As managers, we are often in a negotiation situation where we are confronting people across the table, whose heels are already dug in, holding on to a position that is virtually opposite our own. Both sides talk, nobody moves.

How can you turn such a stalemate into a chance to move the opposition to your point of view?

If you know the other side is already biased against you then it can be very effective to present a two-sided argument – theirs and yours. Presenting your opponents’ point of view before your own robs them of the opportunity to resist you and they consequently have to participate in the solution. Getting someone to help you set the rules means that they are more likely to follow them.

So, next time you have to turn a “no” into a “yes”, try to present your opponent’s point of view before your own!

We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: