The Ultimate Negotiation Strategy

What do you do when negotiating – start high, low, tender or tough? Research shows that ‘tit for tat’ is the ultimate negotiation strategy.  This updated version is an enhancement that really covers all bases.

The traditional tit for tat strategy says to start cooperatively then match the other party’s response (but don’t escalate).  However it may still escalate if you are not careful, so when things seem to be getting out of control, the enhancement of “gratuitous friendliness” means you can call a halt to the escalation.

Examples include:

  • “let’s take a step back”
  • “I think we are furiously agreeing here”
  • “let’s check in what we both agree on”
  • “we seem to have gotten off to a rocky start, let’s start over”
  • “I’m sorry if I have misunderstood”. 

All these friendly / accommodating phrases, now make even more sense as ways to break a spiral of aggression.

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