Negotiation: 3 terms to avoid

Published By
Olivier Audino
Procurement strategy

Here are three terms that are generally advised against using in negotiation contexts, and a brief explanation as to why:

1. "Final Offer"

Using the term "final offer" can be problematic as it may signal the end of negotiation flexibility, potentially shutting down further dialogue. It can come across as rigid and might discourage the other party from making a counter-offer, which could have led to a mutually beneficial agreement.

2. "Honestly" or "To be honest"

Starting sentences with "honestly" or "to be honest" can inadvertently raise doubts about the sincerity of your previous statements. It implies that other statements might not have been fully honest, which can erode trust—a critical element in successful negotiations.

3. "Win-Win"

While the intent behind saying "win-win" is typically positive, aiming to indicate that the proposal would benefit both sides, it can sometimes be perceived as insincere or overused. Parties might feel that the focus is on selling them a deal under the guise of fairness, rather than actually engaging in creating mutually beneficial solutions.

These terms are commonly cited in negotiation training and literature as potentially detrimental to achieving the best outcomes. Avoiding them can help maintain an open and constructive negotiation atmosphere.

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