Unit 11 :
Negotiation tips




Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

1. zero sum game (n.)
a situation in which an advantage that is won by one of two sides is lost by the other

2. trade-offs (n.)
a balancing of two opposing situations or qualities, both of which are desired

3. paraphrase (v.)
 to repeat something written or spoken using different words, often in a humorous form or in a simpler and shorter form that makes the original meaning clearer

4. counterpart (n.)
a person or thing that has the same purpose as another one in a different place or organization

5. equivalent (adj.)
having the same amount, value, purpose, qualities, etc.

6. simultaneous (adj.)
happening or being done at exactly the same time

7. contingent (adj.)
a group of people representing an organization or country, or a part of a military force

8. terms (n.)
the conditions that are part of an agreement or arrangement, or the features of an activity or idea

9. penalize (v.)
to cause someone a disadvantage

10. bogged down (phr.)
to be/become so involved in something difficult or complicated that you cannot do anything else



Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Hey, Carly. How’s the prep coming along for your business deal?

Pretty good, but I’m still scared about not getting the best deal.

Remember that it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Don’t focus on making concessions and demands on a single issue.

Okay, so look for other trade-offs besides price?

Exactly. Get creative. And don’t forget to listen, listen, then listen some more.

Okay, I’ll make sure I paraphrase what I heard. What if my counterpart rejects everything?

Well, have you thought about MESOs?

Multiple equivalent simultaneous offers? Yes, but it’s still so easy to get stuck.

Then you can consider a contingent contract. Set terms that penalize or reward them.

Hmm, okay. Any other advice that helped you?

For sure. If you get bogged down, don’t be afraid to take a break or postpone the meeting.

Wow, thanks. Can I take you to the meeting?



Read the article with your teacher.

MESOs in negotiation

Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers (MESOs) is one of the most powerful negotiation tactics because it is a covert information gatherer that leverages human choice, flexibility, and interest-based framing.

MESOs equates to presenting multiple “package deals” at the negotiation table and is seen as an excellent indirect information gatherer, conversation tool, and storytelling platform. MESOs is performed by simultaneously offering three package options that are of the same value to the proposer.

This is in stark contrast to the typical single-issue negotiation tactic in which one side presents only one package offer and the bargaining standoff begins with little optionality to aid in the process. This old-school style is analogous to an arm-wrestling match or tug-of-war. One side wins and the other loses.

The success experienced by those employing MESOs is rooted in the notion that individuals highly value choice and strongly prefer having multiple options rather than a single option.

A negotiator needs their offer to be focused on their opponent and their interests. This is accomplished by presenting three initial proposals that across the package of issues have the same total value, although the value of each individual issue may vary.

Source: PIN Consulting, “The Most Powerful Technique for High-stakes Negotiations”



Answer the following questions to your teacher.

1.What do you think is most important when trying to convey your ideas to someone? (e.g. confidence, good examples, good arguments, etc.)

2.Are you frequently asked to convey your thoughts on things at work? How do you feel about that?


Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. In a ____ game, whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other.

A. one sum
B. non-zero sum
C. non one sum
D. zero sum

2. There has to be a ____ between quality and quantity if we want to keep prices low.

A. trade-on
B. trade-off
C. trade-out
D. trade-in

3. Both sides made various _____, but neither would back down on the crucial points.

A. contingency
B. equivalence
C. paraphrase
D. concessions

4. Why should women in top managerial positions earn less than their male ____ ?

A. performers
B. counterparts
C. managers
D. complements