Unit 27 :
Negotiating Solutions




Repeat these word/ phrases after your teacher.

1. to set back (phr v)
to delay an event, process or person

2. to work out (phr v)
to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

3. to bring up (phr v)
to start to talk about a particular subject

4. integral (adj)
necessary and important as a part of a whole

5. launch (n)
an event to celebrate or  introduce something new:

6. sync (v)
to connect two electronic devices  so that they both have the latest information or files

7. figure out (phr v)
to understand or solve something



Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Yeah, well, based on that, I think there’s a couple of ways we can go on this.

Yeah, what do you have in mind? And how long do you think this is going to set back our launch?

Hard to say really. Depends on how we go about it. I mean, you guys could take care of this yourselves. Or have the guys who built your previous system do it.

Alternatively, we could work out an hourly rate for our developers to sync the data.

Woa, hold on a sec… this is the thing I’m not really clear on. I mean, getting the data synced is an integral part of implementing the new system, isn’t it?

So I would have thought this is already included in the contract?

Yeah, I see your point, but we’re dealing with two separate systems here: our software, and the legacy system.

And the issue here is with the legacy system… specifically GPS coordinates.

Well GPS wasn’t really standard back then.

Still, I’m actually very surprised they didn’t bring this up in any of our meetings as they knew this would be an issue. In any case, this introduces something new.

There’s now a lot of data that needs to be entered manually. And that really wasn’t anywhere in the project specs. In fact, I remember we talked specifically about needing data from the legacy system, and you guys said you’d take care of it.

Okay, I get that . Still, I’m curious exactly how much time are we talking about? We really need to get this done in a day or two or it’s going to mess up our schedule.

Well, I wish it was just a day. Can’t really say until we dig in there, but unlikely to be just a couple of days. It’s gonna take some time.

Well, to be honest, I’m not really comfortable asking the Spintech guys to do that… for various reasons. At the same time, I’ve gotta think about costs.

And you’re talking about an hourly rate for your developers, but you have no idea how long it’ll take. See what I’m saying?

Yeah, okay, then what about this: give us half a day to figure out what’s involved. And then we’ll roll that half a day into a fixed fee.

That way we’ll take out some of those question marks. And you’ll know the job is done right. By us.

 Okay… that sounds reasonable. I’ll need to check with Zara on this, but I think a fixed fee is definitely the way to go.

And just to reiterate, we really don’t want this to cause a huge delay.

For sure, understood. We’ll do what we can. Now, I think it’s easiest just to do a contract addendum. I can write that up. Then you can take it to Zara. Sound okay?

Yes, that sounds fine. And if you can get that to me as soon as possible I’d appreciate it.



Read the article with your teacher.

Tips for effective negotiation


  • confuse negotiation with confrontation – you should remain calm, professional and patient
  • become emotional — remember to stick to the issue, don’t make it personal, and avoid becoming angry, hostile or frustrated
  • blame the other party if you can´t achieve your desired outcome


  • be clear about what you are offering and what you need from the other party
  • be prepared — think about what the other party needs from the deal, and take a comprehensive view of the situation
  • be consistent with how you present your goals, expectations and objectives
  • set guidelines for the discussion and ensure that you and the other party stick to them throughout the entire process
  • use effective communication skills including positive body language
  • prepare for compromise
    strive for mutually beneficial solutions
  • consider whether you should seek legal advice
  • ask plenty of questions
  • pay attention to detail
  • put things in writing.




Answer the following questions to your teacher.

1. What comes into your mind when you hear the word “negotiation”?

2. Are you good at negotiating? How does it feel to be in negotiation? 


Let’s practice

Fill in the blanks with words from the box below. Be sure to put any verbs in the right tense.

  mind           bring             question             set          mess           project

1. There’s just one more little problem with the server that I’d like to__________up before the meeting is finished.

2. I like the look of the X900, but I feel there are too many_________ marks around reliability.

3. One little delay at the start of the production process can______up the entire schedule.

4. We need to talk about a new hiring strategy, so let me start by telling you all what I have in_________ .

5. If we don’t get the files from the graphic designer soon, I’m worried it will ___________the whole project back.

6. I’ve had  a  close look at the__________specs, and I can’t see           anything about a half-way report.