Let’s talk about an old (non) negotiation myth:
”Well, let’s split the difference"
Is splitting the difference a quick way to reach an agreement?
After all, people are used to giving and getting equal shares at home and restaurants for example. Splitting in the middle is just simple, isn’t it?
It may be a fast way to reach "an agreement". But it may not be equitable or fair.
Incomes are different as well as life and business situations. Would you pay half of the bill when you’ve been proposed a business lunch and you’ve been cancelling another meeting? Or in other circumstances where the middle is not really the middle for you?
A one shot deal buyer can often have this negotiation tactic. He starts to make a very low offer and raises it slightly each round and then when final agreement is difficult he says: "Okay, let’s split the difference."
This is basic trickery or a manipulative tactic but not to be underestimated.
The next time somebody says "Let’s split the difference", try saying: "No, I can’t, because …" Then provide a good explanation as to what seems fair to you and equitable.
You will be surprised at how often you get more than half.
She is a corporate trainer specialized in Integrative Negotiation solutions and strategies.