual phrases used.

Extract 1.

A: I’m afraid I think we might need more time to explore all the implications, and perhaps to include some of our senior management in the discussion.
B: Look, Mr Yamada. I’ve already been here a week, and I have a plane to catch this evening. If you don’t want to do this deal. Just say «no». I mean when I get back, I have to tell my boss we have a contract, or explain why I failed to get one!

Extract 2.

C: We feel there are still quite a large number of difficulties to face in this project and these will make a very considerable amount of time and money to resolve.
D: OK, Amal, let’s sit down and work out a schedule.
C: I am not sure that at that stage a schedule is appropriate, in view of the considerable, cultural differences between our companies.
D: Well, we need to start work soon if we want to meet the deadlines.
C: Frau Meler, perhaps we should talk again in a few days, by telephone?
D: Are you saying you’re quitting the project?
C: If you insist on putting it in those terms, then, yes, I think probably that is best.

Extract 3.

E: And you pay the shipping costs.
F: No, as I told you, our prices are ex-works. You pay for shipping.
E: So, you don’t want to sell us your machine tools?
F: No, why do say that? I never said that!
E: Your terms with Auckland Industries last year included shipping, I believe.
F: Yes, but that was a much larger contract.
E: So, our order is not very important for you?

Exercise 3. Read the alternative versions of the three negotiations. How do the negotiators avoid misunderstanding?

Unit 14

Extract 1.

A: I’m afraid. I think we might need more time to explore all the complications, and perhaps to include some of our senior management in the discussions.
B: Uh-huh. Yamada-san, correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that you’re not completely convinced by this goal.
A: I’m afraid there seems to be a slight misunderstanding, Mr Bryson. Let me put it another way. We are as enthusiastic about this deal as ever, but here in Japan it is very important to take the time to consult everyone and to be sure there is a consensus
B: Ah, yes, I understand. It’s important for me to keep my board informed too.

Extract 2.

C: I’m afraid we feel there are still quite a large number of difficulties to face in this project, and these will take a very considerable amount of time and money to resolve.
D: OK, Amal, have I got this right? You’re saying that you’re not sure we have the time or the money to make this project a success?
C: That’s right. Especially in view of the considerable, culture differences between our companies.
D: So, would I be right in saying that you are considering withdrawing from the project?
C: No, I’m sorry, Sabine, that isn’t quite what I mean. What I was trying to say was, we need to take our different approaches to these problems into account, but I’m sure we can find solutions.
D: Yes, I’m sure we can. Perhaps, we should talk again in a few days, by telephoning?
C: Yes, that should be fine.

Extract 3.

E: And if I’ve understood correctly, you will pay the shipping costs.
F: I’m sorry, perhaps I haven’t made myself clear. The price we quoted was ex works. But we can quote including shipping if you like.
E: But, didn’t you say you would give us the same terms as for Auckland Industries last year?
F: Ah, I see, yes. Well, allow me to rephrase that. What I meant, we would be very happy to give you the same terms as Auckland, if you were in a position to order the same volume.

Exercise 4. Read the alternative versions again and complete the phrases below.

  Extract 1 Extract 2 Extract 3
Checking Understanding 1. Correct me if …………...…., but you seem to be ………… that ….. 4. Have I ………. right? 8. If I’ve understood ……………..?
5. Would I be right ………….. that ..?

Unit 14

Correcting misunderstanding 2. I’m afraid there ……….. a slight 6. I’m sorry, that isn’t …. 9. Perhaps I haven’t
Reformulation 3. Let me another ………. 7. What I was … was…………… 10. Allow me ……..
11.What I ………..


Exercise 5. Match the direct remarks 1 – 4 to the diplomatic forms that were used in the text above.

  1. I’m not ready to make a decision. a) Perhaps we should talk again in a few days?
  2. This project is totally unrealistic. b) I think we might need more time to explore all the implications.
  3. Let’s finish the meeting now. c) We would give you the same terms as Auckland, if you were in a position to order the same volume.
  4. We won’t pay for shipping unless you give us a bigger order. d) I’m afraid we feel there are still quite a large number of difficulties to face in this project.

Exercise 6. «Translate» the direct remarks into diplomatic language, and vice versa.

1.   I’m sorry, but wouldn’t it be easier for everybody if we held the meeting here rather than in Colombia?
2. If you don’t want to do business, just say so!  
3.   Actually, I was wondering whether you might possibly reconsider your position?
4. So, you don’t want to sell us your products?  
5.   I’m sorry, but couldn’t we start a little earlier than 11am tomorrow? We might find we would make a bit more progress.
6. That’s not true. I never said that!  
7.   To be perfectly honest. I’m inclined to think that business trips aren’t quite as useful as everybody says they are.
8. So you don’t trust us to pay?    

Unit 14


READING. Deadlock and mediators.

Exercise 1. Before you read the text below, use a good English-English dictionary to find definitions to the following words:

1. deadlock  
2. to break down  
3. stalemate  
4. an impasse  
5. irreconcilable  
6. a mediator  
7. mediation  
8. a cooling-off period  
9. an arbitrator  
10. arbitration  

Exercise 2. Read the text. What does it say about the situation in Baseland? Find the answer as quickly as you can.

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