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Generalizations involve making a broad statement about the deal, person, or dynamic. This gives you the authority to shape the deal.


One example of a generalization is if someone buys a company but holds back the purchase price for a period, with a justification of, “These deals always have a 50% hold back for 24 months.” Bigotry, stereotypes, and biases are generalizations that can come into a negotiation as well. For example, “You are German, you should get this engineering stuff, so you owe us the fix for free,” or an insulting statement such as, “You don’t get it, in this country these deals start with the buyer opening on price.” The false authority of bigotry can have extremely negative outcomes, up to and including civil rights violations and, historically, genocide.


The typical mode of dealing with authority tactics – to distinguish cases from the authority at issue – may not work. Simply, one must call others out on bigotry. This is an important topic for negotiators to understand and merits an understanding of social privilege and socioeconomics.

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