Imagine going into a restaurant and preparing to order some food. The waiter says, ‘We don’t have a menu, just tell me what you would like and I’ll tell you if we can do it.’
You make a couple of suggestions and the waiter replies, ‘Sorry, we don’t do any of those, try again.’
This is the approach we often take to negotiations when we immediately search for the one single solution that will meet everybody’s interests. This is particularly the approach of the positional bargainer who says, ‘Make me an offer and I’ll tell you if it’s acceptable to me.’
In the restaurant, the first thing you suggest that the kitchen has, is what you end up with. It may not have been the thing you really felt like, but if it’s the only option ...