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Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson

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Chapter 11Middle Negotiating Gambits: Handling Stalemates

Somewhere between an impasse and a deadlock, you will sometimes encounter a stalemate. That’s when both sides are still talking but seem unable to make any progress toward a solution. Being in a stalemate is similar to being “in irons,” which is a sailing expression meaning that the boat has stalled with its head into the wind. A boat will not sail directly into the wind. It will sail almost into the wind, but it won’t sail directly into it. To sail into the wind you must sail about 30 degrees off course to starboard and then tack across the wind 30 degrees to port. It’s hard work to keep resetting the sails that way, but eventually you’ll get where you want to go.

To tack across the wind ...

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