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Practical Exercises in Negotiation

Practical Exercises in Negotiation

What do you ask students to do in negotiation training?

 

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Well, here’s an ask. This isn’t mine. there’s a guy named Noah Kagan who’s in Austin, Texas here in the U.S. and he runs a software company, a fabulous software company, great website.

 

It’s called Appsumo. The ask is called “the Coffee Challenge”. When I teach a negotiation course at a college near here this is one of the assignments that I have. The Coffee Challenge is going to your coffee shop, the one that you visit regularly, and ask them for 10% off. No reason. When they say, “Why?” you can say, “No reason. it’s a sunny day.” or, “No reason.” or “I shop here a lot.” Ask for 10% off and practice doing things like that.

 

You’ve got to practice. Here in New England, flea-market and garage-sale season is upon us now and go bargain. If there’s a $5 price on something, offer them $2 and negotiate it from there. You’ve got to get used to asking these things because, frankly, if you can’t ask the person who mixes your coffee that you buy every day, and you chit-chat with every day, and you have a nice relationship with them. Or even easier, someone you’ve never met and you will never see again. You just walked into a random coffee shop. You can’t ask for 10% off and so you’re asking for what, 30 cents, 50 cents something in that – cents or pence.

 

If you can’t do that, you’ll never going to be able to ask people to buy from you as a mediator. It’s much harder to do that. So that’s about habit formation. Start off really small, baby step kinds of things. Get used to asking for those things and build up your muscle memory, your ability and your confidence to do it with the harder stuff which is, “Will you hire me?”

About the mediator

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Dr. Tammy Lenski helps organizations, leaders, mediators, and coaches improve their conflict resolution effectiveness. Since founding her U.S. conflict resolution firm in 1997, she’s guided thousands of organizations and individuals worldwide as a master mediator, executive coach, speaker, educator, and author. Her work today centers on “hacking” conflict resolution – tapping leading edge practices, the latest research, and her 20 y... View Mediator