Overcoming impasses while negotiating

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Gabriella Gadioli Monteiro Karam
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The impasse is an intrinsic part of negotiation, deeply connected to human interaction. The way people interact dictates a positive or negative outcome, which makes impasses a recurrent phenomenon. This research showed impasse carries a negative connotation that dictates people’s attitude towards an unfavourable direction while negotiating, which ends up either by aggravating the impasse to an escalated conflict or by making people give up on their goals and surrender to other’s propositions just to avoid an impasse. In addition, other aspects, such as emotionally charged interactions, a competitive mindset, not allocating sufficient time to negotiate, and biased third parties, to name a few, refrain negotiations from developing its full capacity, meaning to get to the underlying interests and to develop relationships in order to make sure the result is a mutually beneficial agreement with a long-lasting effect. This dissertation investigates the aspects of an impasse (definitions, different perspectives, when, how and reasons why it happens) and formulates a protocol with simple stages to overcome impasses. The protocol was designed with a multi-method qualitative study, gathering information from negotiators, mediators, barristers, etc experiences, plus the literature, to give practical guidance on how and why overcome impasses. The protocol aims to develop a straightforward guideline to reach a broad audience, meaning professionals that have negotiation experience and common folk
Karam, 2020