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I still think it's important to keep your "BATNA" in mind (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), so that you know what your walkaway point is. Of course, this isn't a tip that helps keep the negotiations cordial, but it does help you recognize when the time has come to agree to disagree and at least part ways amicably.

Gordon R. Clogston

As a hiring manager with some experience, I wholeheartedly agree that it is best to reveal all your desires, wants, and must haves so that you an work toward a solution that works for all parties. I have had the occasion to ask candidates if we had covered all their needs only to have them come back with something else after I have already cut the offer. That's the point when I normally rescind the offer and suggest that this might not be the best situation for either of us.

In other aspects of our lives, however, the negotiations model is much more complex and sometimes requires a strategy of withholding to a point. I recently read "Negotiation Speak" by Michale Schatzki that I found quite useful. There is no conflict with the points you have so eloquently made in your article, but he does a great job of applying an easy-to-understand negotiations model to more complex situations.

I like your straight-forward approach to the interview process and I believe that we would all be better served through the application of your suggestion.


You provided a valuable perspective. People often approach negotiation process as if it occurs in a vacuum with a definitive beginning and an end. However, it is more advantages to think of it as a stage of relationship with its own dynamic and process. Every negotiation is an opportunity to build a relationship. It shows how someone approaches business relationships, how they think on their feet, problem solving skills and conflict resolution approach.

This may be hard to do but entering into salary negotiation as an enjoyable process and a step towards further advancing business relationships is a more constructive approach. During the process it may feel like a root canal but it can really be enjoyable if the candidate has the right perspective going in.

Steve Roesler

Hey, Greg,

Indeed, you gotta know when to fold 'em. I hadn't heard the BATNA acronym before but I like it.

Steve Roesler

Hello, Gordon,

I haven't seen that model but will have a look; have used others throughout life and, yes, there are situations that have greater degrees of complexity. My purpose here was to get people of goodwill thinking and acting like people of goodwill in "normal" situations.

Now, if we could just get everyone we have to negotiate with to use the same model as we use. . .

Steve Roesler


I think you actually captured what I was trying to frame in the post. That is, the "perspective" going in will deeply influence the tone of the discussion and the level of goodwill involved.

I've negotiated salary agreements over the years from both sides of the table--union and management--and I have to say, your "root canal" metaphor has me nodding.

Thanks for weighing in.

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