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Negotiation Tactics

Collin: This is Collin O’ Keif for LXVN TV and Affiliate Texas Bar TV. I’m here at the 2013 State Bar of Texas annual meeting. And I am joined by attorney David Bouschor. David first, we are talking about negotiation–you just came out of a session on negotiation. Tell me a little bit about the difference between, positional negotiation, somewhat more traditional and also interest-based negation.

David: Well positional is something we are all really familiar with– it’s horse trading. You have a string and you have a pea and you’re going back and forth–you have one objective, and really what you’re trying to do in the case of horse training is, “How much am I going to pay for this horse?” Interest-based is where you step back from the actual negotiation. You try and decide why everybody wants this horse, what people’s interests are, and often you can come up with a better solution–a solution that adds value for both of the parties, and in most cases you may be solving problems that are unsolvable with positional based.

Collin: I see. And with interest-based, you find that it is really efficient in the legal world. How does it work there and do you find that as you mentioned, as I understand it, you know, both parties ending up getting what they want versus having a winner and a loser?

David: Well in the legal world I think it is very useful–the problem that you have often in cases is that there’s so much emotion involved and people are unable or without training or help from the lawyers are unable to step back and actually look at their interests, and they stay in the positional, so therefore even if they get a solution, they’ve left stuff on the table or haven’t gotten there best solution. If you explore why people want something–what their real true interest is, you know it’s like they are fighting over the same sandwich, “I want the sandwich, no I want the sandwich.” But if you look at their interest and you say, “Why do you want the sandwich?” and they say, “Well cause I’m hungry.” Then you say, “Well I can get you this steak dinner over here,” so now they are willing to give up the sandwich. So you know, there’s just a lot more opportunities to solve problems out there. If you look at people’s interests, it’s a more intelligent way of negotiating, and I think everyone comes up with better solutions.

Collin: Absolutely. Negotiation has numerous advantages certainly litigation in places. And that’s some excellent insight right there. Once again that was David Bouschor; he’s from up in Denton. For more of our coverage of the 2013 State Bar of Texas annual meeting, visit us at and at Texas Bar as well. Thanks for interviewing with me today, David.

David: Thank you for your time.