How to Break a Negotiation ImpasseIn a review of Martin Latz's 2004 book, Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want, Cindy Fazzi recaps Latz's top 10 ways of seeking to break an impasse:
- Get or share more information. Ask more questions and recognize the value in answering your counterpart's questions.
- Switch objective criteria. For example, a home buyer may switch justification from focusing on a home's market value to the seller's profits.
- Prioritize needs and interests. Make a list to stay focused.
- Brainstorm options. Explore creative solutions.
- Set deadlines. Agreeing to deadlines increases the likelihood parties will act and move.
- Temporarily put the issue aside. Revisit it after gaining some momentum by agreeing on minor issues.
- Take a break. Time away from the table can help parties regain composure and reassess issues.
- Move up the chain. If your counterpart doesn't have the authority to concede anymore, ask to speak with the boss.
- Pick a fair alternative process. For example, asking an independent third party to arbitrate or mediate can help.
- Concede. While possibly your last choice, it may still be in your interest if making no deal leaves you worse off.