In many sophisticated negotiations, each party will find independent standards like market value, precedent, expert opinions, etc., that favor their side and will use their most favorable standards to independently justify the “fairness” of their positions. The result? We get the “standards dance” – when the parties negotiate over which standard represents the most fair and applicable justiﬁcation.
For instance, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently in India discussing a range of issues, including carbon emission limits. The United States wants India to accept binding limits on carbon emissions, which India is resisting.
India argues that its comparatively low per capita carbon emissions (Standard #1) justifies its position. The United States’ argues that India’s absolute level of carbon emissions (Standard #2) that, according to Clinton, is “going up, and dramatically” is the more “fair” standard. Time will tell which side prevails.
What lesson can we learn from this?
Research your applicable independent standards before the negotiation. Then come prepared to use the most favorable ones and discredit the most unfavorable ones. In other words, prepare to negotiate over the most appropriate objective criteria.