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Why Dick and Jane don't ask: Getting past initiation barriers in negotiations

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  • Volkema, Roger J.

Abstract

Negotiation is an essential skill for personal well-being and professional success, a skill that begins with identifying and acting on one's wants and needs. Many individuals, however, lack the confidence, motivation, or training to simply ask for what they want in certain situations; for example, when negotiating with an important client. Still others are reluctant to initiate requests in general. This article discusses the personal characteristics and situational factors that influence an individual's likelihood of engaging another party in a negotiation, making a request, and optimizing that request. Herein, specific suggestions are offered for managing this critical phase of the negotiation process via three steps: mental preparation prior to the engagement; positioning prior to, and at the point of, the engagement; and verbal craftsmanship during the delivery of one's request.

Suggested Citation

  • Volkema, Roger J., 2009. "Why Dick and Jane don't ask: Getting past initiation barriers in negotiations," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 595-604, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:52:y:2009:i:6:p:595-604
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Dreu, Carsten K. W., 2003. "Time pressure and closing of the mind in negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 280-295, July.
    2. Pinkley, Robin L. & Neale, Margaret A. & Bennett, Rebecca J., 1994. "The Impact of Alternatives to Settlement in Dyadic Negotiation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 97-116, January.
    3. Janice Nadler & Leigh Thompson & Leaf Van Boven, 2003. "Learning Negotiation Skills: Four Models of Knowledge Creation and Transfer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 529-540, April.
    4. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2005. "Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation," Working Paper Series rwp05-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    5. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & Lai, Lei, 2007. "Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 84-103, May.
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