القائمة الرئيسية



In negotiations, one of the negotiators often uphold a solid position without repentant for the interest of negotiation.

The dominant reason for this is the believe, that a party feels, its position is strong and immune in the negotiation, which drives such party to hold such stand to maximize its gains at the expense of the other party(ies). The unjustified Stubbornness does not show goodwill from such Party to the negotiation, but it always leads to the failure of the negotiation(s) in the end and the conflict continue indefinitely

In this article, we show the error of this directions. On the ground that, there is neither a hundred percent strong position, nor a weak position with the same percentage. On the contrary, in many cases, the one with weak position - from the viewpoint of some in negotiations - may prevail over the one with stronger position.

The Theory of Achilles' Heels:

The theory of Achilles' heel assume that there is no system without gaps, even though the theory talks mainly about security systems, but the principle is valid for applying on a wide range of systems such as negotiating disputes and others, risk management science is based entirely on that theory among other theories.

 Initially to learn the basis for that theory we must talk about Achilles, the well-known legendary Hero. Achilles  was the son of the king of Myrmidon and his mother was called Thetis. It was from his bereaved mother unless she took the child and headed towards the River Styx, and the river Styx in Greek mythology is the river between the world of the dead and the living. On its shore, the ferryman Charon stands in his boat, the souls cross with him in exchange for two coins from the world of the living to the dead world. The river had amazing power and influence on the living, giving them supernatural powers, as it was running around the world of the dead seven times.

The river itself is harmful to humans, but the mother of Achilles was a nymph from the nymphs of water, so it had a different effect on his body. Thetis immersed her son in the water of the river so that his body would gain strength and immunity in the face of weapons, and immersed him several times in the river, except that she was holding the child from his heels so that he would not fall into the water, so his whole body acquired immunity from death except his heels.

In the epic Iliad, Achilles killed Hector who was the best Trojan warriors, and given his body's immunity no one strengthened him, except Paris, and Paris who is the brother of Hector who caused the outbreak of the Trojan battle and the ten-year war, but that is another story. Paris made a revenge for his betrayed brother Achilles

He fired an arrow on his foot and hit his heel and cut his tendons, which brought him down and enabled Paris to kill him. The legend of Achilles has many interpretations. There are those who explain it as expressing weaknesses in the personality that may perish his owner, security experts use it to signify that there are no security systems without a vulnerability or a vulnerability that can penetrate it.

We use it in the science of negotiation to signify that not to be deceived by the opponent's strengths even it is a dragon breathes flame, all of them are interpretations that talk about human weakness or weak systems, whether they are administrative, military or security, and what concerns us now is the administrative side. 

The weaknesses in negotiations are multiple between points related to the subject, time or procedures, and may be related to the negotiator person in terms of competence or personality, often, a number of these elements come together to obstruct negotiations and make it difficult for the negotiator's position. We shall show some of them as follow:

In terms of time:

It was said before about time, "Time is like a sword, if you don't cut it, it will cut you."

And in English Time waits for no one, time is not always in one's best interests, but is often the cause of misfortune,  the same is true in negotiations. Usually time is a factor opposite to the owner of the strong position in the negotiations, because you do not know what the days are hiding, there may be a change in government decisions or internal legislation of the state, or a change in the regulations and judicial directions regarding the interpretation or applying certain rules related to disputes, or any other event that might cause a stalemate between a person with a strong position and his desires and affecting negatively on his position in of the dispute.

 In terms of Procedures:

The procedures may be related to the negotiation or the dispute claim procedures.

The position of a strong negotiator may not constitute anything in the negotiation due to the difficulty of the negotiation procedure, we also often see that one of the negotiation bodies has difficulty choosing negotiators or taking the negotiation procedures themselves due to the existence of bureaucratic difficulties to the negotiation contract, or by sending people who are not authorized to make decisions - i.e. they come to listen only - and then enter into a cycle of committees and the internal meetings to submit the matter to the management of their entity to make a decision regarding negotiation, which may last for days and weeks and often for many months, and the time as we have mentioned is not always in one's best interests.

 In terms of topic:

The documents and facts of the negotiation may be in the interest of one party at the expense of the other, but the nature of the subject itself shall require a lot of effort to demand it and prove it effectively before the judicial or official authorities, which complicates the position of the stronger party, even if it’s win is guaranteed at the end, except that the nature of the subject requires a lot of time time until fully obtained.

 Hardship here may be financial hardship, or waiting for a long time, or with regard to evidentiary procedures and other court and official procedures. Accordingly, the matter may be a major consideration in assessing the strength of the position of any of the negotiating parties.

 In terms of the personality of the negotiator:

The negotiator’s weakness and lack of skills are among the most important reasons of the negotiation’s failure. A negotiator who cannot handle the information given to him and use it well, will lead himself and the negotiation to a dead end, then failure.

When the negotiator is not experienced, unprofessional, the personal standard prevails over the objective standard, the negotiation and the nature of the subject matter of the dispute are not seen as one integrated unit, so the negotiator himself on this issue is a weak point who may lead to end the negotiation and the position of the stronger party in the negotiation completely.

 We are not surprised when we often find that some of the unexperienced negotiators take control of the negotiation sessions while the senior negotiators are sitting silent and unable to respond or take over the affairs, as a result of committing a mistake that the other party exploits and manage the negotiating process in its favor.

And the reasons related to the negotiator are divided into personal reasons, related to the personal skills of the negotiator, and professional reasons, related to professional skills, whoever professes to negotiate in his work, regardless of his position or profession, must make sure that his skills and experience are updated with time.


Among the personal skills necessary for the negotiator:

·         Effective social communication skills: using the body language effectively, good listening and controlling emotion and feelings, using the persuasion techniques and work to find the most appropriate way to persuade the opponent.

·         Skills of dealing with difficult people, and how to avoid conflict areas.

 ·         Negotiating skills: by defining the negotiation strategies used in each negotiation and how to deal with the opponent and setting a good plan for negotiation and alternative solutions to work between them.


·         Effective presentation and presentation skills: such as finding common ground between the parties of the negotiation and display the information with effectively away avoiding to discover all his papers which not necessary, except when needed.

Professional skills are, for example, the following:

Dealing with negotiating issues which related to an objective standard not personal.

·         Professionalism in dealing with the opponent, not friends or foes, but parties that share with a common issue

·         collecting the necessary information which related to the subject of negotiation;

·         Knowledge of laws, regulations, and all legal or regulations related to the subject matter of the dispute being negotiated, and any contracts, documents, or facts which related to as well.

·         For the negotiator who shall have a proactive, predictive view of negotiation, he shall develop his expectation skill

 lastly, any of the above weaknesses should not be used for more than obtaining an effective agreement that satisfies all parties without pressing a party to break it only. The situation must always be in mind that the goal of negotiation is end the continues conflicts between its parties in order to continue good relations with them later, and the smart negotiator shall understand this and do all his best to make it happen.

A good professional negotiator conduct negotiation sessions in a more effective way, unaffected by external influences, with the aim of obtaining the best results for the party who negotiating with him and the other party as well.


أنت الان في اول موضوع