The Third Rule of Negotiation: The One With The Least Interest Controls The Relationship
Chances are if you have went on a date in the last 30 years, you are at least vaguely familiar with the 3 day rule.
If you go out with someone on a first date, some invisible rule says that you aren’t supposed to call them until at least 3 days have passed after the date.
According to the legend of the 3 day rule, it is so that you don’t appear desperate.
And whether or not the 3 day rule is effective or not, it is built on a simple idea that holds true in almost any negotiation:
The party with the least interest controls the relationship.
If you find yourself engaged in a negotiation and you seem far more interested in an outcome than the other party – take a step back. Take a deep breath and evaluate the overall negotiation and what is your best alternative to negotiating an agreement. I learned somewhere along the way that this is also called a BATNA.
In any negotiation, if you find that you are the party who is clearly the most interested, one of the easiest ways to become less interested is to evaluate your BATNA. Think along the lines of “what would happen if I wasn’t able to negotiate an acceptable outcome here… then what?”
Should you find yourself engaged in a negotiation and find that you are the most interested – you might be surprised how quickly the tables turn when you find a good BATNA.
Is being the most interested party in a negotiation a bad thing?
Unless you aren’t aware of the Third Rule of Negotiation.
Then you may just find yourself wondering why the other party seems to be at an advantage.
The First Rule of Negotiations: The First One To Talk Loses
The Second Rule of Negotiations: When You Are Explaining You Are Losing