\”Negotiator – They Will Fight Back But Will They Conquer” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

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He realized he’d be entering into a tough situation. In past interactions, verbal fights had broken out within this group. And tensions had frayed. Those frayed tensions led to increasing distrust amongst those discussing the proposed resolution.

Anticipating how someone might respond to an offer or proposal is something that you should always consider. Why? Because it impacts how you and they will interact. Thus, if you’ve had conflicts in the past, and nothing’s been done to address them satisfactorily, more than likely, they’ll fight you in the future.

The following is information you can use to plan, control, and dissuade others from attempting to conquer you. It’s a thought process that every good negotiator considers. And when someone fights to overcome your efforts, it’s insightful information that will arm you to combat them.


  • Fight/Flight/Stand Still
    • Before engaging in any forum, assess what occurred in prior encounters with its participating members. That history reflection will provide insights about the developments that might arise in your upcoming meeting with them. It also allows you the time to plan the actions and reactions you’ll promote to enhance your position.

In particular, consider whether you want the next encounter to end in a stalemate (you’re marking time to become stronger), you want the opposition to flee the potential conflict, recognizing your strength is too powerful for them to combat (be mindful of how you cast yourself – this may cause your opponents to seek greater power by building stronger coalitions), you’re going to fight for future positioning or as a means to get closer to its end.

  • Strategy
    • You should develop an approach based on what’s occurred in the past, the outcome that arose from using that plan, how those you engaged during that session reacted, and to what degree new players will enter into the upcoming activities. Taking into account those factors will allow you to shape the tactics you’ll develop to create and employ the best strategy.

  • Who are you
    • Another thought to consider is, who are you? That question answers the characteristics you possess. Some people can’t or won’t engage in some activities because it may be outside of their moral bearings. Having insight about your ethical boundaries will help you determine how far you’ll go to seek an outcome that may be crossing a line. Make the same assessment of those that you’ll be meeting.


  • Interactions
    • Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t get what you wanted, and yet you still felt good about the outcome? Even if you haven’t had that experience, that’s the emotional state you want to instill in others that deal with you. Leave them feeling that they walked away with something that they’re proud to have achieved.

The way you accomplish that feeling lies in how you deal with people. In some situations, you don’t want to appear stubborn, dogmatic, or immobile. In the wrong condition, people will detest you. But in the right circumstances, such a demeanor will aid in fostering the persona needed to back those that pose threats away from you. So, be aware of how you project your persona and make sure it matches the outcome you’re seeking. Doing so will prevent future consternation that might impede future progress.

  • Framing
    • Framing occurs when you control the narrative of a conversation. And, by framing an interaction in a particular manner, you control the discussion and the flow of the communication.
    • Outcome – No matter the outcome, think about how you’ll frame it so that it appears to be beneficial to your position.
    • Opponents – Think about how you’ll frame the opponents that have engaged you during and after an interaction. You can position them in a positive or negative light, depending on how you wish others to view them. The choice you make should depend on how you want them to interact with you going forward.

  • Future Interactions
    • Other players – When considering how you’ll improve future situations, consider who might become aligned with whom. That’ll impact the chances of future success for you and them. There may exist the opportunity to use their alliances to your advantage.


In answering the question, they will fight back but will they conquer, the answer is, it depends. It depends on the variables that you identify and address that will influence the outcome of a meeting – and how successful you are in developing a plan that accurately addresses those variables. The point is, you’ll have more control of any encounter if you plan for it appropriately. Once you do, you’ll be less likely to be conquered in your engagements… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at [email protected]

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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