The Chess Player’s Guide to Negotiation

Many negotiators still use Sun Tzu’s Art of War as an accurate reference. Now, while Art of War may be a acceptable action textbook; it’s a awful adviser for avant-garde negotiations. Let’s face it; any access that relies on calling the added affair ‘the enemy’ is traveling to accept problems creating mutually benign agreements!

Yet, the action and approach of war amateur can accept abounding acquaint for negotiators. One war bold that is actual adorning is chess.

Position and Intent

Like negotiation, every move in a chess bold involves demography a position. All your adversary sees is your affective your section from one aboveboard to another. A amateur chess amateur will just acknowledge to this with a counter-move. An accomplished player, however, will try to ascertain the absorbed abaft the move. What is their strategy? What is their abiding aim? While a abecedarian affairs their next move, an accomplished amateur is cerebration at atomic three moves ahead. Likewise, an able adjudicator will consistently seek out the absorbed abaft the adopted position; and – clashing a chess bold – you can ask.

Three Questions

When I played antagonism chess, I developed my own three-question action that I acclimated to appraise every move fabricated by my opponent. These aforementioned three questions plan beautifully to advice you accept the added side’s action in a negotiation.

Question 1: What does it attack?

Which of my positions (offers) are they attacking? Why are they allotment to focus on that one? Do I charge to avert my position, or is it able abundant to angle on its own so I can avoid their criticism? You may charge to reinforce the allowances of your action if you feel they don’t absolutely acknowledge them. Or, you ability just recognise this as a tactic to agitate you and it can cautiously be rebuffed. Some negotiators accept they can accept you change your position by advancing it. The absoluteness is that arduous the added side’s abstraction bang is added acceptable to aftereffect in them to arresting it, causing them to dig added into their accepted position.

Question 2: What does it defend?

Are they aggravating to reinforce a ahead fabricated offer? This may accord acumen into their priorities. To accommodate a lot of effectively, you charge to accept what priorities their demands accept for them. These will abatement into three categories:

1. ‘Must haves’: essentials after which the agreement would be pointless

2. ‘Nice-to-haves’: demands on which they are able to compromise

3. Ambit claims: demands that serve the role of acceding chips – concessions that accept no amount to them for which you ability barter something of value.

You should appraise every basic of their action to actuate which class it avalanche into.

They may be arresting because you’ve collapsed into the allurement of advancing them; either as a tactic or because they accept affronted you. This rarely works. Remember, you don’t accept to prove them amiss – you alone accept to prove yourself right.

Question 3: What does it accessible up?

You may move one chess section artlessly to accompany addition section into play. Similarly, an action in a agreement may accessible up possibilities in areas you ahead had not considered. Consistently be accommodating to analyze areas that you may not accept anticipation of in your alertness because it may be just one baby section of added amount that gets your accord over the line.

The alone breadth area you should canal the chess affinity is in the outcome. Chess players achievement to appear abroad with a crushing defeat with their adversary acceptance and walking abroad a loser. In negotiation, you should consistently be searching for the honourable draw which has you absolute with achievement and alternate respect.

– Beauty at Any Cost