Variables to be aware of when negotiating

by | Jun 12, 2019 | Business Feature

When negotiating you may not consider certain factors such as the time of day, the time of the week, upcoming events, competitor pricing, the other party’s process, gamesmanship, deadlines and tactics. But you should consider all of those things, and more!

On top of that, you must have authority over the negotiation without seeming too controlling.

As a skilled negotiator, you must know how to keep the other party’s behaviour in check, otherwise, you risk clouding your judgment and your decision ability may get affected. The other party may not share your values or views on how to conduct business and may come to the negation table with a game plan that is completely different. Negotiation is a skill that can be learned, companies such as The Negotiation Society offer negotiation training resources. They have a Knowledge Bank with a range of tools and resources to help you develop your negotiation expertise.

Negotiation is never about fairness, but rather about working towards an agreement in which both parties are willing to commit to and remain encouraged enough to fulfil. The balance of power during negotiation is very delicate, and it can change at any time and in any circumstance, this means you cannot expect agreements to always be or appear to be balanced and fair, or even consistent.

You can, however, work towards getting the best possible deal given the circumstance you face. Most people who are faced with such situations turn to tactics to help them, others become victims of those tactics.

As mentioned in The Negotiation Book by Steve Gates, a skilled negotiator will see it for what it is and where necessary use counter tactics to neutralize their effects. In these circumstances neither is right or wrong. You will most probably have values that are different from others, this does not make you right or wrong and conversely, it does not make the other parties values right or wrong. Everyone will have a different interpretation and understanding of tactics, and how is best to implement them will differ based on circumstances.

Personal choice and style:

When negotiating, tactics are everything, thus you should consider everything. Variables such as the time of the day or time of the week can have an effect on your mood as well as the other parties.

For example, negotiations which focus on short-term agreements with parties who you don’t have any ongoing relationship with or prospects of one in the future, are likely to be more open during a 1-6 o’clock negotiation.

For instance, lunchtime is a good time to arrange a meeting as the other party may be more relaxed and most likely be more open minded to a discussion and negotiation. However, for long term agreements, dinner (6-8 o’clock) is often a better and more relaxed affair than lunch. This makes it a good time for subtle persuasion. For the best time of the week, Tuesday is often a good day. The week is underway and people have got over any Monday blues, and have also not yet started to tire with the weight of the week’s work.

Other variables you should consider is whether there any are significant events coming up. This can be used to your advantage or at least be aware of the other party’s time constraints. When a significant event is looming, this can have a noticeable effect on the attention of the other party. If they have a short-term focus, and then right before the event is the best time. If they can imagine into the future, and most of us can, then reminding them of the impending event can create the attention you need.

Every decision you take and how you act during negotiations will influence how much power you think you have over the negation and ultimately the outcome.

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