Negotiation impasses and negotiation confrontations are very similar. In both instances, you need to create “space” to expand the negotiation to see if there is more room for both sides to maneuver. This is often called turning a “U-turn” into an “S-curve”. After hitting a roadblock, you move back a little and see if there is a way around it. Smile, keep calm and negotiate on.
In every negotiation there is information that can only be obtained at the negotiation table, these bits of information will often change everything (Black Swans). This is why The Black Swan Group has changed the format for preparing and engaging in a negotiation. No matter how much information and research you and/or your team has done prior to the interaction there are things needed to find the best deal possible that only your counterpart can tell you.
Last week, during a speech at Georgetown University, Secretary Hillary Clinton advocated, “…showing respect, even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view…” As expected a significant number of pundits, professional and otherwise, pounced on her. The statement was dubbed, inane, naïve, and even a sign she had been embraced by the Muslim Brotherhood. Some suggested that she had blown her chances at a successful Presidential run in 2016.