BVTech San Antonio | Next-Gen Managed IT Services

BVTech San Antonio | Next-Gen Managed IT Services

Don’t Negotiate with Logic

Computer science and mathematicians often try to use logic to negotiate whether it be at a university or life in general. I’ve tried it myself and it doesn’t usually work. Even if you have that (rare) perfect argument, remember Upton Sinclair’s words: It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

So make sure their salary depends on them understanding it. Or more to the point, in a world with limited resources, why it makes sense for them to help you. 

Ideally go for the win-win. Why a certain decision helps the department/college/university as well as yourself. Asking for a small investment as a seed towards a large grant for example.How would the decision make you or your students more successful? The success of a department is measured by the success of the faculty and students. On the other hand, why would a different decision hold you and your students back.

Even outside the university, make your objectives in line with the objectives of the person you are negotiating with to lead to a better outcome.
Of course sometimes you are haggling over a price or a salary when it really is a zero-sum game. There it’s good to know the BATNA, Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, for yourself and the other entity. In other words, if they aren’t selling to you what other options do you and they have?
There are whole books written about negotiating strategies. Mostly it comes down to making it work for both parties. That’s what matters, not the logic.