Getting Past a Deal Impasse

Currently the situation in Washington or with the Minnesota Orchestra is lose-lose.  Since neither party has been investing in a relationship with the other prior to this debacle, how do we now move forward?  If I were an advisor to the principals involved I would suggest the following:

1.  Have a family dinner party with the both sides.

2.  At the party, share the following elements that help close deals, which I have learned from doing deals over the past 25 years: 

Various elements that close deals
90% - Attitude

55% - People
10% - Tactics

37% - Process

8% - Substance

= Successful outcomes

These elements are also confirmed in Stuart Diamond’s great book called Getting More.

When doing deals, most parties focus on tactics and the substance.  These are the two least effective elements to focus on when closing a deal.   This is further complicated when the parties are working through the press.  Once the press is involved the tactics and substance elements reported are not even accurate and they start to inflame each side’s ego.   This in turn causes an almost complete shut down of possibilities.  

3.  After sharing these elements with the parties, I would have them work together on a quick and simple common challenge (a vanilla  issue we all agree upon) that has nothing to do with the current issue.  This will cause the parties to feel a collective mind shift toward possibility;

4.   Once that exercise is completed I would suggest the following approach:

i.  Focus on Attitude & Process.   These are the elements that can close this deal.

ii.  Use members of the party that do have relationships (i.e., People) to help close this deal!

iii.  Have the following boundaries:

Both parties quit talking to the press;

Leave the past in the past and be present;

Be hard on the problem, not the people;

When talking with each other try to use facts vs. opinion;

Have regularly scheduled meetings every day until the issue is resolved;

Focus on strategies (vs. positions and ideology) to overcome obstacles. 


Unknown said...

Tom:this is my first visit to your blog, I like it. I acknowledge the common sense approach to creating the beneficial relationships that will ultimately lead to resolution.
Good stuff.