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Firms should remember the 'iceberg effect' during business negotiations

Negotiators should understand their counterparts

11 October 2010

Companies should remember the 'iceberg effect' during business negotiations, according to an expert.

The majority of negotiators may enter discussions with the intention of achieving their desired outcome without making any concessions to the other side.

Cori Maedel, chief executive of human resources consultants Jouta Performance Group, advised firms to take a different approach to understand what their counterparts wish to gain from the talks.

She wrote on "This is what some refer to as the 'iceberg effect'. What is underneath the situation that you are not aware of? What is not obvious? By understanding the need that is driving your opponents' position, you are better equipped to meet this need in your negotiation."

Ms Maedel also added that businesses should "sign on the dotted line" as quickly as possible once a deal has been reached to ensure the other side does not waiver from its commitment in the future. 

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