Negotiation Starts With Assumptions

I attended a Negotiation Seminar 2 weeks ago. It was fascinating to be in a room of mostly Caucausian North American men. Coming from the Far East, it’s interesting that most of the tips that the facilitator discussed has been an innate skill for me. I would like to share with you the article they’ve written.

Most negotiations start with both sides having a set of assumptions regarding what the other side wants, needs, or are able to do, or not do.  One of the purposes of the negotiation process is to discover if your assumptions are valid.

Never trust your assumptions because they are likely to be as wrong as right.

Let’s look at some common assumptions many business people start with:

“They will never pay that much.”
“They don’t want to do business with us after the last mess-up.”
“We’ve got to have it done in 60-days.”
“There is a lot of competition.”
“They would never be interested in this option.”
“He doesn’t have enough money.”
“I’m sure we’re not the low bidder.”
Assumptions like this can defeat you before you even start negotiating.  These assumptions lower your own expectations, influence the outcome of the negotiation; and may, in fact, be dead wrong!

Be careful!  Your assumptions can:

*  Cause you to make high offers when low ones are called for.
*  Influence you to make low demands and quick concessions when opposite actions are warranted.
*  Seduce you into believing deadlines when patience is by far the better course of action.
*  Create potential hurdles that can move you in the wrong direction.

Don’t fall in love with your assumptions.  Part of the negotiating process is to check them out.  Assumptions are neither right nor wrong until proven so.

Assumptions place boundaries on the potential outcomes of a negotiation.  The better you validate these boundaries, the better position you will be in to create truly Both-Win outcomes.


If you want a complimentary strategy session of how you can use this in your business,  please email to schedule a call with me.

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