At sort of connection between one another in order

At
the beginning of any negotiation, there needs to be a connection between both the
other party and yourself. It is essential to find some sort of connection
between one another in order to gain each other’s trust. During the first phase
of the negotiation, if you can come off well mannered and friendly, there is a
better chance of giving the other party a strong impression. This is how I
started off with my girlfriend Katherine in the negotiation on what we will do
for our first Christmas / Hanukkah / New Years together.

            Katherine and I both kissed each
other and said hello while I was showing a bit of excitement as well as some
enthusiasm at the beginning of our negotiation. As our negotiation and
discussion began, we both knew that we had a similar conflict and learned as
well that we had similar concerns, but these could only be resolved if we could
both agree on a compromise. Before I started diving into the concerns and
conflicts that we had, I asked her how her day was and what she did over the
weekend to sort of get a better understanding of how she was feeling
emotionally. I had to decide whether to use her emotional stance in my
advantage in the negotiation, or just focus on winning the negotiation without
hurting her in the process, because I love her. The more we talked about how
our weekend went, the more comfortable I felt about starting the negotiation on
what our plans for the upcoming holidays would be. Each time she talked, I
could see her feeling a sense or calmness and seemed to start feeling
comfortable as we talked in the car. Being able to find that similar connection
is essential in this sort of setting as it could possibly end up setting how
the tone of our negotiation would be down the road throughout our car ride. The
vital reason for forming or being able to find a connection between the two of
us is because it could potentially make this negotiation easier and come to a
mutual conclusion. It could potentially give both of us a good enough
compromise without having one of us walk away and feeling sad because our voice
was not heard the way we thought it should have been when talking to someone you
love. Right from the beginning when she first kissed me hello, it seemed like
we could find a connection with the optimism we both showed when greeting one
another. I noticed it right away in her smile and attitude. I told her earlier
in text messages that we will not come to a conclusion unless we are both
smiling at the end of it, so neither one of us is being taken advantage of in
some way, shape, or form.

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            Our first issue of the two issues we
had on the table concerned with what we would be doing about going to either my
family’s Hanukkah Party or her family’s Christmas Party because they both
started on the same day and relatively at the same time, give or take 15
minutes or so. I have not met her extended family yet, but neither has she in
regard to my extended family. After breaking
bread and finding a few connections to build up on, I thought it was
best to start off the discussion with some “diagnostic questions”. Diagnostic
questions are usually able to find better results in a small-time frame while
also giving one or both of us a little more confidence in order to get some
information needed. Her questions at first seemed to be going at the certain
issues and concerns I had, in relation to which family party we should go to.

She seemed to be able to find soft spots that I had not thought of as if she
were studying on how to go about this negotiation. She is a very smart teacher
and I had not expected this at all.

She at first made an emotional highball offer in saying she was
a little nervous in meeting my side of the family the first time and figured I
should go to her family party and meet her extended family since it was
important to her. She had decided that by playing the emotional card, that I
might have a soft spot and completely give up my concerns in favor of hers. I
decided to ignore her offer and give her a lowball
offer and asked if she wanted to just watch a movie instead at my house
and then go to the family party. She obviously said no to that, and continued
to feed off on how important this was and that this could be the deciding
factor in whether her family gives us the blessing to date, because her family
was “strict” at the time. I could tell there was some fibbing going on as I
could see a partial smile at the end of each time she talked and I have learned
she hates lying and is very bad at it. I used this to my advantage in deciding
what I thought was true or not. As our negotiation went on during the car ride,
I was able to learn through a series of questions and answers back and forth
that it was very important to her for me to meet her family because her sister
lives in Europe teaching and only is home for a few holidays. It was necessary
for me to meet both her sister and her husband before she went back to Europe
and the way my schedule worked, this was the only time for me to come over to
the house to meet her. I felt a little bit sad because I was not sure if she was
being truthful and possibly making me feel a little bad in asking her to come
meet my family during the one few chances I could meet all of her family
together at the same time; or if this was just a clever scheme in trying me to
give in to what she wanted. While trying to ignore this possible tactic or just
her being truthful I tried to tie
both of our offers and interests together and asked if she would be
okay with her coming over to my house for the first hour and a half, and then
us going to her house for the rest of the party. This option would be a way that
we could both see each other’s families and compromise to what our issues and
concerns were.

            I at first thought that this was a
great solution and that there would be no further negotiating and no reason to
do a post-settlement settlement.

After I offered this option, she asked to sit on the idea and think about it
for a bit, and to go over it in her mind and decide what she felt about the
offer. She decided to decline the offer because she did not feel satisfied. I
asked her what was wrong with the possible solution and she said she would
rather have me come over for the first hour and a half and then end the party
at my house with my family. I was not ready to agree to that, so we decided to attempt a post-settlement settlement
and find a solution that fit both of our wants. I tried using this offer of
hers as leverage for me to settle our second issue and give me hope that if I
can give her what she wants in going to her family party first in regards to
our second issue in our Holiday Party negotiation. She had to agree to not only
coming to my family party second, but also attending my friend’s annual New
Year’s Party rather than attending her best friend’s New Year’s Party. After
many different solutions as we went back and forth lowballing and highballing each
other, we came to a compromise that could conclude our negotiations and let us
both walk out of it happy without hurting one of us. My final offer to her was
if I came to the first two hours of her family’s Christmas party, she would
have to come to my family’s Hanukkah party for dessert. We could then drive
back to her house to say goodbye and talk a little bit more with her family
while they are home in America, and that she would be okay with coming to my
friends New Year’s Eve party so long as she could bring a friend too and try to
set up one of my friends with her. She agreed to this and said it meant a lot
to her, and we kissed to finalize the agreement and shook on it as we both
wanted to lighten the mood and end it on a high note.