The 90 percent negotiation rule

Negotiations can be held up unnecessarily by focusing on minor differences, creating a misalignment that hinders shared beliefs and values.

Supply Management, 04 September 2017

This is what we learned from the #procurement community, when @bmaltaverne shared @lripsher’s 90% rule.

Applicable to procurement

“We spend 90% of our time talking about the 10% of things we disagree on,” says  Lawrence Ripsher, a Seattle-based software builder.  “I can recall many examples when I’ve had a conversation, meeting or discussion with someone (who I generally agree with) turn into a fully fledged debate.” All the energy goes into arguing the minor differences, rather than building on shared beliefs.

Actively look for areas where there is 90% agreement and spend time on those, he advises. As disagreements emerge, articulate the points and move on – if a decision needs agreement, ask is there enough of a shared view to make this happen. Loop back at the end and work on disagreement then.

“Good stuff, applicable to negotiations in procurement,” tweeted Bertrand Maltaverne, procurement digitalist.