Keeping with the “Top Ten” theme from last week, here are my Top Ten Impasse-Breaking Strategies:
1. Get or share more information
2. Switch objective criteria
3. Prioritize needs and interests
4. Brainstorm options
5. Set deadlines
6. Temporarily put aside the issue
7. Take a break
8. Move up the chain
9. Pick a fair alternative process (such as mediation or arbitration)
A big challenge in many negotiations revolves around how to break impasses. While there are many options, these ten are my personal favorites.
For a comprehensive discussion of each, sign up for a free trial of my ExpertNegotiator Planning & Management Software to access the online version of my book, Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004).