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What is positional negotiation?

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POSITIONAL NEGOTIATION With the positional style of negotiation, each party starts with an extreme (usually unjustified) position. The basis for this approach stems from the belief that the ultimate solution will be favorable only if the initial offer is extreme. It is seen as a zero-sum game. One party will win and one will lose. An extreme position increases the chances of a "win." The more extreme the opening positions and the smaller the concessions, the more time and effort it will take to come to an agreement. A typical positional negotiation is likely to conclude after a lengthy exchange of small offers and counteroffers. These small concessions are made to avoid a negotiation impasse. The process frequently includes theatrics from both parties. Common tactics include foot-dragging, threatening to walk out, and stonewalling. This time consuming process continues until some constraint compels one or both sides to seek resolution. The differences that were keeping the two ... more
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