Good example of the dynamics of bargaining power at a recent “Speed Awareness” Course I attended in Ealing. This course is run by the Police for those who have committed minor speeding offences – just a few miles over the limit. If you go along you are spared 3 points being added to your license.

There were 20 attendees and 1 presenter. At these kinds of events a tacit negotiation always goes on between the presenter and the audience for the audience’s attention. Even if she had been a black belt in karate she could not have prevented us from all getting up and walking out of the door if we had wanted to, so we held the advantages of scale and size in the negotiation with the presenter for our attention.

However, she had a couple of aces too. She had lots of expertise, and she also had the power of the Police behind her – having “law, rules or regulations” on your side is always a good source of bargaining power.

So I would say this was a negotiation where each side held 2 aces. Result? A win/win deal. She worked very hard to keep our attention and we responded by being as good as gold for the whole 4 hour duration of the Course.

It’s always worth working out at the outset who holds the aces of bargaining power in your negotiation. He who holds the Aces normally calls the tune in a deal, so if the Aces are evenly divided a harmonious result like this one is a likely outcome.