When Tom Cruise played the role as a sports agent in the movie Jerry Maguire, he made famous the line “Show me the money”. What he also brought into focus was the use of an agent to negotiate on someone else’s behalf.
At a meeting on March 17 2017 the US President Donald Trump advised German Chancellor Angela Merkel “We don’t want victory, we want fairness”. This was because the US President claimed that millions of Americans are “left behind” by “unfair” trade agreements and that “Negotiators for Germany have done far better than negotiators for the US".
Feeling trapped in a negotiation with a Goliath can quickly make the power balance seem uneven and lead to emotions of helplessness, frustration and anger, particularly when industry consolidation occurs and you are a small company suppling a commodity that lacks differentiation. In this issue of Negotiation Insights we look at how having strong alternatives can result in long-term game changing outcomes.
Finding the common ground needed to build rapport and break an impasse is a challenge all negotiators confront, none more so than in the topical example of the ongoing firearm reform debate in the US. In this issue of Negotiation Insights we seek not to judge whose values and beliefs have greater legitimacy, but rather to identify ways in which the opposing parties might find the common ground needed to build rapport and get movement where the stakes are high and positions are entrenched.