Notes on Negotiation

How have you responded to negotiation games?

Submitted by Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

We often get asked what to do about the negotiation games people play.

For example, what should you do when your counterpart is a “nibbler” – someone who asks for or demands an additional concession after the deal appears done?

Try to avoid it by asking during the negotiation if all issues are on the table. Make a note of it when your counterpart says “yes.” If your counterpart nevertheless asks for a concession at the end, require one in return – preferably of greater value. Nibble back. Otherwise, they’ll just keep on nibbling.

Another tactic is what Roger Dawson coined “the flinch” – a visible negative reaction to any offer or concession by the other side.

If your counterpart does this to you, ignore it, or subtly acknowledge, perhaps by smiling, that you understand what they’re doing.

What negotiation games have you encountered and how did you respond?


Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or

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