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Issue Fixation

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Mistakes > Issue Fixation

Description | Avoiding it | Taking advantage | See also

 

Description

Becoming fixated on a single issue can lead to imbalance in negotiation and failure to realize all that you can. It can also lead to you making agreements that later turn out to be very bad decisions.

When you want one particular thing in the negotiation, then you can forget other things. Even in single-item negotiations such as house purchases, the real decision-making often comes down to minor issues such as the size of the garage or the shape of the kitchen. As a result, you may reject bargains that don't have the right garage and, worse, buy a house with a great garage that has all kinds of other problems that you only discover when you move in.

Issues may also become personal. Thus you may find that what you think about the other person or what they said six months ago has a disproportionate effect on the process. We negotiate as people, and people issues (including our own issues) can easily get in the way of a good deal.

Avoiding it

Watch yourself and the focus that you are putting on things. When one thing seems particularly important, step back and ask how valuable it really is, and what you should (as opposed to what you are) be prepared to give for it. Also watch for those things that you are ignoring. Are these significant? Could they cause you problems later?

Taking advantage

When the other person is fixated on something, then look to give it to them in exchange only for disproportionately more of the things that you want.

Keep them fixated by constant reference to the item. Tease them with possibilities, keeping them on the hook of uncertainty and confusion.

See also

Over-Wanting

 

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