Strawman Agreement

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Strawman Agreement: A Misunderstood Concept

In the world of negotiations, the term „strawman agreement” often crops up. But what exactly does it mean? Unfortunately, this term is often misunderstood and misused, leading to confusion and miscommunication among parties involved in a negotiation.

The term „strawman” refers to a dummy or a stand-in. In a negotiation, a strawman agreement is a proposed solution that is created by one party and presented to the other party as a way to solve a problem or reach a compromise. The strawman agreement is not the final proposal but rather a starting point for discussion.

Here`s an example: Two business partners are negotiating the terms of a new joint venture agreement. Partner A suggests that they split the profits 50-50 and take turns managing the business. Partner B disagrees, arguing that they should split the profits 60-40 and that he should manage the business full-time. To break the deadlock, Partner A proposes a strawman agreement: they split the profits 55-45, with Partner B managing the business but with a salary that is lower than what he had originally requested. This strawman agreement is not the final proposal but rather a starting point for further discussion and negotiation.

The use of a strawman agreement can be a useful tool in a negotiation. It allows parties to move past stalemates and explore potential solutions without committing to a final proposal. It can also help to clarify each party`s priorities and interests, as well as highlight areas of agreement and disagreement.

However, it`s important to note that a strawman agreement should never be presented as a final proposal. Doing so can lead to misunderstandings and resentment, especially if the other party feels like they were pressured into accepting something that they did not fully agree with. A strawman agreement is simply a starting point for further discussion and negotiation.

In summary, a strawman agreement is a proposed solution created by one party and presented to the other party as a starting point for negotiation. It can be a useful tool in breaking a deadlock and exploring potential solutions, but it should never be presented as a final proposal. By understanding this concept, negotiators can use strawman agreements effectively to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.

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