Ask Alignor

Why should I include in my list of brainstormed options some options that I do not like but that other stakeholders may like?

There are three reasons to include in your list of brainstormed negotiation options some options that you do not like but other stakeholders may like. The first reason is it will help you anticipate what other stakeholders may demand in negotiations and help you prepare your response to those demands. The second reason is that sometimes it can make sense to include an idea you do not like in a package of options that overall satisfies your interests well. For example, if you were selling a product and your customer asked for a discount, the concept of the discount–in isolation–would be a bad idea for you. On the other hand, as part of an overall package that might include a huge volume of sales, a firm commitment to buy more in the future, and an accelerated cash payment, that discount might make sense to consider. Finally, when you consider options you do not like but other stakeholders may like, you will often find that a small or subtle change to the option could reduce the harm (or cost) to you from the option while still preserving the benefits for others.

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