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Is it acceptable to be unfair during a crisis?

Jun 16, 2020

Anybody initiating a negotiation and expressing demands during difficult times is often accompanied by a feeling of uneasiness. Is it acceptable in a situation such as the one we’re experiencing now, where everybody is in an equally bad state, to express your own demands? Or is it unfair? Are you not using the crisis to your own advantage? We were asked these questions during a webinar.

A person is unfair if they break the rules. But what are the rules of negotiating and which of the written and unwritten rules do you know? It is this very question that leads us to the heart of the problem: the rules exist in your head, they are neither communicated nor laid down. You tacitly assume that your negotiating partner knows the rules – your rules – accepts them and even follows them.

You have certain expectations and assume, naturally, that these expectations will be met. You have a certain expectation with regard to fairness. If you play fair, you also expect your opponent to play fair. And when they don’t, you turn away, go into “Not like this!” mode and feel disappointed. Unfair behavior is not to be tolerated, but if you are disappointed, then the problem is yours, not your opponent’s. You have not communicated the rules – which are complete and correct according to your values.

Negotiating tips:

  • Enter a negotiation with absolutely no expectations regarding fairness
  • If you have expectations, you will be disappointed
  • Lay down the rules at the beginning of the negotiation
  • Turn unwritten rules into written rules
  • Be a good example and stick to the rules yourself
  • If your negotiating partner doesn’t stick to the rules, give them a warning
  • Is it acceptable to be unfair? No! Is it acceptable to start a negotiation now? Yes!
Upcoming Webinars

CrisisNegotiations: PR, Marketing &Communications

We look forward to continue the Schranner Negotiation Institute webinar series with guest speaker
Emma Procter, Co-Founder at Transform PR & Communications.

We will be discussing some valuable topics for today's business environment in the world of PR, Marketing & Communications.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 at 8-9am EST

To register please email:

Webinar with Oneeka Botu

L&D in a Crisis: Bridging Employee Skill Gaps to Survive the Pandemic

We would like to share the HR webinar recording from June 3rd with guest speaker Oneeka Botu,
Head of Education and Training North America at Bulgari Corporation of America (LVMH Group).

Oneeka Botu touched on current social climate, she touched on COVID, and of course leaned on the importance of L&D for all organizations. Oneeka was empowering, and she was incredible. Its uplifting and its valuable information for all to hear.

Watch webinar

New Podcast

'DEADLOCK' PODCAST EPISODE#13: Uncomfortable Conversations: How to Negotiate with People with Disabilities

John Robinson bestselling author, disability advocate, and CEO of Our Ability, Inc., speaks candidly with us about everything we get wrong when it comes to talking with and talking about people with disabilities. As a person with a disability and a successful business owner, John shares his life experiences, his insights, and his knowledge freely. And we asked John all the tough questions so you didn’t have to – the ones that you might have been too afraid to ask yourself.

Listen to the latest podcast here

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The Schranner Team